Planning Your Domain Name Change
So you have decided it is time to change your domain name. This is not something to take lightly, good planning can save your SEO and marketing investment.
Here’s a quick checklist that’ll help you plan your domain name change.
- Create 301 redirects and keep them in place for a minimum of 3 to 4 months. (longer is better for old bookmarks)
- Update Google Search Console with your new domain name.
- Update Google Analytics with your new domain name.
- Take stock of the backlinks and 3rd parties you’ll have to notify of your new domain.
- Edit your social media account profiles, Google My Business listing and other online accounts you have
- Update your email address to match your new domain name. (Don’t forget your email signature!)
- Make a list of all company materials and communications where you’ll need to update your domain name and links.
- Plan for email communication or on-site messaging.
A 301 redirect is one option when you set your domain to forward to another destination URL. When someone types your domain in the address bar, a 301 redirect will send visitors to the destination URL, and that new URL will show in the browser address bar. A 301 redirect is a status code that tells search engines the site for your domain has permanently moved to the new destination URL. Don't worry—you can change the 301 redirect any time, or remove forwarding entirely, so it's not permanent in the sense that you can't change it later. The status of 301 helps search engines know where the current content of your domain's website lives, so it can show the correct content info in search results.
A 301 redirect is similar to submitting a Change of Address form—it tells the postal service that you've permanently moved to another location so mail can be delivered to the correct place. But just like a change of address, you can submit a new one at any time. And eventually the postal service (or search engine results, in this case) will learn the new address permanently. Additionally, 301 redirects preserve your search engine rankings—all the work you put in to build up your SEO and search rankings will be transferred to the new destination.
The process can be a bit technical, but most Domain Registrars can assist you in creating a 301 redirect. We recommend working with a professional if you’ve never created a 301 redirect before. If you choose to proceed on your own, don’t worry we can help you plan and domain change.