Are Domain Changes Prone to Traffic Losses? Well, let’s find out!

| On Page Optimization

Usually, after a domain change, it is expected that there will be loss in traffic and rankings afterwards. Well, whether you deny it or not, this scenario will surely test your composure. Even though you are not sure if it will come back sooner than expected or not, just remember this saying: “There’s always better rankings at the end of the tunnel.”

Google’s John Mueller shed some light on this by having a poll on his twitter account, featured thru an article in Search Engine Journal:

SEO Professional’s Responses

As expected, majority of SEO professionals agreed that a Domain change will cause traffic loss immediately after its implementation but it’s also not something beat yourself up for because recovery will follow several months after. A few still believe that there is nothing to fear as long as you do it the Google way.

So, what exactly is the right way to do a domain change?

Do a Site Audit

After backing up all of your files, next thing that you need to do is to do is a site audit. During a site audit, take note of all the internal links on the site, the landing pages, titles, descriptions and content. Also, take note of the traffic the website is getting before the migration occur: the top performing content, worst performing content, etc.

Backup Your Files

After a site audit, what you need to do is to save a backup of your website’s files. This is one of the most important things that you should never forget because these files (if you won’t ask) are what Google crawled before. You files are one of the factors why your website is gaining ranking before the domain change.

Our tip for you is to save all of the On-Page changes that you know that would benefit your website. It is advisable to save it all so that it would be readily available once you need to transfer it to the new site, the most important ones being following: title, meta-description, landing pages and website contents.

301 Redirect

301 redirect everything! There are two types of redirect: redirect 301 and redirect 302. Redirect 302 is a temporary redirect while redirect 301 is a permanent redirect. Doing a redirect 301 is like telling Google that a new link is the permanent replacement of a previous site’s link to hence change the indexed site URL to the new one. A redirect 302’s effect would only redirect users to the new page but won’t change the indexed site in Google.