Now and then, there comes the point in the progression of a business’s online presence that it outgrows its existing domain.
Maybe it’s time for a change of brand, and perhaps the domain doesn’t reflect the scope the company now faces, or the profession needs to be localised to give it better search engine reach.
It’s not so bad if the website doesn’t work, but imagine how hard that decision is when a domain does work when a part is at the top of the search results for search terms that deliver real, converting traffic. Hard decision, but if a new domain will give you even greater visibility, it’s a decision that needs to be taken.
I firmly believe that only by acting boldly and taking the bull by the horn can you make those great leaps forwards – admittedly, sometimes it goes wrong, and you have to track back and undo as much as possible what you did.
There is likely to be an element of pain in changing a domain. Even if the website is the same and all the correct procedures are followed, such as 301 redirects from all the slugs off the old domain.
You’ve got an XML sitemap, you’ve submitted it to Google Webmaster tools, informed Google of the change of domains you’re still likely to have some disruption to the search results in the short term.
You may see a drop before the new domain rebounds to the positions previously occupied by the old one. Although you may get more coverage in the search engines with a new domain, especially if it is keyword rich, you may not see any significant increase in organic results.
Can your business afford the downturn on the chance that the organic clicks may increase?. I think it’s always going to be a risk worth taking. However, recently, I saw a drop of around 8%, which lasted for three weeks, which had severe knock-on effects on the number of conversions provided by the website.
Fortunately for that business and site, the company could take the hit with the knowledge that their business would benefit.
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