Should I Change My Business’ Domain Name?

Many business owners consider changing their business name to be more keyword-friendly. It is a similar strategy to having a double-A name in order to end up first in the phonebook. At one point or another you might notice that when you Google a service that your business provides, there is a ranking website with a URL that that almost matches each keyword in the search you did. Instead of a domain name that reflects the name of their actual business, it is something like “SEOAgencyBoston”. So would it make sense to buy a URL like that, and swap out your current URL. It might come as a surprise, but for long-term strategy, John Mueller, Google’s Search Advocate recommends against it. In this article, we will discuss his reasons why.

Do Keywords In A Domain Name Boost Your SEO?

If you do not know, a domain name is the URL that is associated with your business. It is what will be listed on Google and other websites, or what a user can type into their computer in order to get to your website. When you first set up a website for your business the first idea you might have is to simply buy a domain that matches the name of your business. For example, if your business was Erick’s Pizzeria, you might buy “erickspizzeria”. But as you search on the internet you are bound to notice that many people buy domains that are different from their business name and seem to be designed to match what a user might search on Google. It is important to note that a website’s domain plays many roles in a website’s SEO strengths. But before you start thinking about switching your domain, it is important to understand the downside first. Keywords in a domain can help Google get a better picture of who you are and what you do, and therefore what searches you might need to rank for. But, one of the biggest SEO factors for Google is the longevity of a website. Google can see when a domain was first registered. An older domain that has had an active website for years often gets an advantage over a brand-new domain.

Why Shouldn’t You Switch Your Domain?

There are many reasons to not switch your domain both for the good of SEO and the good of your business in general. First and foremost, the benefit you might get from having a keyword-rich domain could be less than the penalty you would get from having a new domain compared to an older one. The SEO benefit could end up being offset. Also, there is no need to kick yourself for choosing a domain that doesn’t have every keyword crammed into it. While changing your domain isn’t a great idea, you can work on your URLs for each page to make them friendlier to both users and search engines. Another reason to not change your domain is that you could really mess up how users get to your site and interact with it. If you don’t redirect traffic, all the active links to your old domain will suddenly stop working. This can cause huge issues for users who click on the old links on Google, Facebook, and other third-party sites. Simply put, if your goal is just to boost your SEO, there are many better strategies to look into before you even consider changing your domain.

What If You Have To Switch Your Domain?

But what if you do need to change your domain? You might run into a situation where the name of your business is changed or your business comes under new ownership. You might be worried that it could confuse new customers if your URL has little to do with the name of the business. Well first and foremost, we would recommend changing a domain unless necessary. It is also completely ok to have a domain that isn’t the same as the business name. As long as you make sure backlinks across the internet are set up correctly it rarely leads to any confusion. You could also buy any relevant domains that customers might use and redirect them to your main domain. For example, our company is Boston Web Marketing but our domain is getfoundquick. But if you really need to change a domain for any reason you should work hard to make sure you don’t jeopardize either your SEO or user experience. One recommendation is to slowly transition the site over time and make it clear to any users that the name of the business and the URL are changing. That can give you ample time to swap out URLs on third-party sites. When you are ready you will want to fully repoint the old domain to the new domain.

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The team at Boston Web Marketing works with businesses throughout the country to help them manage their online digital presence. Our SEO experts work hard to stay informed on best practices and apply them to our SEO strategies. If you are interested in learning more, tel:8575260096.

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