How to Do SEO When Changing A Domain Name



Are you a website owner or webmaster looking to change your site's domain name? Do you worry about maintaining your existing search engine optimization (SEO) authority and search engine ranking? Website owners may decide to change their domain name for various reasons, such as rebranding or hosting changes. You could be rebranding the business or even changing the specialty of the business, which may require domain name changes or a new domain name. It's important to update your website accordingly.

Some people who start their business with a WordPress website often find that their initial domain name doesn't fully capture their new brand or idea. As a result, they may decide to undergo a rebranding process and choose a new, more relatable domain name for their website. Building up a strong SEO authority and improving search engine ranking takes a lot of patience and hard work. It involves optimizing pages, building quality links, and ensuring that URLs are optimized for search engines. Changing your domain name can be a huge setback for your business, especially when it comes to hosting your new website. It's important to ensure that all the effort you put into optimizing your pages for search engines doesn't go to waste.

To ensure that the SEO authority of your website stays the same even after you change the domain, you will have to go through certain important steps. These steps involve optimizing your website for search engine rankings, updating all links to point to the new domain, transferring your hosting to the new domain, and ensuring that all pages are properly redirected.

Due Diligence

The website domain you purchase should have a clear past in terms of hosting, pages, and search engine optimization. This is for hosting websites that have been bought in an auction or for people who are using an older website that earlier belonged to someone else. These pages are important for search engine optimization. If you have purchased a new website domain, then you can skip this step of setting up a redirect for search engines.

For older domains, you can search the past of the website and view the web pages displayed on the domain. You can also redirect to these pages. Check if the website pages contain low-quality content, spam, or any issues with search engine optimization (SEO) such as redirects or domain names. For better results, you can use any premium backlink domain checker to analyze your website's redirects.

If the website's domain has any manual penalties, then you would have to file one reconsideration request so that Google gets rid of those penalties. Additionally, if you want to redirect your website to a new domain, you can use a 301 redirect to ensure a smooth transition.

Review Search Performance and Backlinks

Before you change your domain name, it is better to check the current SEO status of your website. Make sure to review the website's redirect settings as well. This helps you understand your status after the site's domain change has been made. You can use the Google Search Console to review different sections of the site's domain. The GSC provides a performance report that displays how the site has been performing on the domain.

There are also Sitemaps and Index Coverage reports that show how Google has been indexing the site's domain names and old domain. You can also access the Mobile Usability report on our site that shows the pages with a usability problem when opened on a mobile. This report is especially helpful for analyzing the usability of our domain names and identifying any issues that may arise from an old domain. The GSC also gives a Links Report where you will be provided with a list of websites linked to the domain.

You can also use the Ahrefs tool to check the backlinks of your site.

Migration of the Website

Once you know about your site's performance, it is not time to migrate the website to your new domain. The way you migrate your site, especially when it involves old domain names, will depend on the host. If your old and new domain shares the same host, then there will automatically be a new folder for your new domain. Here, you need to copy all the site files from your current destination to the new old domain.

In case the hosts for your domains are different, you will first have to export all the website files from the old host and then upload them onto the new host. For people who do not understand this process's in-depth technicality, you could use a migration plug-in. Developers can do this whole process manually.

Once the migration occurs, you will be able to access both sites for a very short time. Check if the cloning process is done successfully, and both these sites look the same.

Adding Redirects from Your Old Domain to Your New Domain

Redirecting is a very important process as it drives the traffic from your old domain to your new domain. This helps in keeping the SEO ranking the same even if your URL has been changed. Through this process, Google understands that your website's content has been moved to a new destination.

Here redirects mean the 301 redirect, which is a permanent one and not the 302 temporary redirects. For this process, you can get dedicated plug-ins such as Simple 301 redirects or any other. You can also use a plug-in or tool for checking if the redirects have been done correctly.

Redirecting prompts Google to change the index accordingly. All the SEO value and ranking signals of your old domain will get transferred to your new domain after a short while.

Notify Google about Your Domain Change

The tool that you will be using for this step is the Google Search Console. Most SEO related actions are done through this tool. Here you will have to add the name of your new domain. This is essential so that Google can rightfully find your new domain address and change the index.

You will be then asked to go through the address change process, where you have to submit a request for changing your domain. Google will run a few tests to see if your new domain is in perfect order. Once you complete all the steps properly, your search ranking is protected even after the domain name is changed.

Making SEO changes After Domain Migration

Migrating the domain does not mean that your SEO action is complete. There are some changes that you would have to make in your new domain as well. The first thing that you have to see is the email address associated with your domain. If you have one with the old domain name, you need to create one with your new domain name.

This email address should be updated in the contact section of your new domain and any other social media site that you may have. Your clients will be reaching you on your old email address if you forget to change it.

Changing a domain name is not a very complicated process but retaining the old domain's SEO rankings is. If you cannot retain your old SEO value, you will have to start from scratch, which is a complete waste of time. That is why you should be very cautious when you are changing your domain.

The steps mentioned here will ensure that search engines divert the results to your new domain and all your SEO efforts are intact. This way, users will be able to locate you on your new domain without any issues.


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