Many companies will decide to change their domain name either as part of a rebrand, to merge several sites into one entity, or to obtain a keyword-based domain instead.
While a rebrand and choosing an SEO-friendly domain name can support your SEO efforts, some of the most significant risks associated with changing your domain name include a loss in traffic and potential lack of brand awareness.
Ultimately, changing your domain name means the URL of every webpage on your site will have been altered. As a result, Google will need to crawl and reindex every page which will have an impact on your SEO success. This means all your rankings will decrease.
However, all is not lost and while these SEO gains can’t be transferred from the old domain to the new one, you can mitigate the long-term SEO effects of changing your domain name. To prevent the loss of your hard-earned SEO rankings, there are several important steps you can take.
These crucial steps include preserving the high-performing URLs as well as their keyword focus, publishing a rebrand page that explains the domain name change to any confused customers, and adding in those critical URL redirects (one-by-one webpage redirects produce the best results).
On top of these steps, you’ll need to inform Google of your domain name change. You can do this in four ways. First, you can use Google Search Engine’s ‘Change of Address’ feature to highlight that your domain has moved. Then, you update your Google My Business account with your new domain name.
While starting a new Google Analytics account may seem like the right move for a new domain, it’s actually better for your SEO to keep the same account but change the old account name and property names. Similarly, do not create a new Google Tag Manager account. Instead, all the tags can be easily moved to the new site.
Once you’ve appeased Google, you can concentrate on getting in touch with your marketing service/third-party contacts that provide you with additional website tools to update them with your new name. Finally, you should also update directories and your social media accounts to include your new domain name.