It is a very useful and ingenious process designed for all those who are thinking about changing the domain of your project and do not want to lose that positioning in Google and organic traffic that has cost so much work and time.
As many of you know, changing the domain of your web page can mean real nightmares for your project, and organic traffic and the web positioning of your project are affected very negatively. This is because each domain accumulates:
- Your indexes of SEO metrics, such as the PR, Domain Authority or Alexa Ranking among others.
- Characteristics such as domain age, social cues, etc.
- The backlinks :
NOTE: Click on this link if you want to inquire more about this topic.
In this article, I will try to explain in the best possible way how we can minimize the risks of loss of organic traffic and web positioning and be victorious when making a domain change and subsequent migration.
STEPS TO FOLLOW TO CHANGE YOUR DOMAIN WITHOUT LOSING SEO
Register your new domain
The first step, unquestionably, will be the choice of the new domain you want to call your project. For this you have two options when choosing it:
Choose a new domain: I leave this link a trick to select the best new domain for your project.
Choose an expired domain that already has strength in the eyes of Google: In the following link, you can know how to get those domains with free authority.
Load a ‘Page under construction.’
We must load a simple page of HTML that indicates that the page is under construction. Essential to load this page a couple of weeks before changing the domain. In this way, we will allow Google to index our new domain and to prevent Google from detecting our domain as ‘Parked Domain,’ we must write some content and some line like ‘On this website a new website will be hosted’ on the page building.
Transfer parts of your website
Start transferring small segments of your site. In my case, for example, if you want to change your domain, you could start transferring the subdomain en.germancabello.com. Once verified a week after this segment (subdomain) we have successfully transferred, we will continue with the web in its entirety. Doing it in parts can help avoid serious positioning problems.
Transfer all web pages
Upload all the pages, images and files from your old website to the new one. If you choose to change the structure of your website, you should write down all these changes, since it will be very helpful when performing the 301 redirects.
Permanently redirect all old pages to new ones
This is, without doubt, the critical step of the process. Once the content is perfectly updated in the new domain, we will redirect every one of the old URLs to the new ones. We must do permanent redirects 301 and not commit the failure to perform temporary redirects 302 since redirects 302 do not transfer the PR, Anchor texts or any other SEO metric.
* NOTE: Do not redirect all the old pages to the new home.
We will have to redirect, in case of being e-commerce:
- All the old products to the corresponding new products
- All new categories to the equal different categories
- The old home to the new home
- The same with sub home, intermediate pages …
Record changes in Google Search Console
We must not forget to change the web address in the Google Webmaster Tool. To change the site address, we must:
- Register the two domains (the old and the new) in the same Webmaster tool account.
- Go to Tools and click on ‘ Change of address.’
- Once we are on the screen of the photo above, we will proceed to check that all the redirections have been done correctly.
- We will check that both sites are confirmed.
- Finally, we will send the change of address request.
Update the backlinks
To do this, we must identify through a tool such as MOZ, SEMRush or Sistrix, among others, the most important external links that point to our website. Although through the 301 redirects we will transfer the strength of one domain to another, it is extremely advisable to update the most important external links that direct to our website.
Now it would only be to make sure that we have followed the previous steps and to be patient. Keep in mind that we must renew the old domain before it expires. In this way, we will not lose reference traffic and domain authority from old backlinks to which we have made redirects 301.
Also, do not forget to keep those redirects and renew the change of address in Webmaster tools every 180 days.
If you want to ask more about the subject, I recommend you to read the post-Redireccionamientos 301 vs. Time to load the page.
If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to consult me!