Q&A: What’s the best way to forward my old website to my new domain?
If your company is acquired or merges with another organization, often times you will need to migrate one website over to another. There are several options available, but they aren’t all equal.
Here are 3 options you have to forward your old website to a new domain.
Option 1: Individual 301 URL Redirects
For best results, set up 301 redirects from each of your existing pages to their corresponding pages on the new website.
To do this, your old domain needs to be 301 redirected to a new domain. See the example below:
OLD DOMAIN: http://www.old-domain.com/microsoft_nav.htm
Individual 301 redirects will maximize SEO and the customer experience. In this example, the links pointing to your current Dynamics NAV page will now point to the new website’s Dynamics NAV page in the eyes of Google.
Option 2: Wildcard 301 Redirects
The second best option is to setup a wildcard 301 redirect which redirects all traffic (and links) from your old site to the new homepage.
Option 3: Domain Registrar Redirection
A last resort is to redirect at the domain registrar, with either a 301 or a 302 redirect. You need a 301 redirect (permanent) in order to preserve link juice; a 302 redirect (temporary) will not provide the same results.
How to Test After You Have Moved Your Domain
To test, you can use a tool to check the server headers after the redirect is in place.
If you did it correctly, when you look up any URL on your old server you should see this: SERVER RESPONSE: 301 Moved Permanently
If not, you could be losing out on SEO link juice.
Website Migration and Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console) Settings
Last but not least there are some steps to take to make sure you properly communicate your website changes to search engines, specifically Google. Inside Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) you are going to want to find the “change of address tool.” Now it’s important to note that this tool is not used for HTTPS/SSL migrations, only when your domain is changing. This will tell Google what your existing domain is changing to. Following that, you will want to create the new Search Console account for your new domain.
Additional reading: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6033049?hl=en
Not Sure Where to Start? Get Help From SEO Experts
Acquisitions or mergers don’t happen everyday, but when they do it’s important to be prepared so your SEO doesn’t suffer. If you need help or advice on your SEO strategy, get in touch with the marketing experts at Rand Group.
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