Almost 8 months ago, I shifted away from my old blogspot account, and got my own hosting. Trying to move all your traffic from one domain to another is no mean feat, but if you ever plan on doing the same thing, here are some critical steps you can take to ensure this process is as smooth as possible.
1. Setup a proper redirect solution
The first thing you need to do is to set up a smooth redirection of traffic for the visitors that arrive on your site. What I did was modify my blogspot template so that instead of showing my content, it displayed a custom error page with links to my top posts. Almost all my search traffic would land on one of these posts, which is why this solution made sense to me, but you can try out a few other alternatives if you are a more technical person.
2. Change your Feedburner URL
What I love about Feedburner is not just its ability to track my subscribers, but its ability to point them somewhere else seamlessly. Go to your Feedburner options and change your feed URL right after you migrate so that your feed readers and email subscribers are carried along to the new site.
3. Tell your friends to change their blogrolls
Next, inform your peers who linked to you that you have moved so they can make the necessary changes to their linkroll to point potential visitors, and search engine spiders in the right direction.
4. Change all your signatures which contain your URL
Over time, we tend to leave our URLs everywhere in the form of forum and email signatures. Fortunately, most forums have a sitewide signature, meaning that if you change it in your user profile, all the posts with your signature would change at once.
5. Tell Search Engines to stop indexing your old site
I do this only after my new site has been indexed properly by Google. What I noticed was that my old site was consistently being ranked higher than my new one in search results, so I modified my old site’s template to remove it from search engines.
To prevent all robots from indexing a page on your site, you’d place the following meta tag into the <HEAD> section of your page:
<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>
Bonus tip: If you plan to blog, get your own domain from the very beginning – It really saves you a lot of hassle.
This post is part of the Problogger Group Writing Project.
What has your experience been redirecting traffic to your new site? Tell us in the comments!
[tags] traffic, domain, redirect, url, hosting [/tags]