How to Migrate a Site to a New Domain Without Losing Your SEO Rankings


Changing the domain name of your website can have huge repercussions for your SEO. This is because your domain is linked to several metrics:

  • Trust
  • Domain authority
  • Domain age
  • Pagerank
  • Backlinks

This will all get erased if you improperly move your domain. The good thing is that this doesn’t have to be the case. In this blog, we will showcase how to migrate a site to a new domain without losing your SEO rankings.

Basic Steps for Moving a Domain

  1. Before you move the domain, really consider if it’s necessary to go through with it. If you’re receiving a great deal of organic traffic, I would be a bit hesitant to jump ship on that domain name.
  2. If you buy a new domain name, put a “coming soon” page up and index it. This way, the search engines get a head start on crawling your site before it’s even fully ready to go. This is far better than leaving your new domain in a parked state.
  3. Make a copy of your old domain’s sitemap. This is very important, as you’ll use the same sitemap when you notify search engines of the transition.
  4. Begin building your site on the new domain. I would not make any significant changes to your old domain during this time. If the new domain has a different structure then the old one, you should notate any changes. If you want to keep things the same, look at your old sitemap as a reference.
  5. Register your domains (new and old) into Google’s Search Console.
  6. Redirect old pages to the new pages. When transferring domains, many make the mistake of only redirecting the old homepage to the new one, or they redirect all of their old pages to the new homepage. You should place redirects on a page-by-page basis. Old pages should redirect to the equivalent new pages. The old homepage should link only to the new one, the old contact page to the new one, etc. If the domain change is permanent, it’s highly recommended that you use 301 redirects. If the change is temporary, use 302 redirects.
  7. Submit your old sitemap into Google again. This will enable Google to recognize the 301 redirects.
  8. Notify Google of the migration with the change of address tool. This helps Google understand that the whole site (not just individual pages) has been moved.
  9. Submit the new sitemap to Google. Once the site and its pages get indexed, look to see if there are any drop-offs in your ranking. If there is, it may be due to your 301 redirects not working properly.

Update Your Backlinks

Make an attempt to update your most important backlinks (i.e links with high page rank) with your new domain name. To do this, you’ll have to contact the webmasters that have linked to your domain in the past. Since you probably won’t know all of your important backlinks, download a list of your backlinks from the Google Search Console.


Before you even purchase a new domain, you should definitely consider if it’s even necessary because there are a number of steps you’ll have to take to maintain your SEO rank. If you deem it necessary, following the steps listed above will help you maintain consistent rankings when you move your domain.

Are you ready to discuss your next website project with the leader in website development and digital marketing? If so, contact Zen Agency today! We are a group of WooCommerce experts.


Want more digital strategy advice and insights?

Sign up for our newsletter.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Joseph Riviello

Joseph L. Riviello is the CEO and Founder of Zen Agency. Joe's agency builds websites and web applications that attract, engage, and convert. Joe has over 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship and he is an expert digital marketing strategist who specializes in conversion-centric e-commerce experiences and cutting-edge solutions that maximize growth and profit. Check out Joe featured on:,,,

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

See more digital strategy posts



Someone navigating a website with ADA compliance on a tablet

ADA Compliance Services

Your website is the tool through which you connect with all of your customers. Accessibility is key for ensuring that customers have equal ability to access your website, regardless of their personal capabilities. ADA compliance doesn’t just help ensure that your website meets the right standards for legal compliance. It also helps you connect with…

computer screen with an ecommerce website

Why Quality Backlinks Matter

Google has changed its algorithm yet again and this time it’s aimed at product review websites. As stated in Google’s latest announcement, informative and more in-depth product reviews will receive a rankings bump. As Google explained to Search Engine Land: We know people appreciate product reviews that share in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply…

Two people browsing a headless e-commerce site

Why You Should Consider Headless E-Commerce

Using a content management system, such as WooCommerce, for your website provides an all-in-one solution for business owners with little or no custom coding. Many website developers are familiar with the approach, but it’s restrictive, providing limited options for creating a user interface. Having multiple front ends for different purposes is difficult. But fortunately, there…

Marketing team pooling knowledge to build customer personas

What Is a Buyer Persona, and Why Is It Important to Your Marketing Strategy?

You are confident that your marketing plan is solid or at least heading in the right direction. But you’ve also heard an awful lot about incorporating buyer personas into the strategy. For those who may be asking “What is a buyer persona?” or wondering how to leverage them for your marketing efforts, keep reading. We’ll…

two monitors with web pages open

Why You Need to Pay Attention to Your Website’s Core Web Vitals

For years now, Google has been stressing the importance of the user experience to web developers, PPC specialists, and SEO experts. Each year, the search engine giant has been adding several UX components to its ranking algorithm, such as mobile-friendliness, safe browsing and HTTPS security, and the intrusive interstitial penalty (i.e. intrusive popups that can…

computer in front of a purple light

How Bad Web Design Can Affect Your Digital Marketing Campaigns

When you create a marketing strategy, you want to make sure that your marketing dollars are going to good use. While you put a lot of thought into developing a strategy that works to grow your business while staying within budget, there are some things that could be detracting from your marketing efforts without you…

creative team work together in brainstorm meeting to discuss branding and branding misconceptions

6 Branding Misconceptions That. Just. Won’t. Die

You’ve likely heard the term “branding” used in a few different ways, so maybe you have a picture of what branding looks like in your head. Is it that bright red Target logo? Or maybe it’s that catchy jingle you can’t get out of your head. Or maybe you don’t have a clear picture of…

Two friends shopping on their mobile devices

5 Mobile Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2021 (#3 Should Make You Sit Up)

It may already be a cliché, but someone has to say it: customers expect to engage your business on their mobile devices. We live at a time when smartphones are practically an extension of the individual. With the popularity of smartphones, mobile-initiated commerce has taken off. According to statistics published on OBERLO, mobile commerce sales…

apple ios 14 update

Apple iOS 14 Update: How Did It Affect Your Facebook Ads?

Privacy has become a hot topic in the past few years. From the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation to the California Consumer Privacy Act, laws and regulations aimed at protecting the privacy of consumers while on the internet have popped up in recent years, changing the way of how advertisers collect data. And it…