In today's high-tech environment, brick and mortar operations are not the only business segments faced with the proposition of moving to a new location. E-commerce retail websites also execute their own types of moves, in the way of relocating to new web addresses. No matter the business type - whether a high tech e-commerce website or a traditional physical retail location, the concerns associated with relocation are similar. How can a retailer change addresses without losing ground on past marketing efforts, while still maintaining existing customers - and in a best case scenario, reaching an expanded and improved customer base?
In general, most understand what's involved with moving a brick and mortar operation. Let's take a closer look at some of the nuances of moving to a new web address. As part of this exercise, it's important to understand the ways in which online retailers create high traffic e-commerce in the first place - and then, to evaluate if/how making a move might make an impact.
It may seem surprising that in the ever-changing technology of the internet, being 'old' is actually viewed as a positive when it comes to web addresses. Domain names that have been in use longer than others are rewarded with higher values from search engines. After all, these have proven to not be fly-by-night operations, but long-lasting websites have exhibited a commitment to the Internet community. Such durability positively impacts ranking position for the keywords or key phrases of an optimized website and its pages.
While brick and mortar retailers often follow the logic of "location, location, location" and pre-select high traffic locations, the process is a bit different on the web. Without engaging both Internet marketing and Internet advertising activities, online retailers find themselves floating aimlessly among this sea of consumers - effectively dusting the boxes while their inventory sits.
"Marketing" is defined as a process or technique of promotion, selling and distributing a product or service. For this reason advertising is considered a part of the overall marketing process; however, for this conversation we will isolate "Internet Advertising" and "Internet Marketing" into two distinct categories. Let us define the difference between the two and how they may affect moving a business website's web address.
Internet advertising follows the same concepts and experiences found with traditional advertising. Computerized or "digital" advertisements on the internet are used with the intention of making a product, service or website publicly known, often with the ultimate objective of stimulating consumer purchases.
Internet advertising comes in two primary categories: Banner Ads and Sponsored Search. Certainly other possibilities exist between display ads and text ads, but for our purposes we will narrow the discussion to these two categories.
Because traditional print ads are produced on paper, they have a 'shelf life' to exist in homes and business offices even after a more current issue has arrived. However, in the case of Internet Advertising, once a digital ad is turned off, it ceases to exist. Furthermore, the associated links to one's domain or website also lose their connection. For this reason, a business solely undertaking Internet advertising as their means to sell products or services must continue to rely on this method for ongoing revenues. Internet Advertising also does not rely on ranking position of keywords or key phrases by the search engines - or, for that matter any type of organic traffic. As a result, the decision to relocate to a new domain name under these circumstances will have no contrary effect upon the business. One only has to change the domain name associated with an Internet advertisement and the process continues.
The Internet provides the opportunity to write and distribute articles and news releases by posting the content. In addition, submissions to forums, directories and video sites are ways to gain additional visibility. Engaging in social communities brings yet another mechanism to connect to consumers. Imagine these steps as a collective outreach program to let people know about a website.
In all of the above cases, the content which is posted (text, images, and videos) can be set up to carry a link back to a website. The process is called "posting" and posted content has a shelf life of years. Look at any search engine; and, it will contain content that was posted to the Internet in the early 1990s. Posted content provides public relations and can help drive traffic to a specific website from more places than just the search engines. The process also carries with it the possibility for viral or third party distribution of website links.
If posting is done successfully, a business may consider their website address to be "cast in stone". Over a 12 month period, from direct efforts, as well as through viral and third party sources, a business website may increase the number of links to their website into the thousands. Each day, week, and month, the number of links grows even without a business's direct input. The process can be exponential.
If one tried to consider redirecting these thousands of links to a new web address, it is safe to say that by the time 100 links were modified, there could be 200 more new ones still going to the old address. Under these circumstances, relocating a website address would require serious business and technical considerations.
Internet Marketing certainly raises the question as to why one would engage in this process! Although less costly than Internet Advertising, it takes time, it is more of an investment, it is labor intensive, return on investment is slower and brings issues if a domain name has to be changed.
The answer is quite simple. Internet Marketing does not require ongoing advertising costs or total reliance on advertising. Because the process aids in search engine ranking position for keywords or key phrases, and also drives traffic to a website from more locations than just the search engines, once a website is ranked in the top ten, advertising expenses can be reduced. Over time, a business will increase its gross profit margin.
Most Internet businesses will engage in a balance between Internet Advertising and Internet Marketing. Because of the postings of Internet Marketing, why would a business want or need to change the website address? Many possible circumstances arise including trademark issues, franchise impositions, or manufacturer impositions.
One solution for moving to a new website address is to institute forwarding or 301 Redirects of an old website address to a new one. As the number of postings increases with the new website address, the new address will slowly increase in the ranking position for a keyword or key phrase. When the new address reaches the ranking position of the old address, the transition can be made.
The question is really how long will it take and how much will it cost to get to that point? There is no control over the search engine process, but to wait. The volume of links will take time to build again; and only links directly created can be changed. The viral and third party websites will continue to remain on the Internet for some time.
Ultimately, moving to a new website address is a significant decision. In addition to the advertising and marketing elements, there may be important technical considerations associated with transitioning the website. The costs and time are significant and require logistical planning.
Founded by CEO Melih Oztalay, SmartFinds Internet Marketing Agency develops strategies for corporations with a sophisticated approach to digital marketing. From website development, creative, branding, to research and strategy development to digital marketing to digital advertising to measurement, reporting and data analysis.