How to Change Domain Names without Losing SEO Rankings

Changing the domain name is the rarest event a website owner does. There is an affiliation with the website’s first name, but changing the domain takes a big decision or an issue that you might be facing. Your domain name signifies your brand, and changing it might take lots of time and some work, but it is not the end of the world. There are so many compelling reasons that lead you to change the domain name, and we think it is good if it is done in the right way by telling your audience too.

One of the biggest reasons for committing to this change in the domain name is the domain suffixes for more traffic and excessing the different countries. In this article, we will be not just discussing how to change the domain name but also the reasons for such change and the issue you can face along with the solution.

Our experts gathered and helped us write this complete guide to help you change the domain name that will lead to a smooth transformation. We also have discussed some measures in detail after you have changed the website’s domain name to keep your website running smoothly. So, why wait? Let us get started with this topic!

When and why is it essential to Change the Domain name?

Your domain name signifies your website name and the home address or the URL of the website as well. This unique home address or IP address makes your website accessible for the users out there.

Your domain is more like registered of a particular IP address and is recorded on DNS (Domain Name System). Therefore, whenever someone enters your domain, they connect to your IP address. Indeed, it is a bit technical for a layman to understand, but it is how the domain system works.

Most people may avoid changing the domain name because their users will not be able to revisit their website, and they might not believe in the new name, unlike the other one. But there are some serious reasons to change the domain name, and most of them are beneficial as well. Following are two significant benefits of changing the domain name:

Rebranding

Most people rebrand their website when they extend their business from one specific targeted product and service to more in the same niche. Your domain name always describes what your brand is offering to your users; therefore, the domain name must reflect the business’s central vision.

Thus, once you change the domain name, the entire idea behind the website and its image change. We always welcome growth and rebranding, so it is ok for you to change the domain. You can always keep the old domain name and redirect your user from the old domain name to the new one. Or you can spread the word on your social media.

In need of a Shorter and more Accurate Domain Name

You might have chosen a domain name unsuitable for Top-level Domain (TLD). Therefore you might need a different and popular suffix like .com, .net, or others. Or sometimes, it is better to have a shorter pet name of the domain that signifies your brand with a longer name. You can easily use the short domain name for social media purposes and have a TLD for more traffic and website ranking.

Risks of Changing the Domain name

Of course, changing the Domain name is very risky and can lead to losing your users and audience. But Business is all about taking the risk for exposure and popularity. Let us discuss the significant risks you can face upon changing the domain name:

Waste of Money and Time

Do you remember how much you paid till now for the previous domain and how much it will cost for the new domain? You have spent a lot of money biding on the required and old domain name for your website. And you have spent lots of time building that website and branding it.

Once you change the domain name, you will lose all of the money invested in the old domain name, and indeed time is a constraint that you cannot measure but be sad about after losing.

Loss of Brand and Awareness in Users

Indeed, you are expanding your old brand into the new one. But this transition might get rough since your brand awareness will lack now. People who know your website can now get to write and lookup at your website on search engines or URLs.

Many people redirect their audience to the new domain by publishing a message. But keeping the new and old domains alive will cost a lot, and that cost was to be invested in the brand. So, there are many conflicts of decisions and ideas for the business.

Loss of Rankings and Traffic

Losing rank over the search engine is one of the most significant risks. All that you have worked for is now on the scale of zero since the users can’t find you on the old domain. Here, redirecting traffic from an old to a new domain is not guaranteed to be 100 percent successful for many people.

If we talk about the technique work structure, then the age of the domain is one of the main reasons for SEO ranking. Search engines like Google and Bing rank the website on the same principle or unless you have enormous traffic on the new website that boasts the ranking. But again, it is not 100 percent guaranteed, as explained before.

One solution that we suggest regarding this issue is buying a Premium Domain Name for the new domain. These domains are short and enriched with keywords that bring more traffic. The search engine already recognizes such domain names. But keep in mind that they can be costly and might need expertise in SEO ranking in your favor.

Backlinks Loss

Many website owners adopt this SEO strategy that requires backlinks. Black links are live likes from third-party websites sponsored on your website. It indeed needs lots of investment in building your backlinks for other websites. You will lose all of the acquisition by just changing the domain name.

You can always redirect the traffic from the old domain to the new but never redirect the backlink to the new domain. The only solution here is to reach out to the websites with your backlink and ask them to change the link to your new domain name.

Homework and Planning for Changing Domain Name

It is always best to know the risks of changing the domain name. Now you can quickly strategize your transition for the minimum loss possible. This planning can also help you preserve the SEO strategy you have applied to your previous domain name.

Following is a brief checklist that you should do your homework on first:

  • Ensure that you redirect the traffic from the old to the new domain over 120 days minimum.
  • Notify the third parties of your transition for replacing the backlinks.
  • Make sure to stock up on all the internal links to your new domain.
  • Plan a social media campaign to spread out the word about your transition to your users and audience.
  • If you are a professional business owner, then use the emailing system to notify your users of the transition over a month with both new and old domain official emails.
  •  Ensure to update the Google Analytics and Google Search Console for the new domain.

How to Change the Domain Name

Finally, that you have done all of the hectic paperwork and homework for the transition of your business over the new domain name and start with a new brand, the last step is to change the domain name. here are the step-by-step instructions on how to do it:

1.     Choose and Purchase the New Domain Name

Choosing a new domain name is a crucial step. Make sure it is a precise and short domain name that literally translation your business through the name. If you can afford a TLD, then look for the available options there.

Here two types of domain names exist for you: the brand new, untouched domains and the used ones. If you are buying the new domain, then you are fine. But if you are using the used domain, then make sure that you have the claim of the domain. You must check its structure; how much the brand image was damaged? Please check what content it was offering to know what you might be facing for your traffic when redirecting.

You can use any backlink checker tools and update the Google Console earlier to check how the used domain’s performance was. This will also tell you if there were a few penalties on the website. It is best to remove everything and start with clean stale.

2.     Check for search engine performance and backlinking

If you are using a new fresh domain, update the Google Search console over it. If you are using the used one, you have already used the Google Search console on it. But now, you must look for the following factor to predict the performance of the domain:

  • Check for the performance report.
  • Check how the website pages respond over smartphones. Check the Mobile usability report for it.
  • See how Google is indexing this domain. It may include the index coverage and sitemaps too.
  • Check if the third parties are linking to your website because of requesting a new domain for back-linking. You can find that in Link repot.

3.     Migrate the website data

Finally, it’s time to migrate all the data and pages to the new domain. You can use a pre-made migrate plug-in for this purpose. If you use the new domain from different hosting services, start exporting the website files and database from the old hosting to the new hosting location.

If you are using the new domain from the same hosting service, then the hosting company will automatically create a new folder over your new domain. You have to copy the website files from the old to a new folder.

4.     Add a redirect link from the old to the new domain.

Now redirect the traffic to your new domain. Use the “301” redirects. It will help Google understand that you have a new website, and you are transferring the traffic over it. It will automatically update the index according to the traffic.

We suggest that you do not redirect the traffic to the homepage. Instead, turn the traffic according to the pages they are visited to make the transition more accessible and more efficient for Google and the users. Just make sure that you are redirecting to the correct webpage of the new domain.

5.     Spread out the word that you have shifted

Now that your transition is complete start spreading the word. Tell your users what is your new domain name on social media platforms and business cards.

Send emails for old and new official domain email addresses from your side and invite the users to check out the transition and new exciting things you are willing to offer them.

Conclusion

Changing a domain name is a big step for a webmaster. No doubt there are many things that made you have this decision at first place. But there are many reasons for it as well, one the popular reason is the rebranding, more traffic, and shorter URLs. Of course, it will need a little homework, but it is possible. Therefore, we have discussed each step in detail that will help you change the domain name accurately and successfully. Best of luck!

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.