For businesses, with digital and online presence being important, picking a domain name is one of the most important decisions they can make.
Some people may get lucky and choose a domain name that lasts forever, but in some instances, the domain name may need to be changed at some point, for various reasons.
In such scenarios, it is a common phenomenon that the website URL gets changed, implying a possible impact on the SEO ranking conditions too.
The reasons for the change in domain URL could differ from business to business, however, in terms of improving the overall process outcome, it is paramount that the business should choose to have the right kind of process for the website URL change, to ensure that the SEO rankings are not affected in the process.
Why Should I Change My Website URL?
Some of the generic reasons why the domain URL change is considered are:
Over time businesses evolve in their product line or services from one stage to the other, and accordingly, the brands should focus on rebranding activities.
One of the key areas for the business to focus on rebranding is to target the website URL, to map the new age inputs of the brand information on the website.
2. Copyright Issues
One of the common challenges to business, leading to issues of website URL change is copyright issues.
In an illustrative scenario, an SMB business might start with some business name, and related domain name, to realize later the copyright infringement of some existing business.
In such conditions, the business might have to consider a URL change.
However, in such scenarios, the SEO ranking efforts towards the website pages should not get affected, and hence there is a need for a more strategic approach to handling the website URL.
Businesses engage resources and efforts towards developing SEO rankings for their website, and in the instances of change, the chances of SEO rankings getting affected are possible if due process is not followed.
Such occurrences could be challenging for the business. In this article, some of the methods resourceful to change domain name website URLs without affecting the SEO rankings are highlighted.
Few Methods to Change Website URLs Without Affecting SEO
1. Choose the Right-Fit Domain Name
The first step in the process of website URL change by domain name change is to come up with a good domain name.
First, one needs to choose a domain with the right Top-Level Domain (TLD). The chosen domain name should be easier to spell, type, and remember.
In this way, one can keep website URL visitors from getting annoyed by mistakes. It will also make people more likely to talk about your domain name.
One should also make sure that your new domain gives you a lot of options. This will help it grow with online business and keep the businesses secured from having to change its website URL name again in the future.
2. Auditing the Backlinks Information
The businesses must choose the right domain name website URL, and before doing so, one should also consider a thorough audit of all the places online where the old URL domain appears.
Technically it can be considered an audit of off-page SEO presence. Working on alternatives to have a record of off-page SEO presence using the social media bios or Google Business Profile is important to work on the website URL change.
Having a prepared list of all the listing locations can help in the update to the links post the new website URL deployment, to deal with SEO rankings impact.
3. Migrate the Site to the New Domain
Post the purchase of the new domain name, basis the hosting solutions opted for, one should move the website content from the old URL to the new website URL.
This process will depend on the hosting options chosen to host the website. But it can be a complex task as one must move all the website’s files and databases to the new website URL.
The process can be executed using the manual approach using the Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) client like FileZilla.
In the absence of any technical understanding about the migration of content to the new website URL, one can also choose the consultation services of experts to deal with the migration process.
One of the critical factors to focus on in the process is not to miss any files in the set-up, as it could harm the SEO page rankings process for the new website URL.
4. Set-up Redirects
Post switching the domain name and migrating to the new URL, the teams need to focus on the mapping of URLs to the permanent redirects denoted as 301.
By working such redirects, any visitors to the old website URLs shall be redirected to the new website URL.
This is very important if one must ensure that changing the domain doesn’t hurt website SEO too much.
The faster and easier way to set up redirects is to work on a WordPress plugin like Redirection
There are many kinds of redirects, but the best one for this case is the 301 redirect. That’s because it’s permanent and will keep the old website pages’ SEO value intact for the new website URL.
Related: How to Create a Domain/URL Redirect
5. Update Online SEO Tools and Search Console
Basis the notes from the off-page SEO process, the requisite changes to the online SEO tools need to be worked upon.
Ensuring that all the SEO backlinks are properly managed with necessary changes to the website URL inputs, can help in risk mitigation like the SEO engine considering the new URL as a fresh link.
Also, all the kinds of interlinking and aligning the new website URL for the SEO rankings can help in effectively dealing with the search engine ranking and search engine optimization efforts.
For businesses with limited or hardly any technical resources available to deal with the needs for website URL changes basis the domain name change, competent professional help can be hired for dealing with the domain name change process to website URL.
For more information on the process, and any technical assistance in the website URL change, and domain name registration, reach out to Exabytes Malaysia technical team.