At some point, you may need to change your company’s website domain or rebrand altogether. Your old domain may have negatively impacted your SEO. It may no longer reflect what your brand does today. No matter the reason, if you’ve decided to change your domain, Google Analytics is essential for a smooth transition.
Why Google Analytics Is Important
Google Analytics provides a vast array of data about your business and website. Some of the most significant insights include who your users are, what channels and geographic locations they come from, and how they interact with your site when they visit. For businesses older than a year, losing all the data stored in Google Analytics can be a major drawback.
To keep valuable data from your old site and integrate it into the Google Analytics of your new site, here’s what you need to know.
1. Updating your URL.
In Google Analytics, it is simple to add your new domain and begin tracking data. Select “Property Settings” in your Admin Home page. Then, change the default URL from “www.oldurl.com” to “www.newurl.com”.
That will allow Google Analytics to pull the data from your new domain. The process to transfer the old data is a little more complex. You can find more information on editing a property here.
2. Set up the Analytics Tracking code.
For Google Analytics to work, a code needs to be placed on each page of your website. Get the code by clicking on the gear icon and tracking code. The code will appear and should be pasted into each page before the </head> section. If you’re using Google Tag Manager, follow these steps to get Analytics. If you have the Universal Analytics, follow these steps.
3. Reset Content and IP Filters.
If you have set Content or IP Filters on your website, you’ll need to update them for the new domain. To see your filters, go to Admin > Filters.
4. Update social tracking links.
In a rebrand, social accounts often need to be renamed. If you were using Google Analytics to track social accounts like YouTube, they will need to be updated. To set up Google Analytics for YouTube, check out this guide.
5. Connect AdWords and Search Console.
Google Search Console used to be known as Webmaster Tools. As the name implies, it’s used by webmasters, but also SEO professionals, marketers and other site owners that want to view search and site performance. With a domain change, here’s how to link your Search Console.
If you have or plan to use pay-per-click ads through AdWords, you need to link the account to Google Analytics. Otherwise, you’ll won’t be able to track performance data. Here’s how to link with AdWords.
6. Update goal tracking.
If you have run any type of content or marketing campaign, goals are essential to tracking performance and conversion. If they aren’t updated with the new URL, data won’t be transfered or tracked. To update your goals, check out Google’s complete guide.
When it comes to rebranding, there are a lot of considerations. Updating your Google Analytics may not seem as important as designing a new logo or printing out updated business cards, but it is critical. Without it, you risk losing valuable user data from your old domain and could negatively impact the tracking of your new one.