— July 26, 2017
Considering an acquisition? What’s your strategy with the acquired domain? How are you going to handle the SEO problem? No idea? Read on for some tips!
The biggest thing to remember is that you don’t want to lose any search equity that has been built over the years. SEO is hard enough so don’t make it harder for yourself. Both domains (your primary domain and the acquired domain) will rank for important keywords and drive qualified referrals to your content. It’s critical to plan this out so you don’t lose customers. Use these steps as a guideline:
- Create a map that identifies any content overlaps or gaps with the existing site and the acquired site.
- Create a report to identify the search engine performance (rank, traffic, etc.) for the main site and the acquired site. This will help you do a side-by-side comparison.
- Prioritize the keywords that map best to the acquired site’s content.
- Map out a redirect strategy.
You’ll most likely run into a couple of different scenarios, as outlined below.
Target keywords rank well for both sites
This is the easy one. Place a 301 redirect on the acquired site’s ranking page to the page on your main site that also ranks. Make sure to consider migrating any content on the acquired site’s page that may improve the performance in rank or will help it convert.
Target keywords rank well for the acquired site but there is no similar content on the main site
You’ll need to go through a content migration process. Prioritize this by creating a list of your “Top 25 Keywords” that are critical to your business. Take the ranking URLs for each of those keywords, assess the content on each, and create new content/URLs on your main site. The end goal is to have your main site rank for those important keywords.
Target keywords do not rank well on either site
First, create a paid search campaign ensure you are in-market for those important keywords your customers are using. This will give you time to create some relevant content on your main site and follow SEO guidelines to improve organic search visibility.
Redirects: be Careful
Redirects are tricky. If you don’t configure these correctly, you can lose your ranking positions, equity, or even get banned. All redirects should be 301 redirects. This ensures that the link authority from the original URL will be transferred to the new URL. This is a critical element of SEO as Google relies heavily on link equity to determine ranking positions. It’s also important to create a custom 404 (file not found), containing links to relevant content. The last thing you want is for a potential customer to find you in Google, click your link—only to see an error page. Give them a branded experience and direct them to helpful content.