Video 43: Moving Your Insurance Website To A New Domain Name

March 30, 2011 . 6 minute read | Posted by akassover Domain NamesInsurance Agent WebsitesVideos


Hi, it’s Aaron from AgentMethods talking about agent insurance websites.  Now, in some past videos, I’ve talked about URLs, what is a URL, and I’ve also given you some strategies for choosing a domain name.  Now, we know that domain names are sort of the home of your insurance website.  They give your site a name, they make you look professional, they make your site easy to remember, and they also don’t lock you into one provider.  By having a domain name, which you own, if you decide you want to move your website somewhere else, because you have the domain name in your property you can just point it to the new provider.  So it gives you some flexibility about moving your website around.  They only cost about a dollar a month and we really recommend that everyone get one for their website.

Now, we do give a testing domain, which is your for your site.  This is pretty common on platforms like ours.  I think and some others do the same thing.  Now, your site is live here; you can go ahead and use it.  This is really primarily for testing, primarily for preview, but it’s pretty easy to go launch your site and then just sort of forget to get your domain name setup or maybe you’re waiting for it to transfer over, and next thing you know, you’ve gone a few weeks, or a few months, or longer using your testing domain as your website.

*This creates some situations where you want to go add a domain name at a later date that is going to create a few problems.  I just want to go through those problems of adding a new domain name or moving your website to a new domain name and the solution to these problems.  Now, the first one is backlinks.  If you develop backlinks to an old domain name or testing domain name and then you go to a new domain name, search engines will see the old and the new domain name as different URLs and they won’t automatically transfer over the backlinks.  So you have to explicitly tell them to move over from the old text to the new. *

You do this by creating what’s called the “301 redirect.”  The 301 redirect is simply an instruction to search engines from your web server saying this site has permanently moved from Point A to Point B.  Creating them is somewhat technical.  It requires editing something called the “htaccess” file, and so I really recommend that if you want to do a 301 redirect to move from an old domain to a new domain, that you just drop your webmaster a line and have them set it up for you.  If you’re an AgentMethods customer, let me know and I’ll help you get this working.

The other thing you want to do is you want to contact the sites that you have backlinks from.  Just send them a note and see if they can update their links.  If these are good links from good sites, they’ll probably go in and make the change for you because they don’t want to be driving their traffic to an old site either.  Now, the next concern I’ve heard people bring up is about domain name age where we know that older domains tend to have more authority if they’ve been operating continuously.  The simple answer to this is that if you have a domain name that’s eight or 10 years old, this could affect you, but if you’re looking at less than a year or two, six months, 12 months, really changing your domain name is not going to have a big affect, especially if you’re moving from a sub-domain to a primary domain, that’s going to give you more benefit than the aged domain is going to hurt you.

Now, the third concern is that you can get penalized for building links too fast.  If you overnight launch a new website and it shows up with all of these new links, this potentially could look spammy to search engines.  They might see this as being suspect.  The reality is that as long as the links are generating a quality, they’re legit links from good sites, this shouldn’t be an issue.  If you get a bunch of links back from sites that are known to have lots of otuboutnd links, two [inaudible 3:37] arms, or just sort of be questionable over all, then absolutely.  Getting lots of links overnight, lots of links too fast will penalize your site.  So if you’re using those tactics, I recommend link building over time, but otherwise if the links are legit, just go ahead and do it.

*So those are some things that can help you moving your domain name from an old site to a new or transferring domain names.  Just a couple of tips to keep in mind, the first is to start early; now is the best time to start, not tomorrow.  If you’re launching a new site, add the domain name right away.  Just go ahead and get it added; the sooner the better and this way this really won’t even be an issue.  The second tip is that if you do have a testing domain and a permanent domain, or an old domain and a new domain, or even just www.domain then just the domain itself, make sure you’re being consistent in your link building.  Go to the same URL, the same domain name every time, so you don’t have to worry about redirection, you don’t have to worry about transferring traffic from one place to another, and this won’t really ever be an issue for you. *

So those are a few things about moving a domain name or transferring to a new domain name.  Hopefully it helps you out if you’re in this situation.  If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comment.  I’d be happy to go over htaccess redirects for you and just sort of see if we can make this process as smooth as possible.

*Thanks for watching.  I will have more on insurance agent websites tomorrow. *