Previously, I discussed why sometimes there is a need to change domain names. It could be any of the 3 reasons: the owner did not like the name, the domain name did not perform well, or the owner shifted to another.
Whatever the reason is, changing names can affect your marketing plans. Of course, it will have an effect on your website’s SEO. A new domain name definitely has consequences for your online business. For example, if you rename your website and bought a new domain name, you all the links pertaining to your old name. That’s years of link building going down the drain!
With that being said, it is extremely important to seamlessly shift from the old domain to the new one. When you set up a new domain, the main goal should be to redirect all the pages of your old address to your newest domain name.
The Tips on How to Properly Migrate to a New Domain
Below are the thing you can apply on your site:
- First, you have to have a sitemap of your old domain. If you don’t have one, don’t worry because you can easily generate one.
- There are many tools available online for you to create a sitemap. Whether you choose to use a free or a paid app, it’s really up to you. The important thing is to have the sitemap for the search engines to use.
- If you need help on how to create a sitemap, please see this Google help page on building and submitting your sitemap.
- Next, it’s time to decorate your new domain. Time to paint the walls and write your company profile, mission, vision, and other business details. Don’t forget to add an about us page or any page really to indicate contact details.
- Moreover, start creating new content for your website. Once everything is set, you can now publish your new domain for the world to see.
- At this point, it is important to go to the Google Webmasters page, and claim ownership on both your old and new domain name.
- Because your loyal customers are used to visiting the old domain, you will need to put up a sign that you have a newer and better home. To do this, you need a 404 page ready on your old domain. So, when someone tries to visit the old address, all the web visitors will know about your new address.
- Of course, you also have to test the redirects if one can indeed jump from the old domain to the new web address.
- Next, you help the search engine crawlers to easily scan your website. First, you need submit the old sitemap to Google, Bing, or wherever. For Google users, you need to access the Google Webmasters page, and open the “Change Address.”
- To be sure that your URLs are included in Google’s list, generate and submit a new sitemap. For Bing, you need to go to Bing Webmaster Center. Meanwhile, Google users need to access the Google Webmasters.
If you want to ensure that everything is up and running, you can run a diagnostics test and see if there are errors on your new sitemap. As always, continue to track the search results for any changes on your website’s ranking.