Whether you are trying to rebrand yourself or you simply want to take advantage of a better URL coming available, it’s important to fully digest what changing your domain name can do for your SEO. According to Moz, it is a big deal to embark on a domain name transformation, but if you take the proper steps, you can greatly reduce the impact it has on your SEO:
Use 301 Redirects Everywhere
Be thorough when setting up your 301 redirects. With a 301 redirect, you are letting the search engines know that the old domain has permanently moved to the new domain, which will transfer the link credit of the old page. You are also flawlessly guiding your users to the new site. Take your time and double check that every single page gets a 301 redirect, as this is the most important part of your domain name switchover.
Report Your Change of Address
Even though your 301 redirects will let Google know your domain has changed, you should also submit a Change of Address to Google. This is a way for your updated domain to be indexed immediately. The update will be in effect for 180 days, giving the Google bots time to crawl and index your new site.
Once you think you are done, and your new domain is good to go, double-check everything one more time. Confirm that your 301 redirects are working properly and that your top inbound links are being properly redirected. It is your rankings, traffic, and therefore, bottom line at stake. You can’t be too sure.
Spread the Word
Now it’s time to get the word out about your new domain. Alert all of your current customers via email and social media channels. Contact websites with links to your site and politely ask if they can update the link with your new URL.
Consider a PPC Campaign
Since your rankings will likely slip (at least for a little bit) when you change your domain name, it’s a wise idea to set up a PPC campaign to support you in the interim. Target your most popular keywords and lead users to new, premium content that is likely to get shared.
Changing your domain name is a big deal, and in the long run, it can be a smart idea—especially if the new domain is easier to remember or matches your branding better. But if you don’t go about it correctly and carefully, the change will do more harm than good. Contact Zero Gravity Marketing for help with moving your domain name, setting up a PPC campaign, and rebuilding your organic search rankings.