Are you planning to change the domain name of your website? If so, you need to have a strategy in place to avoid a drop in traffic and online reputation. The domain name you have used for years has already accumulated authority and social shares, changing it would alter the course of your business. There are ways to retain traffic and reputation after a domain change.
Begin By Auditing Your Website
Auditing the response codes of your website will help you determine and report problems that search bots may have with crawling webpages. The common response codes that you must check include: problems with accessing page, permanent redirection to another page, the page is no longer accessible, and a server problem.
TrueLogic cites that broken links that direct visitors to non-existing pages can ruin your online reputation. This means that you do not take care of your website. Check for dead links on all your pages and fix them before changing domains.
The audit helps you determine if your site is accessible. Google must be able to index and rank your website in its new domain. You might not know it, but there are ways to restrict access unknowingly. Faulty plugins, broken files, or server problems may cause the restriction.
Mobile-friendliness is a metric you should be aware of as its importance is soaring as more users browse the Internet using mobile devices. Your site may have technical problems when browsers use their smartphones; the content may be out of place or the images not loading properly. Address these to create a satisfying mobile user-experience for visitors.
Google has the Mobile-Friendly Test tool that enables you to check your site’s adaptability to mobile devices.
Audit and Highlight Links
Links are important to the success of your website; dead, broken, or erroneous links lead to a lower rank. This may spill over to your new domain and affect your online reputation. Google Webmaster Tools and A hrefs provide you with insights about indexed links.
Changing domains means all the hard work you put into link building restarts if you fail to implement redirects. 301 redirects do not take all of the links to your new domain. Identify the strongest links of your site to make sure you don’t lose them.
The last thing you do when you change domains is tell Google about it. Log into your Webmaster account and look for the gear icon, and click on the ‘Change of Address’ link.
These will help you minimize and manage the effects of a domain name change. Traffic and online reputation retention will help your company soar after re-branding.