Nine Network Case Study with Digital Minds

Domain migration done correctly to improve SEO

A website or domain change may sometimes be necessary. We’ve all heard stories of sites losing a lot of traffic over the process, so it’s understandable this can present a nightmare for an established site.

Over the years, we’ve worked on countless domain migrations and this case study is a great example of this done correctly, with confidence.

Background:

Channel Nine owns and operates one of Australia’s most visited web portals, with properties including Nine.com.au, Wide World Of Sports, 9News, and the streaming service 9Now. During Nine’s major rebrand from Ninemsn to Nine, Digital Minds was engaged to assist in planning, prioritising and reviewing the migration process for 10 separate brands over a 6 month period. This major domain migration had significant implications over both the short and long term for the brand and posed a major threat to search traffic across all websites under the Nine banner.

Methodology:

1. Preparation & Planning

  • Identification of migration risks to SEO
  • Development of domain migration plan and schedule for internal stakeholders
  • SEO traffic forecasting and setting of expectations

2. Migration

  • Worked with dev teams to migrate each domain based on approved schedule
  • Review of each site as rolled out onto new domain
  • Identification of technical fixes

3. Post-Migration

  • Tracking of performance across all Nine properties
  • Post launch review of 1, 3 and 6 months post-migration

 

Results:

The rollout of the domain migration and rebrand of all 10 properties began in May 2016 and concluded with the migration of the Ninemsn homepage to Nine.com.au in July 2016. This migration and rebrand was a major success and in July 2016 Nine.com.au leaped to 4th position in Nielsens digital news rankings with an overall audience of 4.53m, growing their audience 64% (+2.75m) from the month previous.

Key to this result was ensuring a robust migration plan was in place from the get-go, process management and strong buy-in and  collaboration across Product, Development, Operations and Marketing teams.