How our Domain Migration Positively Impacted our SEO
This is a story of how swapping our Swiss website for a global domain increased our organic traffic by 70%.
In 2010 our CEO Dominik founded Web Essentials as a Swiss-Cambodian company.
Back then our physical presence was in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, but we wanted to build digital products for a global market.
So Dominik bought two shiny new domains to represent our company worldwide: www.web-essentials.asia for our Asian clients, and www.web-essentials.ch for our customers in Switzerland.
Seven years down the line, and although we now had a physical presence in both Cambodia and Switzerland, having two online identities wasn't working out so well for us.
In January we made the jump to the single domain www.web-essentials.co. And our organic traffic has almost doubled.
Moving from a multiple to a global domain strategy
On top of the logistics of two locations we had the logistics of two emails, two business cards, two email signatures, two Google Search Console properties. We spent time trying to categorize our team members into either the .asia or the .ch camp, when they didn't really fit neatly into either.
If it was confusing on the inside, then surely customers were also unsure of which email address or website to use?
On the performance side, we weren't reaping the SEO benefits of our www.web-essentials.ch domain.
Usually having a website with a country top level domain (in our case .ch) would help our SEO rankings in the local market (in our case Switzerland). But since both sites had exactly the same content, Google seemed to disregard the .ch domain, and our search engine rankings in Switzerland suffered.
The long search for a domain
The two problems that you usually face when hunting for the perfect domain is that it is either a. taken or b. only available at an eye-watering price. Unfortunately, we ran into both.
But after losing out on our first choice we found a very happy compromise in .co.
Technically the top level domain (tld) for Colombia, .co is considered a global tld. It's also a favorite of startups and tech companies, so we are in good company.
The impact of the domain change
Organic traffic increase
The biggest performance win has been a 70% increase in organic traffic. The healthiest growth has been on our blog, which now gets 200% more organic traffic than before the switch.
We understand that Google rewards unique content, but also that it is skilled at filtering duplicate content out. If the Google crawlers find identical pages they generally choose one version to favor, which in our case were the blog posts on the stronger .asia domain.
But once we redirected .asia and .ch to .co, the .co blog posts became completely original content, and the clear authority on the topic. The results speak for themselves!
www.web-essentials.co represents us afresh as a global company.
Asia and Switzerland are both important parts of our identity, but they are not distinct. Our unified domain successfully brings together our multilingual and international team and customers.
The future of www.web-essentials.co
The most exciting first step after the switch was rolling out our core site pages in German.
We will continue to expand our German content and look forward to making our blog more accessible to our German speaking customers in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
Site migration SEO checklist
Considering a domain switch for your website? Though the benefits can be huge, so can the losses if you have a shaky SEO domain switch strategy.
Download the step by step site migration SEO checklist we used to make the switch.
Want to increase the performance of your corporate website? Talk to us today!