cult.fit (formerly known as cure.fit) is a health and fitness brand that provides a holistic fitness experience to consumers through online and offline channels. This includes workouts, mental wellness, healthcare, nutrition and medical care. It was one of the first in the country to offer e-fitness or tele-fitness services that took the internet world by storm amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, it operates the cult.fit chain of gyms in 130+ locations. As of today, cult.fit holds a prominent position in the fitness industry. In FY22, the brand managed to grow its revenue by more than 34% to Rs 216 crore.
Since cult.fit intended to be the sole destination that popped into the minds of people who wanted to enter into the health and fitness space, rebranding was a major consideration. Pre-migration, cure.fit already ran its fitness centres across India under the cult.fit moniker, and its rebranding was an effort to bring all their fitness products under one brand name and reach out to more users. This would mean the website would have to undergo a domain migration. The new name was made effective from 11 May 21, across all channels.
There are plenty of challenges one can encounter when moving to a new domain. All kinds of domain migrations carry risks, some of them being traffic related, others pertaining to domain authority and visibility on the Search Engine Result Pages.
The biggest challenge was to estimate how long it would take to restore the domain authority and if a full recovery could be expected. As it is believed that the DA of a website can impact its visibility on the web.
Second, reduced visibility on the SERPs. A domain migration can sometimes lead to loss of rankings or poor visibility on the web since the DA of the new domain could be low. And since the domain authority of the newly acquired domain was low, the major challenge was to retain the existing rankings.
Third, the loss of traffic. To be able to estimate how the domain migration would affect the organic traffic and upon loss, how long it would take to achieve the benchmark numbers and/or surpass them.
To counter this challenge, Infidigit came up with a detailed campaign that would help cult.fit increase its domain authority as well as increase organic traffic. Here are some of the major points that were a part of this campaign:
- Benchmarking Before Moving to the New Domain
- Planning for the Type of Website Migration
- Extending Help Towards Migration Plan
- Initiating the Move with a Site Migration Plan
- Avoiding Pitfalls & Identifying Errors during the Process
- Validating the Migration Progress
- Monitoring Performance after the Big Move
Benchmarking Before Moving to the New Domain
Infidigit compiled data for top-performing pages along with their Core Web Vital (CWV) and page speed scores to benchmark the output of the SEO efforts before the domain migration. To achieve not only the initial set benchmark but also surpass the pre-migration numbers, it was vital to know and analyse what Infidigit was working on.
Planning for the Type of Website Migration
There are different types of website migrations that can be undertaken. The scenario in cult.fit’s case was fortunate in the sense that everything remained the same as far as the URL structure was concerned. The only thing that was to be changed was the domain name.
To tailor cure.fit’s domain migration to cult.fit, Infidigit put together a deck with recommendations that involved best practices and common pitfalls to look out for.
Extending Help Towards Migration Plan
Infidigit worked closely with the client and their available resources to ensure a smooth transition. Brainstorming sessions involved discussing the best practices for process implementation and accommodating available resources. The team also communicated at length with the IT and development departments to understand the process and eliminate bottlenecks for a smooth deployment.
Initiating the Move with a Site Migration Plan
Significant risks are reduced by carefully planning the migration. It also has a better chance of keeping existing search engine referrals or even improving overall website traffic. To ensure a smooth transition and prevent major loss, Infidigit had to sustain organic traffic which helped Google and other search engines understand that a page has moved to a new location.
Infidigit started with a well-defined redirect mapping plan and prepared a rigorous checklist with more than 20 on-page, off-page, and technical parameters to guarantee a smooth transition.
Avoiding Pitfalls & Identifying Errors during the Process
Along with traffic loss, it was important for Infidigit to lay out all the possible risks associated with this migration. So, in its migration plan, the team flagged things that could possibly go wrong & highlighted the best ways to do it.
During the migration process, Infidigit prepared a comprehensive document and updated it in real-time to notify the IT and development team of things that seemed improper on the front end & identified critical errors that could have ruined the website’s chances of a successful domain migration.
Validating the Migration Progress
For a thorough inspection of the newly migrated website, Infidigit conducted an in-depth audit covering more than 200 SEO health check parameters. During this process, the team audited the pages, their CWV scores, and overall user experience and performance. This was conducted to validate performance, taking into consideration the pre-migration data recorded for the same metrics.
Monitoring Performance after the Big Move
While the new domain was live and the migration had concluded, there was still more work left to do. After the big move from cure.fit to cult.fit, Infidigit monitored the progress very closely to see how it affected the website’s traffic, conversions, and its treatment by the search engine.
A post-migration checklist was created and maintained to ensure the best results, which involved monitoring the indexation numbers and ten other technical parameters and their degree of impact and priority.
Even though website content remained the same, Google treated it as an entirely new identity. Bumps, changes in ranking, and thus changing traffic, along the way were inevitable. But, a carefully curated migration and redirection strategy helped protect the investment made in the site – the visibility, traffic, and authority with the search engines.
Within 4 months of the domain migration, Infidigit managed to restore the Domain Authority for the new domain and traffic along with improved Rankings. Here is an overview of the major achievements that were a result of Infidigit’s campaign:
- The domain authority of cure.fit of 45 was restored in comparison to the DA of the newly acquired cult.fit domain, which was 8 in the beginning.
- With a successful migration, cult.fit managed to increase 1,837 keywords ranking between positions 1-3, which stood at 1,346 Keywords before migration.
- The recovery from a traffic standpoint was pretty smooth. With a well-managed migration plan, cult.fit witnessed growth of 16.37% in organic search traffic.
Keywords Ranking Between Positions 1-3
Increase in Organic Traffic