We’ve seen it many times. In fact, we’ve gotten a lot of clients from companies making this search marketing mistake- changing their domain name. We’ll explain why this is such an issue, but first, what is your domain name? Webopedia has an excellent explanation:
“Domain names are used to identify one or more IP addresses. For example, the domain namemicrosoft.com represents about a dozen IP addresses. Domain names are used in URLs to identify particular Web pages. For example, in the URL http://www.pcwebopedia.com/index.html, the domain name is pcwebopedia.com.”
Why Would You Want to Change Your Domain Name?
We normally see companies change their domain name when they rebrand, or redesign their website. Creating a domain that’s easier for customers to remember is a common reason we hear as to why a business wants to make the change. Unfortunately, not every business is aware of the negative impact this can have on their search presence.
What Happens When You Change Your Domain?
When you create a new domain name and redirect traffic, you might as well have a new website in the “eyes” of the search engines. Here are two of the negative consequences which could take place:
- Loss of domain authority: it can take years to build your domain authority with the search engines. When you change your domain, you lose the search credibility you’ve built overtime and it takes time to rebuild.
- 404 Errors: 404 Errors, or “Not Found” errors negatively affect user experience on your website. Depending on how the previous pages were redirected, you might see an increase in these errors during a domain name change.
Should You Make a Change?
If you still wish to change your domain name, you should look at your traffic in Analytics and see how many visitors your site receives each month. If you only get a few hundred visitors in a 30 day period, it might not damage your business too much to make the change to the new domain, and you can start fresh with your SEO efforts.
However, if your site gets thousands of visitors per month, it’s worth deciding if it’s actually necessary to change your domain, even if you redesign your website. If your company is just looking to make some updates, consider making your logo look more modern, or change your colors, or redesign your social media graphics, etc. While those items are still a large undertaking, they don’t directly negatively affect your web traffic.
If you have a special case scenario, or are still unsure if changing your domain name is right for your business, contact the search marketing experts at Organically today!