Changing your domain name can have a variety of effects on your SEO. It may have an impact on your website’s traffic, authority, and rankings.
From an SEO standpoint, it may be necessary to “start over” if the proper procedures aren’t followed. The fact that hyperlinks from your previous website won’t lead to your new one automatically is one of the primary causes.
When ranking your content, search engines like Google take into account a variety of variables, including the quantity and quality of the links leading to your site.
However, there are further ramifications. If customers are perplexed by your new domain or company name, you risk losing brand recognition.
You could potentially cause problems with duplicating material. These may cause issues for Google when it comes to indexing and ranking your sites.
In summary, whenever you change your domain name, you must adhere to best practices.
First Step: Select a New Domain Name
The domain name of your website does not directly affect PageRank. However, it may still affect traffic and conversions to your website. In addition to SEO, your domain name may have a significant impact on your naming strategy, branding, and rebranding initiatives, as well as your overall company plan. Thus, you must pick your new domain name carefully.
Short and straightforward domain names are often easier to remember. However, the domain’s more specialized elements may also have an impact on memorability.
Two components make up your domain name:
- Second-level domain: Your website’s distinctive identifier, such as the “Komdigit” in “komdigit.net“
- Domain at the top: The part that follows the second-level domain, referred to as the “extension,” includes the period (“.com”).
But, you might want to think about other TLDs that are better appropriate for your company.
For businesses that operate in Mexico, for instance, “.mx” would be appropriate. Additionally, “.blog” is appropriate for a blog.
Ideally, your domain name change will consider how it will affect your brand strategy as well as any possible SEO effects.
Second Step: Export Your Backlinks
It’s important to assess the backlink profile of your website before transferring domains.
One of the most significant ranking factors is backlinks coming from other websites referring to yours.
Consider backlinks to be endorsements for your website. High-quality backlinks can tell search engines that other websites respect you as a source and that your website is an authority on the subjects it covers.
The authority of your website might rise with each high-quality backlink. Your website may rank better in search results if it has more website authority.
Third Step: Link Your New URLs to Your Old URLs
Create a list of the pages on your current website next.
Redirects from all of the old pages to their new locations on the new domain must be put in place after the migration. It should be rather simple if all of your content’s URLs remain the same, save for the domain name. Your new URL will just be your previous URL changed to a different domain.
Fourth Step: Configure 301 Redirects
You must put 301 redirects in place as soon as your new domain is operational and contains all of your content.
Permanent redirects, or 301 redirects, inform browsers and search engines that your old URLs have been replaced permanently with new ones.
This has two significant outcomes:
- Visitors to the old URL are instantly sent to the new URL.
- Any user or search engine who hits a URL with your previous domain name will see a 404 page or “Not Found” message if 301 redirects are not put in place. If the material on your former website is still active, people may also see it.
Fifth Step: Use Google Search Console to Confirm Your New Website
Google is notified of the domain name change when you verify your new domain using Google Search Console (GSC).
There are two things you must do:
- Make a property for the newly acquired domain.
- Use the Change of Address feature in Google Search Console.
Sixth Step: Update All Internal Links
Once your new domain has been validated, you should start changing all of your website’s internal links. Links pointing to your old domain should be changed to ones pointing to your new one.
The redirects you put in place in Step 4 will ensure that these outdated URLs continue to function. Updates are still recommended, though.
Why does this matter?
You are depending on the redirect to take the visitor to the correct location if you don’t update your internal links. Your website may become slower as a result of this, particularly if you have redirect chains.
When there are several redirects made between the first URL that is requested and the destination URL, this is known as a redirect chain. The user’s experience with your site may suffer with each reroute.
Seventh Step: Keep an Eye on the Outcomes
Regularly check the statistics in your Google Search Console and Google Analytics accounts to see if your domain move was successful.
Your organic search traffic may likely decrease when you initially change your domain. It may even reach zero.
However, after one to two weeks, you should start to observe an increase in traffic. In the worst situation, this might not happen for several months following the relocation.
A domain name change’s effect on a website’s performance varies from instance to case. To find out how the move has impacted your traffic and rankings, keep comparing data from your previous domain accounts.