Rebranding a business online is a fantastic way to breathe new life into your company.
The refresh and update can widen your client base, grow your brand identity, and generate sales – and unlike a traditional rebrand, since it’s online you can achieve all of this with just a few clicks of a button.
However, a complete rebrand of your digital presence can also affect SEO, and that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss today.
Listed below are ten tips to help you rebrand online without losing all the hard work you put into your SEO.
Redirect to New Domain Name
Changing your domain name and creating a whole new website with the new name will affect your previous SEO efforts. So it’s important that you really consider keeping your domain name before you change your brand name. You can still rebrand the aesthetics of your existing website but keep the same domain name – this way you won’t lose your current ranking.
However, if you absolutely must do a complete rebrand, domain name included, then it will take some work to transition the old to the new. The first important step is for your developer is to set up 301 redirects of all pages to maintain your ranking and link the new website with the old.
The next important step is to create a page with the new domain that links to the old with the new brand name. This page will be dedicated to the old brand, explaining the change in brand and what’s new so that search engines and existing clients can see a link between the two domains and the rebrand changes.
The page should link to your new website through a call-to-action button, directing people to the new website. Doing this step helps create a smooth transition from the old to the latest and will positively affect your SEO in the long run.
Keep Your Existing Star Content
Rebranding doesn’t mean creating content from scratch. Original content that has been optimized can and should be used with the new rebranded site. Google bots have spent months or even years indexing your existing content. Don’t lose any of that work! Transfer it to the new website.
Before relaunching your new site, audit your old content to see precisely what has worked in the past and move it to the new site. Content that you feel isn’t functioning optimally can be repurposed and optimized for the new site by replicating the content that ranks well.
Pay close attention to all the alt tags, headers, meta tags, etc.; these small details make all the difference when uploading the same content to the new site.
Maintain Old Site For a Short Time
Once you’ve put in the effort to optimize and rebrand your new website, resist the urge to hit delete on the old existing site.
If you’re familiar with DNS changes, it can take up to 72 hours for servers to realize that the domain is going to a different IP address. So if you delete the old site immediately after relaunching the new one, it could negatively influence your SEO efforts.
Wait for three days or up to a week, and monitor both sites before you finally say goodbye to the old website. You can also keep the old website on a temporary address for a few more days to play it safe.
Promote the New Brand
It’s essential to tell the clients and users who knew the old brand about all your new branding changes. Updating your social media platforms and running a marketing campaign for the new rebrand launch will help users identify the changes.
Reach out to your customer base through newsletters and link to the new website so that users can click to see the changes of your rebrand.
Doing these steps will keep them informed and pique their curiosity, which will increase organic traffic and visibility – two key factors of any SEO strategy.
Rebrand for Mobile Too
According to Statista, mobile phones generate 54.25% of website traffic. Additionally, with Google’s “Mobile First Index” news, which gives mobile-optimized websites a slight boost in rankings, it’s crucial when rebranding your website to keep mobile devices and users in mind.
Looking at your existing site’s statistics will clearly indicate where the majority of your traffic comes from – mobile or desktop. If your mobile traffic is higher, it would be prudent to make your site responsive.
Either way, ensure your SEO plans also include mobile SEO so that both desktop and mobile sites have a strong online presence, giving them a good shot at ranking on page one of the search engine results page.
Cater to New and Old Demographic
When you rebrand your company, the scope to increase your target demographic increases. For example, a more corporate-looking logo change will attract a more business demographic, while a more youthful rebrand can entice a younger demographic to view your website and services.
Keeping this in mind, your organic traffic will also change. Therefore, create content that caters to your new audience but also considers your loyal customers.
Conduct market research and find out about your target audience in relation to your brand. A marketing/SEO firm will help you with this step, and they can start creating SEO and marketing plans that will make your rebrand a success.
Hire An SEO Firm
Rebranding a website will cause a fluctuation in ranking; this is expected. When transitioning from the old to the new, in the beginning it takes a lot of daily monitoring and adjustments. Hiring an SEO firm or a specialist whose main aim is to spot irregularities and ensure your ranking remains high can help you navigate this period.
The SEO team can work alongside your developers to ensure that your new rebrand is running smoothly from a technical perspective.
Once your rankings have stabilized or increased and your new website is working optimally, then you can manage it by yourself. However, it’s strongly advisable to hire a dedicated team during your rebrand process if you are not an expert on SEO or web development.
Pay Attention to Technical Aspects
Rebranding means conducting a lot of on-page SEO processes. However, it also includes technical SEO, since launching a website with the new brand name and new URLs will impact the structure and back end of your site.
Below are some technical SEO pointers which will help your rebranding efforts:
- Increasing site speed
- Getting an SSL certificate
- Correcting Robots.txt
- Updating backlinks
- Creating a new sitemap
- Fixing broken picture links, etc.
Maximizing your technical SEO efforts will help you grow and index your new rebranded website, which is important for ranking on search engines.
Update all Digital Marketing Materials
Creating and rebranding a website is one part of your company rebrand; the other major part is to update all your digital marketing material/profiles. It’s crucial to maintain one brand identity so that no matter where a user finds you, they will see the newly updated rebrand.
Search engines too must associate the new rebrand with all your digital platforms; this helps with authority, ranking, and SEO.
Mentioned below are a few platforms/processes you must update after the rebrand:
- Google My Business listing
- Social media platforms – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
- Pay-per-click (PPC) ads
- Email templates to include new logos, etc.
- Internal email signage of employees
- Directories/ sites that list your business
Check For Any Old Branding
Lastly, once you’ve launched the new rebrand, it’s essential to comb through every last aspect of your old branding and change it to the new.
For example, flyers or brochures with the old URL will send potential users to the old website, which isn’t active any more, and you therefore lose out on organic traffic – which impacts ranking.
Here’s a list of things that often get overlooked during a rebrand:
- Invoices and checks
- Traditional marketing methods
- Computer logins
- Employee email IDs
- File server
- Business cards, etc.
Redirecting your users on all your marketing mediums to the new social media handles, emails, and website will help overall SEO efforts and ensure that your relaunch is successful.
Our top ten tips are a great jumping-off point to begin your rebrand journey. After the online relaunch, keeping track of all the changes and monitoring your website’s traffic and rankings are crucial.
We suggest two weeks (minimum) of vigilant observation, after which you will see slow and steady progress with your post-rebrand SEO results.
While rebranding, if you’ve paid attention to all the details we’ve mentioned in this article, you shouldn’t face any significant loss to your previous SEO work – and any major setbacks can always be rectified by conducting a site audit and making the appropriate changes.
It’s important to remember that the thrills and rewards come from playing the long game when it comes to SEO – make your rebranding and SEO efforts work for you by being patient with the process, and you will reap the rewards!
Joseph Schneider is the Director of Marketing at Haitna with an advanced understanding of Content Marketing, Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing.