A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, but if you don’t know its name how the hell are you going to Google it? Your company’s name is the number one representation of your brand and the first thing customers associate with your business. Your website’s URL domain name is no exception to this. With that being said, there are many reasons you may be considering a website domain name change. Whether you are changing your company name, looking to institute a new branding strategy, or adding target keywords in your URL name, it can be extremely beneficial to change your domain URL.
However, there are many factors to keep in mind before making the jump. If not implemented properly, a domain name change can cause unnecessary harm to your site. The change can negatively impact SEO, which can be a long, expensive road to repair the damage done. By being proactive and carrying out the below SEO, PPC, and social media suggestions early, your website can successfully grow and benefit from a domain name change.
Changing Domain Name SEO Impact
Changing your website’s domain name impacts the SEO you have worked hard to build on your site to rank well in search engine results. Listed below are the top tasks to keep in mind when making the transition to avoid jeopardizing your existing SEO efforts.
- Build high-quality backlinks
- Update on-page SEO content
- Pay attention to local listings
- Update information on Google My Business
- Change analytics tracking
- Update search console settings
After changing your domain name, it is almost inevitable that your search rankings will drop a little. It is average to see about a 5% to 20% decline in traffic during the first couple of weeks of the new URL name. Because of this, it is especially important that you amp up your optimization efforts to counteract this.
One primary goal should be to increase (or initially maintain) traffic to the website. Accomplish this by building strong, high-trust backlinks linking to your new URL to help boost SEO. Google’s algorithm will reward you for having these high-quality backlinks by ranking your site higher in search results. You can also stand to experience an increase in traffic from users clicking these links. Furthermore, on-page content should be updated to reflect the new branding/name. Be sure to include new rebranding design and target keywords onto the site’s content. It would also help SEO efforts to make new blog posts to increase traffic and add new target keywords. Keep in mind, blogs are also a great way to communicate your site’s rebranding to customers!
Next, there is a great deal of updating which needs to be done. By changing the site URL, name, description, etc. on Google My Business, local listing status, and search console settings, you can successfully reflect your new domain name and purpose to be more easily found and understood by search engines. Finally, you should change the site’s analytics to properly track the effects of the new changes and be aware of any issues that may pop up.
URL Name Change Effect on PPC
The domain name change can also affect your existing paid media advertising. Whether this is run through GoogleAds, Bing Ads, or a mix of the two, you need to ensure that your advertisements are properly updated to reflect the URL change. We have listed below three changes to make on all paid media ads.
- Change URL in ads
- Change brand name in ads
- Properly update ad aesthetic to reflect the rebranding
Some of these suggestions may seem like no brainers, but it is essential that all ads are seamlessly cohesive and match with your brand image. Ensure the proper URL, name, and branding format is changed on all advertisements run.
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.
- Update URL link
- Change brand name
- Update brand image / format
- 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.
By focusing on improving on-page and off-page SEO through quality backlinks and content, your new site can be rebranded stronger than it was before. However, proper updates to all search engine sites about this change are imperative so that traffic is not poorly affected.
While focusing on SEO may be a main concern when changing your site’s URL, it is also advised to update and improve PPC and social media efforts.
By ensuring brand harmony across all platforms through updating SEO, PPC, and social media accounts, any website can successfully change their domain name and grow their business!
Contact us to find out more about how we can help grow your business.