How to Transfer Website to a New Domain

Best SEO Practices to Use During a Website Transfer

Transferring a website to a new domain name is usually not good for SEO, however it at times become necessary.

Some of the reasons it makes sense for a company to move domain names include: resolve trademark disputes, brand or image change, or make its domain easier to remember.

Whatever the reason, there are some steps you should take to ensure good SEO during a website transfer:
How to Transfer a Domain Name

Domain Transfers Easily

  1. Consider making SEO a part of your name selection strategy if you haven’t already determined and registered your new domain name. Domain Names that contain popular, relevant search keywords often rank well in results, especially on

    For example, “” is an SEO friendly domain as it clearly separates the keywords and uses a phrase people will often search for. However, many keyword-free domains have been successful as well.

  2. Update your current site backlinks with the new domain name. You should contact the sites that have links to your website and ask that they are updated to the new domain. Prioritize sites with high Google PageRank levels. You probably won’t be able to get all of the links changed, but a few is better than none. Be sure to change links in areas under your control as well; forum profiles, off-site blogs, eBay listings, etc.
  3. If you are to retain ownership of the old domain name, use redirection to transfer visitors (and search engine “spiders”) to the new pages.

    Apply 301 redirects rather than META “Refresh” tags; 301 redirects work better for both website users and SEO. The website transfer process is a good opportunity to make sure your page URLs are SEO friendly – feel free to set up a brand new directory structure or change your.

  4. Carry out the transfer in a single step, rather than slowly phasing one domain out. Keeping two functioning, separate sites at the same time is not good for SEO, because search engines don’t rank duplicate content as highly in their results.

Make sure users receive adequate notice of the domain name transfer, and ensure that they understand the same company remains in control of the new website.

Remember not to leave any links to the old domain on the new site.

Following these steps should help you maintain good SEO practices during a website transfer, creating as little loss in search engine rankings as possible.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong in a domain name change, an SEO marketing firm can assist your company and website in this process and provide additional advice on conducting the transfer effectively.

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About the Author:

Chuck Aikens has been in Internet Marketing since 1997. His Denver based company, , offers internet marketing services through Market Vertical Partners & Booyah SEO. Follow me at

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Search Engine Specialist - 12 year veteran SEO with multiple top 20 ComScore properties publishing experience. Enterprise level across international, mobile, and social media spheres. Advisor to startups for pre-launch optimization and ongoing SEO consulting.

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