This is an update to my post from a month ago. There I described changing my company's domain name from http://ekan.biz to https://ekanhomeinspection.com. The feedback I had from various SEO (search engine optimization) gurus was that the domain name should be the same as the operating name. In addition, I incorporated:
- a secure site using https in place of http
- changed the suffix from dot biz to the ubiquitous dot com
- transfered over all content from a pre-built website to a managed WordPress hosting site
Let me say that the learning curve was steep and difficult. I had been using the old domain name and template-based website for years but had reached their limitations and needed to move on. It was a big change and I procrastinated for months. Yes I could have given the task to a webmaster to do all of the above. But I really wanted to learn how to do it myself.
Now to the results:
I did loose my old ranking position. In some querry categories my firm still does not show up, when before the change we were #1. Subsequently business has noticeably dropped off. Thankfully the transition was made during the off-season, or it could have been much worse.
The old website still appears in searches, both for its home page and blog. Even though it has a 'redirect' link in it, it is still getting hits. Not good for the search experience because when a prospect hits upon it they get the '404 error, page not found'.
On the positive, I now have a universe of widgets and plug-in to make use of to improve the user experience. Having made the transition to WordPress has also given me a wide variety of analytical tools to understand how the public uses the site and where improvements are called for, which is just invaluable. As well I can now speak with a somewhat improved understanding of what SEO is all about and can hire the appropriate talent to take the website to the next level.
- Start with a WordPress based site immediately, upon launching your business.
- Hire the right talent to design you website from the get-go.
- Assign a webmaster to your site to maintain, monitor and analyze monthly performance.
- As the owner, focus on what you do best. Your contribution should be to add valuable subject matter expert content. Leave the website backroom activities to other professionals.
In our case we would have been further ahead with our business model had we budgeted adequately upfront for this important start-up expense.