Rebrand with SEO

by Andrya Allen
Rebrand with SEO

Domain changes are like navigating uncharted waters. With the right map and compass, it's absolutely doable. Today, we talk about maintaining SEO stability as you transition from your old domain name to a new one. Here's a guide distilling the insights of Tye Odom, Josh Hinds, Paris Vega, and our team into actionable strategies.

Prepare for the search ranking impact

You will likely experience a dip in your SEO rankings as you switch domains. Temporary visibility fluctuations are normal. Although it varies, one can expect search rankings to drop by 15% overall during domain transitions. With the right preparation, any SEO backslide is just that – temporary. Use this checklist to stay ahead.

Checklist for Pre-Launch

  • Audit Your Site

    • Be sure to have a detailed understanding of where you currently stand. Document your site's structure, SEO rankings, and, most importantly, all backlinks pointing your way.
  • Update External Links

    • This is like informing your crew and allies. Update everything – think social media profiles, Google Business Profile, and anywhere your site is mentioned, to direct to the new domain.
  • Inform Google

    • Google needs to know where you’re headed. Use Google Search Console to tell Google about your domain change. This helps you maintain visibility.

The Launch Phase

Transitioning to a new domain is the moment you set sail. Precision here is crucial.

Checklist for Launch:

  • Implement 301 Redirects

    • Redirects are clear signals to mark the path from old to new. Ensure every old URL points directly to its corresponding new location, preserving the hard-earned SEO link juice.
  • Verify the Redirects

    • Double-check every marker. It's essential that redirects lead to the exact new page, not just a generic landing page. This precision prevents visitors and search engines from getting lost in the transition.
  • Post-Launch Actions

    • Once the new domain is live, the real journey begins. It's time to place digital flags to things that lead people to you.


After Launch, Distribute Your New Link

By distributing your new link as soon as possible, you gain the best chance of search ranking recovery. The key is to send as many clear signals of an updated link as you can, with the highest authority possible. Press releases and direct announcements make an impact. 

Checklist for Post-Launch

  • Monitor Google Search Console
    • Keep an eye out for messages in a bottle from Google – crawl errors, indexation issues, and the like. This dashboard is your lookout point, offering a view of how well search engines are adapting to your new domain.

  • Update Backlinks
    • Reach out to anyone who links to you to update to your new information. While not all will comply, every updated link is a win for your SEO standings.

  • Engage with Content and Social Media
    • Announce your new domain far and wide. Use social media, press releases, and content updates to make sure the word gets out. The faster this happens, the more likely you are to have temporary impact on your rankings. Social media, press releases and content updates help SEO recovery while giving your audience clear links to find you.

It is still possible to optimize your website after a domain change, even if it is a significant one. With careful planning, a detailed map of actions, and a compass pointing towards best practices, you can navigate this transition smoothly. 

Planning a domain name change and need support to retain your rankings? We're here for you. Fill out the hire us form below. 

Your guide on domain changes with SEO strategy for ranking retention