Transferring A Domain. How To Do It Efficiently And Without Losing Traffic On The Website? Semalt Expert Gives The Answer

Many people are concerned about transferring the content of a page to a new domain, especially when the page has many followers used to the old address. The matter concerns both the reduction of traffic (in the case of blogs and portals), loss of customers, and a decrease in sales (online stores). But is there really anything to be afraid of? Does it affect the positioning of the website? It turns out that a well-carried domain transfer does not carry such a high risk. 

What can you do with a domain?

When transferring a domain, we have several options, so it is worth choosing the one that best suits our needs:
Each of the above options should be well thought out, and the domain transfer should be done efficiently. If we do not know exactly how to do it, it is always worth contacting a specialist, e.g. an employee of the company where we will be buying hosting. It is also worth consulting your choice with the person responsible for positioning pages to prevent losing your position. 

What is a domain transfer, and how long does it take?

Domain Transfer

Domain transfer is the process of changing the company in which the domain is paid and which allows you to manage the domain from the technical side. Therefore, it is an action that results in the transfer of domain service from the current operator to the new one.

This operation appears to be quite complicated and time-consuming. However, how long does a domain transfer really take? Depending on its type, the transfer may be immediate or take up to several days. In the case of local domains, it usually takes several days, and when the domain is foreign, the domain transfer may take up to several days. However, it should be remembered that the given time is only the moment of changing the old operator to the new one. The overall process of preparing a website for the transfer of its domain is more time-consuming and requires the synchronized cooperation of several specialists.

Key reasons for performing a domain transfer

There are many reasons why companies decide to transfer their domains. However, it should be remembered that this decision should be carefully considered and preferably consulted with a specialist responsible for this type of task. It is also worth considering what goal we want to achieve by transferring a domain.

Cost optimization

Domain hosting costs vary depending on the available operators and the complexity of the domain management features. If you want to minimize costs, you should review the offers available on the market and choose the one that best suits your needs. However, let's not forget that choosing the cheapest option is not always beneficial. It is worth analyzing the operator to which we want to transfer our domain. Read reviews, delve into what's on offer, and check the website.

Easier and more intuitive management panel

Sometimes companies decide to transfer their domain because of an inadequately adapted management panel. The problem may be its low functionality, intuitiveness, and even aesthetic value. If your current operator has a panel that does not meet your expectations and even causes problems with domain management, you should think about changing it.

Domain transfer - complete or not?

Transferring a domain is a process that involves, for example, changing its name or the platform that currently supports it. The process is quite complicated and time-consuming, so before making the decision to transfer your domain, it is worth considering the following issues:

Transferring your domain name - 6 steps to success

When transferring a domain, you have to be careful with each subsequent step, because a mistake can cost a lot. To transfer the domain without major problems, perform the following steps one after the other:

1. Register a new domain

A Pocket Guide on How to Buy the Perfect Domain Name | by Saksham Kumar |  The Startup | Medium

Finding a new, original and easy-to-remember domain is difficult, but it's worth your effort. Whether the domain is free or can be taken over in the near future, you can easily check domain search engines on the websites of companies offering domain purchase and hosting. Before buying a domain that has already been used, it is worth checking its history so that it does not turn out that there is an unpleasant surprise waiting after registration, e.g. related to blockades imposed on the website previously run under this name.

2. Inform the persons responsible for the website about the change of its address 

It is mainly about persons responsible for the website's positioning, its promotion on social media and technical support.

3. Set up redirects 

Redirects are important, especially in the first period of operation of a new domain. Correctly set, they will allow the user to "move" to a new page, even when he/she enters the old page address. 301 redirects are also important for positioning - they transfer the power of links from the old page to the new one, thus ensuring that the position is maintained.

4. Conduct an analysis of traffic on the website with the Dedicated SEO Dashboard or DSD

DSD will allow you to compare the traffic on the new page with the traffic on the old site and implement further activities aimed at promoting the new site.

5. Move the content of the page to the new address

In the beginning, it is recommended to move part of the page and then check if it appears in the search results. Only in the next step you should transfer the entire content of the page, checking if everything is working properly. When this is done, make sure that the old page is active for at least a month, as indexing the new page may take up to several weeks.

6. Update Google Search Console, external links, e-mail addresses, and information on social media 

Wherever possible, you should update information about the website so that the recipients can easily find it and contact the people responsible for its operation.

Transfer of domain and SEO migration

One of the biggest concerns when considering domain transfer is the impact of these operations on the website's positioning. However, this process, if properly carried out by a qualified specialist, should not have negative consequences for SEO activities.

In the case of a domain transfer, only the operator with which our domain will be paid changes. Therefore, this process has no impact on SEO activities. So you don't have to worry about losing your position in search engine results or reducing traffic or conversion on your website.

When migrating, however, you are also dealing with an SEO migration process. Depending on what actions will be performed, you should take care to minimize the SEO effects of the domain transfer. However, you must remember that the SEO migration process itself brings many challenges and should be carried out by a specialist. 

SEO migration - what are its reasons?

There may be several reasons for SEO migration, depending on the current situation of the website. These will be, for example:

Domain change 

Related to e.g. rebranding or TLD change. In this case, the most important step is to redirect all URLs 301 from the old domain to the new one. Redirections should lead to new equivalent addresses. In such a case, it should be remembered that if you have a lot of traffic related to your brand or, for example, you are a distributor of a brand and the name of the brand appears in the name of the old domain, and not in the name of the new domain, it may result in a loss of traffic from search engines.

Changing internal website URLs (most often associated with changing the page engine) 

Here the most important element of migration is mapping old URLs to their new equivalents and performing 301 redirects. In SEO activities, if large content changes are planned on the occasion of engine changes, it is worthwhile to act gradually.

It may happen that the migration is to cover both variants presented 

In theory, it is feasible without loss of position - but because the potential number of problems increases significantly - after declines in Google's position, it may be difficult to reverse the factor that causes them. In this case, it is recommended not to combine these two operations at once, but to separate them with a break of at least a few weeks.

CMS change

The reason for SEO migration may also be a change in the content management system, e.g. due to the related limitations, which could harm the process of implementing technical changes.

Rebranding of the company's image 

This activity involves, for example, the process of combining two websites into one, e.g. in a situation where the customer has an online store and a business card page on two different domains. Sometimes customers want to refresh the creation of the website with its technological modernization, and with a complex CMS, it becomes more profitable to create a new website.

Domain migration complete! - what next?

Domain transfer complete, SEO migration successful, and finally over... Remember to analyze the entire process with an SEO Tool like the Dedicated SEO Dashboard after it is finished to avoid possible errors that may not be visible at first glance. So what else should you do?