I acquired an online B2B business about a year ago. The original owners created the website with a .co extension and made patchwork updates over the years. I subsequently purchased the .com domain and have it redirected to the .co domain.
Fortunately, most of our business is generated through referrals and paid ads, but I'd like to improve our SEO. Based on an audit, I found that we have some pretty big hurdles to overcome such as an 8-second load time, 400+ pages (mostly redirects from their original website with poorly performing content), and a very low domain authority.
My question is whether I should build a new website on the .com domain that I currently have redirected to the .co domain (and reverse the redirect). Is it worth it to give up the age, limited domain authority and organic traffic (albeit very low) of the .co site to have a faster, more user-friendly .com site?
A ".com" is a much better long term solution because Google and people generally recognize that as more authoritative/ trustworthy. The best way to change a ".co" over to a ".com", is by creating a "301 redirect" for EACH PAGE and keep everything else the exact same until Google indexes the new version. Also, you might want to contact any important inbound links and ask them to update their link to be to the new address. And you can register both domains inside Google Search Console and submit a "change of address".
Does this help?
You have asked the most important question(s) and in doing so, you have created your best resolve. You asked, “My question is whether I should build a new website on the .com domain that I currently have redirected to the .co domain (and reverse the redirect). Is it worth it to give up the age, limited domain authority and organic traffic (albeit very low) of the .co site to have a faster, more user-friendly .com site?”
If you create new content on your (.com) site, which may be done via migration, then redirect the (.co) to the (.com), the benefits far exceed any minor inconvenience(s) despite how you import the (.co) databases. There are no visible losses to users. Organic or (*paid traffic – unless ads are updated) will still land on (.co) and seamlessly be redirected to your (.com), etc. Further since the (.co) is only being redirected, neither its age, nor its limited authority would be affected should you ever decide to use the (.co) in future.
I hope my response has provided you some clarity.
I will suggest updating your website. Updating is important.
1. Content: Hot off the press content frames a trustworthy relationship with your clients and your new potential clients. It is extremely important to keep your content up to date as the content produced is what your clients have confidence in. It is also suggested that modernised content aids to build domain authority.
2. Security: One of the main reasons for updating your website is for security reasons. If your website is hacked, it is going to cause issues for both your business and your clients as vital information can be stolen. With security issues also comes a lack of trust between the business and the client. The main reason for any website being hacked is the exposure in the platform. For example, If a vulnerability is found in a platform such as CMS Made Simple, then hackers will target these sites as they all share the same vulnerability.
3. Mobile Friendly: This is not an option or a trend, it is an absolute must for your website. This allows users across several unique devices and platforms view your website with ease. Smartphones and tablets are more of a common standard and will remain this way for an exceptionally long time! Optimising your website for your customers’ needs is vital.
The advantages of mobile friendly website include:
1. You can reach more customers.
2. If your website is not optimised, you can potentially lose out on revenue for your business. Do not frustrate potential customers.
3. You company will be known as a modern more relevant company.
4. As a business, your reputation is significant. Are you really going to let your reputation be ruined because your website is not optimised?
4. Outdated Themes: Retro may be a cool design trend to use but what is not cool is outdated technologies and its functionality. As the digital world is constantly changing and updating, what was awesome today maybe be not so awesome tomorrow. With this in mind you need to stand out from the crowd. Research trends, new technologies and search for inspiration for both your designs and functionality.
Staying fresh and up to date is vital for your company. Clients first opinion of your website can have a great aftermath on your business. Never let your website go stale, start this year off with an update to your website and maintain it. You never know who is watching your website and the benefit it may have for your company.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath
No, do not change your domain. There's no benefit moving an established .co to .com as long as you:
- Have the redirect in place from .com -> .co
- *IMPORTANT* have your emails forwarding from .com -> .co respectively for each unique email. If you have email@example.com people are going to type firstname.lastname@example.org and you want to get those emails.
Yes, *consider* redesigning / upgrading your site (using a development / staging site) to improve load time / conversion while retaining .co. No need to change the domain, just improve what's broken eg: the site, hosting, CMS, etc.
Why trust me:
- I have a client we built a .co for their new company in the healthcare (surgery) industry involving international travel. Trust factor is huge here. They're doing $10 million / year, .co is not a problem. More important to have solid service / product / marketing / data / conversion rate / sales process than to worry about .co / .com.
- Run a 5 yr old search marketing consultancy that specializes in preventing / correcting issues from redesigns.
Random marketing tip.
In the old days (1990s) we all registered .com + .net + .org domains.
Thinking was brand protection.
Then... we call figured out... the majority of people always append .com to a domain, independent of the TLD (net/org/info/co/whatever)...
So we all let our other TLD domains expire... hoping... praying... breaking open the champagne anytime anyone registered another TLD trying to shop/scam/skim traffic + cash from our brands... because we knew...
All the money they were spending drove traffic to our .com site.
Ah... Good times!
So, best cashflow will be to stick with .com TLDs + pray people promote some knock off brand on some other non-com TLD.