How To changeover to your new domain without losing Direct traffic

Many companies and organizations these days will often reach a particular point where they may decide to register a new domain . This could be due to a number of factors, for instance:

The next time you want to move your domain or register a new one for whatever reason please realize that your only option isn’t to simply abandon your previous domain but that you can still retain (or capture) old traffic coming to those websites – whether from people who still think you are still there or from your ranking on Google.

  • They are rebranding and will be using a new company name going forward;
  • Their old domain may be a .com and they now want a .co.ke or  if the organization is an NGO they may want it a .or.ke (… more on this later).
  • They want to ensure that no one else can register a similar name under a different TLD. For instance their website is abc.com but they also want to have a parallel one abc.co.ke to prevent another company registering the latter and either causing a mix up or grabbing their customers online.

Whatever your reason once you’ve decided to changeover, how do you then make sure that you don’t lose any direct traffic coming to your url?

Direct traffic in this case is the traffic coming from people who are directly typing your url into the browser to check out your organization online. However the traffic could also come from people who are opening that pdf profile or document that you emailed them to check out your website.

Now imagine what would happen if someone was trying to visit your previous domain name yet you had moved on to a new one. Of course it can sometimes be a bit hard to inform everyone that you moved. In this case the best that you can do is:

  • Retain your previous domain name or
  • redirect all traffic coming to that  domain to your new domain.

To do this realize that your domain renewal fees will double since you will now be paying for two domains. However, the good news is that your hosting fees don’t have to double as well. And since a domain only costs you anywhere from Ksh.1,000– Kshs. 2,000 per year, this won’t be a big deal.

Now to avoid the whole hosting cost as well – this is assuming we are redirecting them to your new website and you have no intentions of running two different websites – then the whole process will be rather simple.

You will have to ensure that your current hosting package allows for add-on domains. This way you will be able to ‘plug’ your old domain to your existing domain as an add-on domain without incurring the extra hosting cost. Thereafter, you simply redirect traffic from that domain to your new domain.

There is obviously the whole matter of ‘informing’ Google that you have moved your website so that you don’t lose your SEO rankings and position on Google that your old Domain/website helped you achieve (… i will cover this later on).

If you are registering multiple domains   such as abc.com and abc.co.ke and abc.net (in order to prevent other companies or organizations from using the same name) then you would also follow the same above process. This way if anyone types your name with a .co.ke they will certainly be taken to your  main site – the abc.com website – and they wouldn’t really know it unless they looked at the address bar.

So the next time you want to move your domain or register a new one for whatever reason please realize that your only option isn’t to simply abandon your former domain but that you can still retain (or capture) old traffic coming to those websites – whether from people who still think you are still there or from your ranking on Google.

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