Moving to a .scot Domain?
As it becomes increasingly difficult to stand out online, it’s a no brainer that you’d consider a new gTLD eventually. And of course, if you’re here, it means you’ve probably considered joining the online global Scots community with a .scot! Great choice.
We receive many questions regarding what steps should be taken when changing an existing website to a new domain, and often people express fear that it’s too much hassle or they’ll lose traffic during the early stages of the process. But this isn’t the case! We’ve put together some of the crucial steps to consider when changing to a .scot domain to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Let your audience know you’re moving.
It’s much easier to make a smooth transition from your old domain to a new one if you let people know what’s going on as they experience the redirects when visiting your site. Send out a few tweets, a Facebook announcement etc. and a message on your website saying what your domain will be changing to and why. It’s a good opportunity to discuss your website’s values, heritage, subject matter and so on. Better than suddenly announcing ‘we’ve moved!’
Set up and check your redirects.
It can be daunting setting up your redirects to your new domain, with the fear something hasn’t quite gone right hanging over you. However, this can easily be avoided by using a 302 re-direct before finalisng your 301 redirects.
A ‘302 redirect’ is a temporary re-direct from your old web pages to your new ones. This can help you make sure all the redirects are going to the right place before setting up a permanent 301 redirect, meaning there will be no lost traffic.
A ‘301 redirect’ tells search engines that your content still exists, though it has moved to a new location. It will remove your old URL from search engine Indexes and replaces it with your new location under your new domain. This is why it’s vital to make sure it’s set up properly, and a 302 redirect is the best way to check everything is setup correctly. For more information on how to do this, click here. You can even use a 301 Checker if you really want to be on the safe side.
Tell Google you’ve moved.
It’s no good waiting around for Google to crawl and index your website, which can take up to six months. You’ll need to manually let them know, which is an easy process. All you need to do is use the ‘Change of Address Tool’ in the Google webmaster console. This ensures Google knows you’ve moved the entire domain and not just certain pages.
Update your back links.
This is perhaps one of the most labour-intensive parts depending on how many you have, but trust us, it’s worth it. Get in touch with the website owner, blogger, editor, whoever, of the pages who link to your site and ask them to update those links. The more links you have from reputable sources, the higher you’ll appear in search engine results.
Keep a sharp eye on your analytics and make sure everything’s running smoothly. Your .scot should be good to go!