Pros and cons of changing domains

Every now and then there comes a point in the progression of a business’ online presence that the business outgrows its existing domain.

maybe it’s time for a change of brand, maybe the domain doesn’t reflect the scope the company now faces or maybe the domain needs to be localised to give it better search engine reach.

It’s not so bad it the website doesn’t really work, but imagine how hard that decision is when a domain does work, when a domain 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 youeven greater visibility then it’s a decision that needs to be taken.

I strongly believe that only by acting boldly and taking the bull by the horn can you make those great leap 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 to 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 great increase in organic results.

Can you business afford the downturn on the chance that the organic clicks may increase? Personally, I think it’s always going to be a risk worth taking, however recently I saw a drop of around 8% which lasted for 3 weeks, which was having serious knock on effects to the number of conversions being provided by the website.

Fortunately for that business and site the business was able to take the hit with the knowledge that there business would benefit.

2 Comments

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