Are you thinking of moving your website over to a .blog domain?
Maybe your niche is changing and you need a new domain name that reflects that. There are many reasons why you might want to migrate to .blog. While it may feel like a big change, domain migrations are more common than you think. By following a few simple tips, you’ll have a smooth transition for you and your audience.
Reasons to migrate to .blog
There are several instances when it makes sense to migrate your website to a new domain.
You need a domain that clearly communicates what you’re doing. One of the benefits of a .blog domain is that it lets readers know that you’re running a blog from the start. Readers associate blogs with shared knowledge and experience, so this can be attractive to an audience looking for information in a certain area.
You’ve rebranded and need an update. If you’ve rebranded, your existing domain might not make sense anymore. To have a domain that communicates what your website is about might require you to migrate to a new domain.
Your current domain is difficult to market. Domains that are long or use uncommon spellings of words can be difficult for your audience to remember. Or you may have registered a creative name that you thought was catchy at the time but have since found that your audience doesn’t make the connection you were hoping they would with it. If your domain is difficult to market, it might be time to migrate to a new one.
Tips to make the transition easier
Choose the right URL. If you’re going to go through the process of migrating to a new domain, make sure you choose the right one. You want it to be unique, coincide with your brand, and be memorable. Learn more about choosing the best domain name in our blog post “5 Tips For Selecting The Best Domain Name For Your Blog“.
Have a communication plan in place. You want to clearly communicate to your audience that a change is coming so you don’t catch them by surprise. Once you’ve secured the new domain name, share the upcoming change on your blog, email and social media several times before the move.
Delete what you don’t want to migrate. If there is any content on your site that will no longer apply after you switch domains, delete it before starting the process. There’s no reason to migrate over content that won’t serve a purpose after the move. You should also search for any references to the old domain name and update that content.
How to change your domain name
It’s crucial to have a migration plan in place to ensure a smooth transition to your new .blog domain. This is broken into 3 simple phases.
The prelaunch phase is broken down into a few very important steps. This includes everything from checking the history of your new domain to benchmarking your current analytics.
It’s important to have a clear understanding of your current website, including URLs, backlinks, rankings, and indexing. This information helps you to see the impact of your migration. During the prelaunch stage, it’s also critical to generate a new sitemap along with mapping and creating redirects.
The launch phase is when your new domain goes live. During this phase there are some key steps to take to ensure Google finds your new domain properly like submitting your XML sitemap(s) in Search Console. You also want to verify your redirects and annotate google analytics so you can remember when you made the switch.
The post launch phase of migration is when you monitor the results. This is a great time to be putting out new links to the blog along with doing some promotional work to draw new traffic in.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on your site for potential errors so you can correct them as you find them. It’s also important to watch your rankings to compare them to your established benchmarks to see how your new domain is performing.
We’ve created a free guide and checklist of the steps you can take from start to finish as you migrate to .blog, How to Move Your Blog to a New Domain, to make it easier for you.
Common concerns and solutions
You probably have some reservations and concerns about moving to a new domain. After all, you’ve spent time building up your ranking and bringing traffic to your current site. These concerns are normal, but thankfully, there are simple solutions to help address them.
One of the most common concerns is the fear of losing some of your audience. Having a communication plan in place before migrating can make the transition smooth for your existing audience. You can make announcements about the update to get your audience excited. You can also encourage them to join your email list which makes it easy for you to stay in contact with them throughout the process.
Another concern you may have is experiencing a negative change in your SEO or losing backlinks. Establishing redirects can help address this and you can contact any site owners that you know are directly linking to you to provide them with the updated link. Check out this article on Seth Godin migrating his popular blog over to Seths.blog as an example of how to do it the right way.
Any website change comes with risks. However, with proper planning and by following the steps in our guide, your new domain name will have a long term positive impact on your SEO and brand.
Ready to make the move?
If you’re ready to start migrating over to your new domain, the tips above will help you experience the fewest bumps in the road. While it’s normal to experience some drops in SEO and traffic for a short time, the right migration plan will help you bounce back before you know it.
Once you’re up and running with your new domain, you’ll be happy you took the chance and made the move. You’ll have your new domain established where you can continue to proudly share your stories and messages with your audience, new and old.