You might be wondering what could be the effect of changing domain names in terms of SEO? How will this seemingly tiny change can affect your overall digital imprint? Don’t worry because all these (and more!) will be answered on this blog post.
Can switching domains affect search engine rankings?
First, I need to discuss what happens when you switch. Yes, it can have serious implications to your present rankings. Remember, Google evaluates a website’s rankings depending on 2 things
- key performance metrics (KPIs) on a page level,
- and KPIs on a domain level.
Basically, what I am trying to point out is that if you decide to change the domain name of your business, you also change the domain level metrics back to zero. This means you are back to square one.
Luckily, you can reduce the initial blow to your website. If you are cautious, you can lessen the effects of moving into a new website. Below, I will first talk about the 3 reasons why website get a makeover.
Why is there a need to change it?
Depending on the situation, there could be many reasons why domain names change. Although, website owners avoid it as much as they can. Of course, in some situations, a change is required. You will know about it more below:
- Do NOT like the domain name
- One obvious reason would be the dislike of the name! Generally, website owners need to increase the value of the business. So, they need to change it depending on the audience’s taste and preference.
- Did NOT perform well enough
- Mostly, domains change because it didn’t perform well as expected. It has failed to generate the anticipated web or mobile traffic. Perhaps, it did not gain a positive feedback from its audience. Thus, the need to rebrand and redesign not just the website, but also the domain name.
- The SHIFT in business
- Lastly, the name change could be brought about by a business acquisition. The business could be under a new management or the business switched from one industry to another. Hence, the present domain name may be irrelevant to the new business venture.
What are the possible challenges you will encounter?
For starters, you need to understand what the switch could mean to your business. If you change your domain name, you could lose the links you have painstakingly built over time. You have NO control over your old domain now. Someone else could have bought your old domain name. Thus, it’s normal to experience decrease in organic traffic. People would still search for your old name on Google. Also, your authority links will dwindle too.
Aside from that, you need to carry out the correct page redirections on all your web pages. Once you lose your old domain name, your visitors will be greeted by a dreaded 404 page. If you value your strong online presence, you better carefully prepare for the domain migration. The best thing can do is strictly abide by the guidelines on moving a website. One slight change could trigger unwanted effects in the future. So, track the changes on your new domain and follow the Google’s guidelines on URL changes at all times.