A little less than a year ago, SEOmoz transformed into simply Moz. Relatively simple on the surface, right? Just take off three letters and capitalize one. But, as you can guess, there was a lot more that went on behind the scenes. Not only did they have to change their domain from SEOmoz to Moz, but they were also changing from a .org to a .com. And on top of that, they were totally redesigning their site. As if that wasn’t enough, the change from SEOmoz to Moz was more than just a name change: it was a complete rebranding. Long story short, it was pretty much the perfect storm.
If you’re getting ready to embark on a major site change — which will inevitably affect SEO — then this webinar from Moz holds tens of thousands of dollars worth of value for you. Check it out before you make any major decisions on your site design, SEO strategy, domains, or branding. We’ve also broken down some of the content below for your reading pleasure.
Just as it takes the indigo bunting months to make the journey from Minnesota to Mexico, a site migration is a rather long process. It took Moz a year to plan and complete their site migration. So if you’re thinking about changing domains, just know that it’s not necessarily as simple as literally changing the domain, unless you want your SEO and other online efforts to suffer. Proper planning, although it might seem tedious, pays off in the long run.
Despite planning, it’s probably still inevitable that there will be a bit of a decrease in the number of visitors to your new URL. If you correctly go about setting up redirects, then hopefully people navigating to your old URL will be automatically forwarded to the new URL, but search engines sometimes have a bit more trouble when it comes to identifying and accurately ranking sites after a URL change. This will likely cause your organic traffic to lag behind its normal numbers, but over a number of weeks (around six was the number for Moz), it should restabilize.
One thing that can really alleviate some of the pain of a site migration is proper promotion. In the case of Moz, they had several social campaigns, launched a teaser site, and had several “homepage takeovers” of sites such as Business Insider and Entrepreneur. Now, not every company has the money to spend on that last bit of advertising, but you can certainly build up buzz within your existing networks, whether those are in the form of social media followings for your brand or just professional contacts on LinkedIn. Anything you can do to let people know about your new site will help not only with the site migration but also just with brand awareness in general.
So be sure to check out the webinar from Moz, and if you have any questions or need help with your site migration, don’t hesitate to shoot us a message!