There’s nothing wrong with turning a subdomain into a stand alone domain. You want to capitalize on the success of the subdomain by expanding your options. I highly recommend that. But there are pitfalls. The following list should be your checklist to make sure your transition from subdomain to full stand alone domain goes smoothly:
- Don’t simply copy/paste the page from the subdomain to the new domain. Rewrite the content with the idea of improving it. You may want to run an A/B test on your content before you build the new domain. If the new content doesn’t beat the old then rewrite. Tweak the rewritten pages until they outperforms your subdomain then upload it to your new domain.
- Don’t take the subdomain down. Redirect it instead. Or, as an alternative, keep it and you’ll have two websites promoting the same product or service. That will double your opportunities. But if you don’t want the maintenance challenges of running two sites, at least put a redirect from the subdomain to the stand alone domain so you don’t lose traffic and have broken links. I’ve actually seen webmasters move a subdomain that they’d been promoting with a blog and after taking down the subdomain they had nothing but a 404 page for visitors clicking through from their blog. Big mistake. Use your 301 redirect.
- Make sure your new domain has analytics code installed. But don’t just recycle your old code. Get new code for the new site so you can check its performance from day one.
- Add a sitemap to your new domain. This is a huge element that can help you with SEO, yet so many webmasters don’t think of it until after the site is built. Think about your sitemap before you build your new site.
- If you’ve been running AdWords campaignsto your subdomain you need to make sure that your code will work on the new domain. Make sure the new domain is compatible with your AdWords campaign. A big enough tweak to the content could mean adjusting your keywords for AdWords. It might help to plan your AdWords from the ground up.
- Test your new site. You don’t want to be two or three month in with your new site and have a customer complain that you broken internal links or your shopping cart isn’t delivering. That would certainly mean that you’ve lost sales because not everyone will take the time to contact you. Test your site before you let your users have access to it.
I hope this helps you develop a better domain and that you can turn your subdomain into a profitable entity of its own.