Point New Domain To Blog
This step took a little bit of time for me to do, but has to be done so that everyone that was following me would be directed to my new blogs domain. My host did a great job helping me point Blooming Anomaly to my WordPress site, which is Siteground.
If you are still deciding on starting a blog, I highly recommend being self-hosted, since you are free to do all kinds of things on a self-hosted blog. Check out my post on How to Start a Blog!
Update Google Analytics And Google Search Console
The next step is to update your Google Analytics profile. If you arent using on your site, you should be as this is by far the best free way to analyze traffic, patterns, and conversions on your site! The easiest way to do this is to click into Admin, go to your Property Settings and update the default URL. The reason we recommend simply changing your existing property rather than creating a new one is that it makes it much easier to compare history and traffic down the line .
Reconnect Google Search Console
Below on that same page, youll also want to reconnect your Google Search Console profile to Google Analytics. Simply click on Adjust Search Console and follow the steps. This allows for extra data to flow through into the Acquisition > Search Console section in Analytics, such as Landing pages, Countries, Devices, and Queries .
Common Questions Which Many People Ask Us:
- Should I change my domain name?
For answer, walk through this section in the post Top 5 reasons to consider a domain name change for your startup.
- Is it possible to change domain name of my website? Can we change the domain name once we register?
No, it is not possible to change your domain name after registration, you need to delete the existing domain name and buy a new domain name.
- Will changing my domain name affect my SEO?
Google gives equal weightage to all the domain names, so modifying your domain name will not affect your SEO.
- How do I change the domain name for my new website without losing SEO?
In order to know how to change your websites domain name without losing Google rankings, read these 7 simple steps to changing domain name with SEO impact negligible.
- Is it necessary to change my domain name if I want to change my niche?
Not necessarily, unless there are certain factors that necessitate changing your domain name, as mentioned below.
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Audit The History Of Your New Domain / Url
This step is relevant for those who have purchased, or are planning to purchase an older domain bought from a 3rd party or via a domain auction. If your are planning to purchase an entirely new domain name, this section would not apply to you!
Imagine a domain name to be a house on the internet. When you purchase a house that had been lived in previously, you would definitely want to double check to ensure that it is safe and suitable for inhabitation. The same goes for purchasing a domain name that has been used previously!
Do a quick search of your domain name on archive.org. Here, you will be able to see a history of the pages that were built on this domain previously. In this case, look closely and see if these pages contain low-quality content or worse still, spam content.
Using SEO tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush can also allow you to analyze a list of the inbound links, or backlinks that are directed to your potential new domain.
In the event that you do see a live site or live content on your potential new domain, you should add the domain to your Google Search Console account. Then, you will be able to see how your potential new domain has been previously indexed by Google. From here, what you need to look out for are manual penalty actions taken against your domain. These penalty actions are usually caused by the previous website using black-hat SEO techniques to manipulate search ranks, or containing spam content.
Change Domain Name With Our Sitebuilder
If you used our sitebuilder to create your website, the process is a bit simpler:
- Set up a 301-redirect page, so you wont lose traffic or visibility when you switch to the new domain name.
- Be sure to change your domain name on your social media, as well as in your Google search console and Google Analytics.
- If you want to change domain name, but you still think your business could find a use for your current domain name, you can just choose an additional domain name.
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Risks Of Changing Your Domain Name
Risk is inherent to the nature of business. However, theres never an excuse for exposing your business to more risk than necessary.
Changing your domain name can be a great boon for your business, but it comes with its fair share of risks. Lets explore what those risks are and address what you can do to change your domain name with as little risk as possible.
- Wasting time and money.
- Losing traffic or search rankings that have previously built up.
- Loss of your brand awareness.
- Losing backlink traffic and rankings.
When You Should Change Your Domain Name
Your domain name is essentially akin to your home address. Each website is accessible through a unique IP address. When you register a domain, youre actually creating a record on a Domain Name System that tells people, Hey, if you visit this domain, youre connecting to this particular IP address.
It sounds complex, but its a very straightforward system. People dont often change domain names for fear that their users wont be able to find their sites again. However, there are some instances where doing so can be beneficial:
- Rebranding purposes. In some cases, you may want to change your sites entire image and name, and youll need a new domain to complete the package.
- Better communication for your sites focus. Depending on your options, you may have chosen a domain name that youre no longer satisfied with, or picked an unsuitable Top-Level Domain i.e. the .com, .net, or other identifier following the domain name.
The good news is the process of changing to a new domain name is pretty uncomplicated. Not only will you keep your content in the process, but you also wont confuse your regular visitors. Youll simply need to follow a simple step-by-step procedure to ensure you dont run into any problems.
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Add The New Domain Name And Upload The Backup
Next up you should add the new domain name to your existing hosting plan.
2. Add your new domain name, create a password and click Add Website.
3. Connect via FileZilla and upload your sites backup.
NOTE: If you use Cloud Hosting, youll need to back up the database too. If you are using Shared hosting, you dont need to worry about it.
How Do You Change Your Domain Name
As we said, changing your WordPress websites domain name is not something you should do lightly. However, when you do find yourself in this situation, the process involves just a few steps:
The process itself is relatively simple, although there are some aspects that require a little technical knowledge. Well cover those in the next few sections, but dont worry well walk you through each step.
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Communicate With Your Clients
Its vital to prepare your clients for the change. Whether you choose to change your domain name after purchase, or months later, assess every point of contact email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and be sure to regularly communicate before the big switch.
Tell them why youre changing, engage with them. This will help to calm your loyal customers and keep them trusting you as a brand.
Verify Your Rankings And Visibility
The benchmarks used in the planning stage will allow you to monitor how well the new domain is doing in ranking for your specific keywords. If all goes well, youll see a cross-over in your charts as the new domain replaces the old. You can also compare rankings at a URL level by monitoring when the most visible URLs from the old domain are replaced by the new versions.
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Why Change Your Website Domain Name
There are two main reasons why you may want to change to a new domain name.
For some, it could be due to rebranding, or an overhaul of your websites overall theme. Or maybe youve just thought of a better URL, or a more catchy and memorable name for your business. In the event you decided to change your company name, you will need to incorporate your companys new name onto your website URL.
Whatever the reason may be, stick to some basic guidelines to ensure your SEO doesnt suffer too much.
Website Domain Change Effect On Social Media
Finally, it is important to think through the repercussions of a domain change on your social media presence. Below are four things to implement on all social media accounts.
- Educate followers of new URL / rebranding initiative
If all accounts on social platforms are updated to reflect the new changes, you will be sure to avoid any brand confusion from customers. Double check that all sites appear consistent in design and message portrayed. Similar to blogs on your website, social media is a great source for communicating your new branding and domain name change to customers. Create posts highlighting changes and what to expect in the future. This way followers are aware and excited for the evolution of your brand and not shocked by site or name changes.
If you only take one thing away from reading this article, understand that you should not underestimate the time and effort that will need to be invested to ensure a smooth transition when changing your URL domain name. This is a big task to take on, and you will need to leave no stone left unturned. We have built a checklist of a smart way to institute a domain name change so that SEO can actually improve in the long run.
While focusing on SEO may be a main concern when changing your sites URL, it is also advised to update and improve PPC and social media efforts.
Contact us to find out more about how we can help grow your business.
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Keep The Old Site Live For A Little While
Dont use the day your old domain name expires as the launch day of your new one. You will need to allow for a transition period where people trying to access the old site will be able to discover your new one. Once your 301 redirects have been set up, there isnt much harm in keeping the old one around. At the very least keep your old domain until it expires, but it might even be worthwhile to renew it for another year, especially if it wont cost too much.
Great Reasons To Change Domain Name
- Theres an embarrassing misspelling.
- Your domain is uncomfortably close to the name of a website of ill repute.
- Youve received a cease and desist letter from another website.
- You want to switch to a country code domain like .fr or .uk.
- Youve read our list of Dos and Donts when choosing domain names, and youd like a name thats more user-friendly.
- The old domain was a placeholder, and youve finally found your perfect domain name.
We know that not all domain names are swoon-worthy from the very beginning. Thats why weve made changing your domain name as easy as pie.
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How To Save Your Website Traffic
Its important to change your domain name without losing rankings and organic search traffic. Backlinks to your website are important for SEO, and there are steps to take to help you keep your audience.
Create a sitemap and set up 301 redirects
Sitemaps show the internal structure of a website. They are used to direct search engines on how to navigate the pages on your site. Once you have sitemaps for both your old and new pages, you can compare and organize, so that each old page points to the correct new page, by using 301 redirects. This permanent redirect will send your site visitors to a different URL than the one they entered into the search bar.
This is important for SEO ranking, getting your , and visitor satisfaction. You can find out more on this topic by reading our Knowledgebase article, How to redirect a URL for a domain.
Use the Change of Address Tool
Connect your old and new site names with the Change of Address Tool. It tells Google about your website change, and helps the Google Search results page to understand what you have done.
Check for 404 pages
You may have come across a Page Not Found page. This is an error page where the correct URL path is missing, and therefore you will not be shown the page you intended to visit. Check all old URLs, and if you do have 404 pages, make sure they are redirected to the new 404 page.
Redirect To Keep Traffic And Authority
A 301 redirect tells the search engine crawler that the URL has been changed permanently and redirects one URL to another.
For example, if your current website has multiple location pages for each city, you will want to redirect each old city page URL to the new city page URL.
You may be asking yourself, is this useful, and is it worth the time? Pages on your old website are already ranking on Google and bringing organic traffic to your site. If you dont 301 redirect the URLs, the user will likely see an error page after clicking an old URL.
Not only is this a bad user experience for the searcher, but Google will eventually drop the URLs from search results.
One of the best parts about setting up a 301 redirect is that 90% of the authority or link equity is passed from the old page to the new page. What does this mean for you? It means if the old page was performing well, the new page is likely to do so as well.
As a small business owner who is not a subject matter expert in websites and search engine optimization, you may find this overly technical. But it is essential to understand that correctly handling the technical details will help you maintain the online success that you already have.
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