Changing your domain name will result in immediately losing your rankings in Google, even if you keep the same content on the new domain name.
Cold Hanworth Forge teach blacksmithing courses, and found that their website was generating lots of course bookings. But the site was old, and the time was right to have a new website that the business could be proud of.
As part of their web makeover, the business owners were advised to get rid of their successful www.teachblacksmithing.com domain name, and use a brand new domain name with their company name in it instead.
And when the new website went live, their site disappeared from the Google results. Whereas they were previously in the top 10 for all their keyphrases, they now languished way down on pages 9 and 10 of the results.
And most importantly, they discovered their training bookings dried up.
The disaster was all down to changing their domain name.
We had a very quick discussion, Bob reverted back to his old domain name, and straight away he was back to getting bookings on his lovely new site direct as a result from regaining his high rankings in Google.
The mistake Bob made was not to plan for his domain name change. But to his credit, he spotted the problem, and quickly tried to figure out where things went wrong.
Google has provided a useful checklist for changing your domain name and they readily acknowledge that domain name changes are not easy.
And even when you have a member of staff dedicated to managing the changeover process, it will still take months (potentially) for your site to regain its rankings in Google. Take a look at TKG’s blog where they document their domain name changeover process.
There are times when domain name changes are desirable or inevitable, and just like any change in your business marketing, success is all in the planning.