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Does Changing the Shopify Store Name Affect SEO

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    Sometimes change to a storefront is needed. It is important to note that some changes may help or hinder your Shopify SEO. On Shopify, you can change your store name if you need to. Your business name is attached to your overall existing brand image, so branded searches will no longer be relevant to your business without proper courses of action.

    This quick guide will be able to highlight to you:

    • Why you may need to change your name on Shopify
    • How to change your Shopify name
    • If changing your Domain name hurts your Shopify SEO
    • And a few other tips and tricks for Shopify

    Why you may want to change your name on Shopify

    An SEO based decision should not be the driving force to making a name change for your brand. Before you go forward and change your name and kick starting the deep process of regaining and recovering traffic, you need to know why you want to make the change.

    Changing your name to try to get an edge on target keywords may not end up in your favor if users start using different phrases to find you and your competition.

    The following examples show some of the top reasons businesses have for changing their name with valid reason:

    Moving onward and upward

    A business expansion provides a valid reason for a name change. These include businesses that start as one entity and add onto themselves. Small businesses often do this. They start with what they can afford to start up, then add onto services and products to sell.

    An example could be a health food store (Vitamin Shack for example) and then the store owner decides to begin offering deli items made in-house and got the clearance to sell groceries and produce. They could rename themselves to Health Shack, Vittles and Vitamin Shack, or any other combination. This change reflects that there is now more offered than just vitamins now.

    Location changes

    If a single shop ends up having to relocate AND has the location as a part of the name, this could allow for a great reason to switch up their name…especially if the original location will no longer be standing.

    Let’s say the owner of Glasgow Fine Finds (an antique shop) ends up having to move to Brighton. She may then want to rename her site to Brighton Fine Finds to be able to reflect the relocation (along with updating all local listings) to be able to show that she is a singular location tied to a city.

    Company mergers

    A merger is a typical example in bigger businesses when changing a name. These are pretty straightforward in reasoning. Company A joins Company B and now makes Company A+B. The new company needs to reflect both names.

    A great example of a merger is with Disney. Disney merged with Pixar, so now movies produced show they are made by Disney Pixar. The names are combined to show the unison and then an internal change is needed to be able to reflect this to users.

    Pivoting

    Pivoting occurs when a business changes its approach and what it is selling or providing. A pivot is a way to both save the company and attempt not to take a huge loss if the original product line is failing.

    A possible example would be a company that uses farmed hides for leather products. If there is a steep drop in sales, they may want to change to vegan sourced materials to try to appeal to a different demographic to keep the company afloat. There would probably be a name change attached to this to better reflect the new approach and product line.

    How to change your Shopify name

    Changing your name on Shopify is a fairly simple process. This can be done in the back end of your admin dashboard on your Shopify site.

    Log into your admin dashboard on Shopify → Go to settings → Go to General → Go to Store details → Change it and click save.

    From this admin panel you can change the name of your Shopify site.

    This only allows the name of the site to be changed though. If you wish to change the overall domain name you will have to check if it is available and then begin a different process for a site migration along with ensuring your keywords get adjusted to match the new domain.

    How changes affect your SEO

    Changing your name or domain will have an impact on your SEO overall.

    When you change these, your SEO is essentially wiped clean.

    This means all of your efforts will need to be restarted to be able to both maintain and improve your rankings…because a drop in traffic is inevitable. A drop in traffic to your site can easily occur for a 6 to 12 month period.

    This should be expected no matter what methods and choices you make. A change that seems as simple as flipping the name has massive impacts. Google has recognized your site and all information as something attached to a specific domain name. Changing the name, changes the URLs, and that means changes in the search engines in an opposite direction.

    Tips for making a name migration

    Although a drop is inevitable, there are a few tips and tricks that can help have a lessened impact on your site’s performance. You want to ensure this process runs smoothly and efficiently to help your Shopify site make a full and improved recovery.

    Time the change to the time of year

    Because there will be the inevitable drop in site traffic, you want to be sure a change of this magnitude has the least impact on your shop as possible. You do not want to change the name of your shop and domain during your busiest time of season. Time this process based on the cycles of your shop. If spring is slowest based on your product, start the official process late winter, so the heaviest hits occur when your site is the slowest.

    If you time this during your busy season, you will have both the predicted loss of sales plus miss out on a buffer from the busy season. This means invest in gaining extra traffic during your busy season to bulk up sales and invest in a little extra ads or boosting your SEO for during the transition to attempt to slow and lessen the overall drop in traffic to your site.

    Prepare for the inevitable

    No matter what you do and how great your team is…there will be a drop and slow in traffic to your site. This is simply because of the way Google and other search engines work. Changing your Shopify name is not something to do last minute or without a plan for.

    When preparing for this, make a plan well before the change occurs.

    I.e. When to make the change, what the name will be, bringing in an agency before the change occurs, having a promotional plan in place before and after the name gets changed, get your new domain name adjusted.

    Get your new Domain ready

    When you know you want to change your name for your Shopify site and have the domain name bought and secured make sure anything needed for the site is ready.

    One quick plan that can begin to help reap more benefits is registering the domain on Shopify once the domain is bought. This allows the domain name to begin aging some, so it isn’t so new. A simple HTML landing page that links back to your existing site can suffice until it is time for the official name change and migration of your site.

    You want to begin gaining those branded searches for your new name and be able to showcase the move. With proper redirects and new landing pages, existing clients will be able to prepare for the change and those currently searching for the original name will know what to expect when the new name launches.

    Bring on an agency that is anything but a lemon

    Bringing a consultant…or even better…an experienced team on board can help make your name migration process much easier to perform and understand. An agency… ah hem Pearl Lemon … can be the key to ensuring success during a large change.

    When choosing an agency to involve, it is important to choose someone that offers more than just front end SEO services. There is a lot more involvement during a process like this. Your chosen help should also have experience and proven knowledge in technical SEO as well.

    This type of move has much more technical SEO involvement. This type of project requires proper redirects, not making immediate content changes, and more. An agency like Pearl Lemon has proven experience and case studies that can be provided to show that this process can be done and allow for continual success.

    What if I want to change the theme AND the name

    Like many other CMS systems, you are able to choose a theme at the start of your site creation and change it later. Changing the site theme does usually come with a warning on the site itself that the adjustment can affect layouts of content and pages and some forms though.

    Due to this, changing your theme can have an impact on SEO to a similar tune that changing the name does. Just like with adjusting a name, you need to prepare and look at possible unintended consequences to the site if the theme is changed.

    Changes may be positive or negative depending on the theme chosen.

    I.e. a change of theme could either increase or decrease loading time for the site….and a slow site can often frustrate and deter visitors.

    There are some plug-ins available on Shopify…and other CMS options…that can help buffer and ease the SEO impact of a theme change.

    A theme change can also affect your headings through your site. If you have headings that are hyperlinked and varied throughout the pages of your website, there could be some legitimate concerns with this because some theme changes will not preserve this.

    Looking for help with your Shopify SEO? Let Pearl Lemon help you make an easier transition. Book a call today with our team to discuss your SEO plan and if you need to change your site name or domain for your Shopify site!

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