Here's the dilemma, I hope you guys will have some interesting things to say about it. What do you do when the technology changes and the niche you're promoting becomes obsolete and you want to change tack? Will it really be necessary to change the domain to effect the rebranding or could you persevere with a domain that's out of date but on a long-established website?
It's easier to explain if I give an example.
Let's say I've owned MyPetCat .com for the last ten years. This is a large and successful site which had great traffic and made a nice bit of income every month.
However, things change on the Internet and MyPetCat is getting a bit elderly now. Although there is still a vast amount of info on the site about my cat, people aren't quite so interested any more because every man and his dog have FB pages or blogs about their pet cats. The days of My Pet Cat are numbered.
As I see it, I have several options:
- sell the site before it tanks (jump before I'm pushed)
- let it decline (it was good while it lasted)
- change direction (keep all the old content for interest whilst it becomes less profitable, and concentrate on providing new content in a related niche on the same site)
The third is my preferred option, so now I want to move into dog training, selling pet food, fashion accessories for pets, etc. The problem is that My Pet Cat isn't a good name for such an endeavour. So, what do I do? Start a new website for my dog stuff? But then I'd be starting from scratch instead of building on an old established website.
Can you think of any examples of businesses who've persevered with an obsolete domain name?
How can I rebrand the site without changing the domain?
So far, I've thought of doing a gradual shift so it's not immediately apparent that the direction has changed substantially. People tend not to like massive changes which happen overnight.
The current domain isn't exactly the best EMD, but it definitely does tell you what the site is about. Anyway, if I'm also trying to move away from depending on SE traffic, how important is the domain?
Any suggestions, comments, ideas?