Changing Your Website Domain: SEO Considerations To Take Into Account
If you are considering changing your current website domain to something else, you should make sure that you know what the top key considerations are.
1. Analytics Tracking Code
When you are using SEO service experts or your own webmaster to change up your domain, you are going to need to ensure that the tracking codes are set up correctly. This is going to be important so that you can monitor just how successful your website is; so think about a few things before launching, such as:
You should make any changes to Google Analytics as soon as possible to indicate that you are changing your domain name. This can be done through Google Analytics by going to Admin→Account→Find (the website you are going to be changing the domain for)→Property settings→ Default URL. Ensure that you are linking your current account for Google Webmaster tools after any and all updates are made in this area.
Advertising Automation Tools
If you are using any automation tools for your marketing on the website, then you need to double-check the settings for your account. This can help you find the various areas that would need an update so that the new domain activity is being tracked. This is important because if you don’t do it, then you can’t track the new information and searches properly after the change is made.
Google Webmaster Tools
This is another area where the necessary adjustments would need to be made in the Change of Address tool so that you can indicate to them that you are changing the name of the domain. You will want to add your new site to the GWT and then verify that you own the site before submitting the newest sitemap after the switch has taken place. After this is complete, then you want to force Google to do a full index of the site by fetching as the Google Bot.
If there are some paid campaigns that are running, you should make sure the advertisements are updated with the new links to the landing pages and in all the text. You should also ensure that your GWT and Analytics accounts are relinked with Adwords to ensure proper tracking of the website.
Make sure that all of these are being taken care of and that you are thinking about this amount of work before you make the final choice to change your domain.
Another thing that you need to consider before you change the domain is the current measurements that your website has. You should always pull up the current ranking information and ensure that you have it ready. This means that you also should know about the visibility of your landing pages and keywords so that if anything happens the experts can start to work on it again.
3. URLs And Subdomains
You are also going to want to consider the URL structure and how it will change when you are switching domains. You are going to need to be fully prepared to change over any other sites that you might have on these subdomains. Things to look at in this sector include:
You should make sure that you are identifying if the structure of your URL is going to be changing and if so, then how it is going to change. The simplest way to do the change is to break it into smaller chunks and change one top-level domain or TLD at once, then complete the one-to-one 301 redirects, and then later change the content or URL structure.
You should work with eCommerce SEO services if they are your current website developers in order to create a way to monitor the errors that a user might see. This should be visible and trackable in Google Analytics for all of your pages.
You need to work with your development or support team to create 301 redirects for all of the new pages from the old pages. This is a critical step and you should do this even if you aren’t changing up the structure of your current URLs.
If you have websites that are hosted on your current domain, you need to list those and decide when you are going to be moving those to the new domain. If you are using WordPress, then you should make sure that you are updating a few settings, this needs to be done before the switch occurs.
Sitemaps And Robots.txt
You should also make sure that you are redirecting all of your sitemaps and robots.txt to the proper location on the new domain. This will ensure that the search engines can find them easily and crawl the necessary pages on the new site. These are just a few of the things that would need to be looked at and thought about when it comes to your URL and subdomains when you are making the change.
Even if you are changing up the domain, you are going to need to update the brand mentions for your company. Make sure that you are creating a list to get started, but you need to consider the circumstances of the changes since that will dictate any actions that should be taken. Some of the things to update include:
Updated Brand Name Mentions
If you are just changing the domain name because the business name changed, then there are some online mentions for the old business that you need to change. There are plenty of places where you need to change the business name, including your social media accounts, Google places, and much more.
Areas that you are going to need to update some materials with the new name are:
- Tradeshow materials
- PowerPoint templates
- Business cards
- Mentions and backlinks
One thing that everyone fears when they are launching a new domain is losing their current link juice from credible sites. However, this doesn’t have to happen if you follow all of the other steps and you are requesting that the owners of the other connected sites make the changes as well.
5. Coming Soon Page Launch
If the new domain isn’t going to be automatically redirecting from the current domain, then you need to create a page that says coming soon. This needs to have some information about your business for the readers to read and let them know that your page will be set up soon. This will also allow the search engines to do some crawling before the page goes live.
6. Backlink Report Pulling
A few days before you change your domain, you will need to do a pull of your backlink report. There are plenty of tools that will help you identify the current links as well as anchor text that will need to be updated. Make sure you are prioritizing the links that have the old name to be done first, get this updated fast.
These are just a few of the top eCommerce SEO services and items that you must know if you are going to change domains. Make sure that you are aware of the changes that need to be made, including your URL and subdomains, and much more. Ensure that you have a list ready of everything that needs to be done and the priority of each.