How Does Changing Your Domain Name Affect SEO?

Jul 17, 2023 | Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Changing your domain name is a huge step — but one that you have to do right to keep your prized place on the first page of Google search results.

Customers need to be able to find your HVAC and plumbing business fast, so a strong domain name and good SEO are crucial. Without the proper SEO knowledge, you could accidentally drive customers to your competitors by changing your domain name. SEO can be tricky, so you need to know what you’re doing with help from seasoned marketing experts.

At Polianna, we offer expert plumbing and HVAC SEO services that deliver results. With a few simple steps, you can maintain SEO when changing a domain name and grow your business while you’re at it!

 

Should You Change Your Domain Name?

Changing your company’s domain name is a risk, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it. There are plenty of good reasons for changing your domain name:

Rebranding

As your business changes, so should your brand. If you’re rebranding your HVAC or plumbing company, it makes sense to update everything —- including your domain name. Consistency is vital in all rebranding.

Growth

If you’ve made significant growth, congratulations! With great work comes…more work. Maybe you started as a small business, but now that you’ve grown, you may need a new name to build on that growth. 

Relocation

Sometimes you need to move your business physically, not just digitally. If this is the case, and your previous domain name included your original location, you’ll want to update it with your new one. 

Copyright Issues

Even if you do research beforehand, issues of copyright infringement may come up over the course of your business. Take action as quickly as you can, and change your domain name.

 

How Can Changing My Domain Name Affect SEO?

You risk visibility on the internet by changing your domain name. SEO impacts how often your website comes up when customers search for your services. 

Changing your domain name will impact SEO. There’s no way to avoid it. Your SEO relies on your online presence: domain name, website content, and links to and from your websites. Changing any one of them can make your website drop down in the search results while the search engine crawlers reindex your new domain. 

Search engines have become used to your original domain name, and changing it will confuse the algorithm, as well as your customers, if you’re not careful. 

You’re also risking your site’s authority. You’ve likely spent a lot of time building a reputation you don’t want to lose. 

If your existing site has successful SEO, you might be hesitant to change your domain name and lose that traction. The good news is: there’s a way to avoid this. While you can’t completely avoid the impact changing your domain name will have on SEO, you can avoid the negative effects.

 

How Can I Change My Domain Name Without Hurting SEO?

Changing your domain name doesn’t have to undo all the hard work you’ve done to set up successful SEO on your existing website.

Assess Your Existing Website

First things first, take a look at your website. Take note of all the highest-ranking pages: Which ones are being viewed the most? Which ones are getting the most clicks?

Knowing which pages are already performing well helps you know which pages to focus on when you’re changing your domain name. Ensuring you have corresponding pages on your new website or with your new language sets you up for success.

Choose the Right Domain Name

If you think you’ve chosen a new domain name already, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it easy to spell and pronounce?
  • Does it offer flexibility?
  • Have you looked into the history of the domain?

When making a domain change, you want to make it as easy on your customers as possible. Your name being easy to spell and pronounce will make it easier to find you. 

If your domain name is flexible, you can use it for a long time. Consider where you are now, and where you want your company to be in a few years. If your business grows or you start focusing on different services, can you still use this domain name, or will you have to go through the entire process again?

Research is essential. Follow backlinks to find out if your domain has been used in the past, how, and by whom. 

Migrate the Site

It’s time to move! Coordinate your changing website with your web hosting provider and web developer through this process. Transferring all of your files and databases to this new domain takes time, and it’s worth it to be meticulous. 

Add Redirects 

Redirecting old links to your new domain ensures your site any search engine crawlers that go to your old URL will land on your new domain. If your site has existed for a while, you probably have links to your old site all over the internet. Setting up permanent (with HTTP 301 codes) redirects is the best approach to this. 

Update Your Console

After switching domains, you need to update Google Search Console. You can also see how your new site is performing in terms of SEO keywords. This is also an excellent time to update Google Analytics with your new site.

Announce and Track It

Finally, advertise this change to your existing customers! You don’t want them to become confused when they can’t find your old site and resort to your competition. Making a page on your new site explaining this change is a great way to avoid this.

 

Step Up Your SEO Game With Polianna

Increasing your domain authority is just the start of improving your SEO. If you’re a plumbing or HVAC company looking to make themselves more visible, our team at Polianna can help. Now that you’ve gone through the process of changing your domain name, SEO is more important than ever.

Get started with a discovery call with us today at (703) 997-4123. If you’d rather do more research first, download our PDF to discover five new ways to win more customers.

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