Changing to a new domain name is an effective way to give your site a fresh start – and boost its SEO rankings. Not only will this help you reach a wider audience, but it can also help with increasing brand recognition. Plus, if you’re using a domain name that’s more relevant to your business or industry, it can drive more traffic and conversions.
Finally, changing your domain name can be beneficial if your current domain has been penalized due to suspicious or unethical SEO practices. A new domain name is cleaner slate – allowing you to start over without any of the penalties associated with your old one.
Prepare for URL Migration and Setup 301 Redirects
Another important step in changing your domain name (URL) is to properly prepare for the URL migration and set up 301 redirects. This means that all your existing page URLs have to be redirected to the corresponding page on the new domain, so that you don’t lose any SEO rankings.
To do this without losing any SEO juice, you need to:
- Setup 301 Redirects – this tells search engine bots which pages they should be indexing. It also preserves any link equity–the authority that one page has on another–so your newly migrated URLs don’t start at zero and have to climb up in ranks all over again.
- Update Internal Links – make sure all the internal links are updated so they link to the pages on the new domain, instead of the old one, so that users can easily find what they’re looking for without getting 404 errors.
- Update Sitemaps – submitting a new and updated XML sitemap will help search engine bots crawl through your new pages faster, so that you can start reaping benefits from migrating as soon as possible
- Monitor 404 Errors – monitor 404 errors with tools like Screaming Frog or similar – this helps identify which of your old URLs have not been properly redirected or are still linking to out of date content in order for you to fix them as soon as possible
These steps will ensure that you keep your SEO rankings intact when changing your domain name (URL).
Set Up Analytics and Search Console Properties
If you want to keep track of your rankings and organic traffic growth, it’s important to ensure that analytics and search console properties are set up properly. This way, you can compare the data before and after you make the domain URL change.
To do this, here are the steps:
- Create a new property in Google Analytics (GA) for the new domain name
- Copy over data from the old GA property to the new one
- Set up a new property in Google Search Console (GSC)
- Submit the old domain to GSC’s change of address tool so that Google knows about the transition between domains
- Verify ownership of both old and new domains in Google Search Console
- Set up 301 redirects from old URLs to new URLs in your .htaccess file
These redirects are incredibly important for SEO too: they help Google to understand that all those pages have now permanently moved to a new location, and to update its index accordingly. Any ranking signals (aka “SEO value”) will slowly get transferred over to the new domain. This process can take up to a few weeks, but you can speed it up by following the next step.
Update Internal Links & Structured Markup Data
If you’ve been changing your site’s domain name, then the next step is to update all of your internal links and structured data to point to the new domain. Updating your internal links will help Google understand the structure of your website and navigate it more effectively. It’s also important to update any structured data markup, such as schema.org, on each page so that it is pointing to the right location. This will ensure that search engines can properly index your content and understand what it means.
To make sure you have updated all of your internal links correctly, use a tool like Screaming Frog to crawl through all the pages of your website and check for any broken or redirected links, as well as any missing or outdated structured data markup. If you find any broken or redirected links, make sure to update them with the correct URL for the new domain name.
Monitor Traffic & Rankings During & After Migration
Monitoring your traffic and SEO rankings after the transition is equally important as before. If you want to make sure your SEO rankings don’t suffer from the change, it’s important that you keep an eye on your website’s performance.
Your monitoring should start soon after you transition to the new domain. It’s not unusual to experience a small drop in rankings right after changing a domain name. This is due to the time it takes for Google and other search engines to index your website under the new address as well as changes in backlinks that may have been lost during the process.
To monitor your rankings, use a tool like [insert name] or [insert name]. This will help you keep track of keyword changes over time and give you an idea of whether or not your rankings are dropping after making a change.
You should also monitor traffic during this period, using web analytics software like Google Analytics or [insert name]. Doing so will help you see how people are interacting with your new website and whether there is any significant difference to how they were behaving prior to changing domains.
Notify Google Of The New Change via Google Search Console
Once you have completed the steps to setting up and re-directing your domain name, you’ll want to tell Google about the change. To notify Google of the change, log in to Google Search Console. This will help maintain your SEO rankings, as you are essentially telling Google that while the URL has changed, all of the same content and links are still live and should be taken into consideration when indexing.
There are a few simple steps to take in order to tell Google about the new domain name:
- Log into your old domain name on the Google Search Console
- Add a change of address request – this signals that you’re taking over a new domain name
- Verification – verify both your new and old web addresses by verifying ownership on both domains
- Update internal links – update any internal links so they point to the correct pages on your new URL
- Submit a sitemap – submit an updated sitemap so that all of your content is indexed properly in search engines
- Monitor your ranking – check back regularly to make sure that everything is working correctly for both old and new domains, and adjust accordingly
Best of luck on your new domain. Keep up with our blog with more helpful contents like this.
is a crucial step in the process of changing your old domain URL to a new domain name while retaining SEO rankings. Proper keyword research helps you identify relevant and valuable keywords that your target audience is searching for. These keywords will guide your content creation and optimization efforts on the new domain. Here’s how to conduct effective keyword research:
- Identify Your Core Topics: Determine the main topics or themes that your website covers. These should align with your business, products, services, and the content you intend to offer on the new domain.
- Brainstorm Seed Keywords: Create a list of seed keywords related to your core topics. These are basic terms that describe your business or industry.
- Use Keyword Research Tools: Utilize keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Ubersuggest. Enter your seed keywords to generate a list of related keywords and phrases.
- Analyze Search Volume and Competition: Evaluate the search volume and competition level for each keyword. Aim for keywords with a reasonable search volume and moderate to low competition.
- Focus on Long-Tail Keywords: Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that users often search for. They can help you target a more niche audience and capture valuable traffic.
- Consider User Intent: Understand the intent behind each keyword. Are users looking for information, products, or services? Opt for keywords that align with the intent of your content.
- Competitor Analysis: Analyze your competitors’ websites and the keywords they are ranking for. This can provide insights into valuable keywords you might have missed.
- Prioritize Relevance: Choose keywords that are highly relevant to your content and your target audience. Avoid using irrelevant or overly competitive keywords.
- Include Branded Terms: If your rebranding involves a new company name, include branded terms in your keyword research. This will help users find your new domain easily.
- Create a Keyword List: Compile a list of the selected keywords, organized by relevance and search volume. This list will serve as a foundation for your content optimization.
- Plan Content Around Keywords: Develop high-quality, informative, and engaging content that naturally incorporates the selected keywords. Each piece of content should target specific keywords to drive targeted organic traffic.
- Monitor and Update: Continuously monitor the performance of your chosen keywords using tools like Google Analytics and Search Console. Update your keyword strategy as needed based on performance data.
Remember that keyword research is an ongoing process. As search trends change and your website’s focus evolves, regularly revisiting and updating your keyword strategy will ensure that your content remains relevant and continues to attract organic traffic on your new domain.
Migrating your website’s domain name can be a nerve-wracking process, but with careful planning and execution, you can transition smoothly while preserving your SEO rankings. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can minimize the risks associated with domain migration and ensure that your website maintains its search engine visibility and authority.
Remember, maintaining a proactive approach, staying patient, and consistently monitoring your website’s performance post-migration will contribute to a successful transition. Whether you’re rebranding, improving your domain name, or aligning your website with your business goals, this guide empowers you to make the move confidently and continue reaping the benefits of your SEO efforts