I am really thankful to the advancement in the technology that I am available with number of options in any way I want to precede. You are in the position when you have changed your domain to the new domain and even not wanted to screw the ranking from the old domain. You will be glad to know that there are number of alternates available to have a good ranks for the places.
Although it is good that you have changed the domain for Malta people as you want target them instead of UK whole. Now, the piece of advise here is that you should:
- Have location specific keywords
- Have Local address in the site
- Use location keywords everywhere you are posting content
- Change Meta Descriptions to add location
- It will good to add location in titles (If possible)
Now, you will say that you don’t to loose the ranks in UK also, but what I am saying is to add-ons not to remove anything. You will still ranks in UK but now you will start ranking in Malta also. If Google bots are aware of the country targeted by your website, you can use this information to improve the quality in Google search results.
- Country-code top-level domain names (ccTLDs): These are tied to a specific country i.e. China, US, and therefore are a strong signal to both users and search engines that your site is explicitly intended for a certain country.
- Geo-targeting settings: You can use the Country targeting tool in Webmaster Tools to indicate to Google that your site is targeted at a specific country. Do this only if your site has a generic top-level domain name. However, don’t use this tool if your site targets more than a single country. For example, it make sense to target Montrea hotel of Canada.
Another thing you could have done is to change the language of the website location wise. People in UK will get English version and Malta people would be getting Maltese version. In this way, you would have not moved the domain from one server to another and no fear of losing the ranks. However the criteria of keyword targeting is same. You need to target the keyword for both the places. You can easily target Malta people with .com domain and it will not the hurt the current ranking but would benefit the traffic and increase the sources instead.