Plan for unexpected SEO costs when moving to a new domain

There’s a lot of heated discussion in the Australian SEO world about a proposed top-level domain name for Australia called .au. I recently spoke in a meeting of concerned industry people about how much of a disaster it would be for most businesses to change to .au from .com.au, or even from .net.au. I’ve just finished changing our domain name from .biz to .com.au, so I know what I’m talking about.

This was something we’d been planning on doing for years and we finally decided it was time. If you look at a lot of SEO professional’s homepages, they haven’t changed much in the last 10 years. If they’re ranking highly, they leave well enough alone. So we kept putting this off, but it was finally time to make the switch.

The first thing that happened after we began the switch was an immediate drop in traffic. Even when you do the job right you’ll still experience a significant drop. It’s come back in the weeks since we began the process, but we did take a hit in the meantime, as all people will.

You need to keep in mind that this is a process. There’s a lot of waiting and adjusting, tweaking things every time you see results of your last move. One of the most important things to do is to find out what Google knows about your site. With a domain name change you should check it every day, checking the index to find out when the old domain has disappeared and the new one is fully indexed. After the old site has no impressions, that’s the time to remove it.

Moving domains has costs you have to consider and it’s not just how much your SEO provider is going to charge. Think about the cost of lost business before you start to move.

This article was originally published on stewartmedia.com.au.

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