Changing the name of something as big as your company or product can seem intimidating, however, SEO friendly rebranding is not that scary!
You don’t have to lose your organic search rankings or lose traffic. Rebranding can actually be a good thing as it allows you to reach for new brand-related terms and queries you may not already be ranking for. It allows you to not lose existing brand rankings but create new ones and you get to grow your organic search performance.
SO How to SEO Friendly Rebrand?
1. Try to Keep Your Original Domain Name
This is the best way to start rebranding; it keeps the process simple and has the least chance of damaging your SEO rankings. That being said, we understand that keeping the same name isn’t always possible, or practical. This is especially true during a rebrand. Too often a company name is exactly what needs to be changed to give your business a makeover and a fresh start. Just make sure you understand that if you do decide to change your domain name, you run the risk of losing a lot of search engine traffic.
If you must change your domain name, follow the tips below to avoid having your rankings fall.
2. Try to preserve your original content.
Even if you are setting up an entirely new domain and website, try to replicate your old content as best as possible. If the search engines have been crawling your website for a long time, you’ll have earned a lot of authority for your content and will notice a sharp drop in rankings if you don’t keep it on your new site.
You don’t want to lose this authority, so try to match your content as closely as possible. It’s also best to keep the entire structure, as well as the fonts and headers the same to avoid confusing the search engines.
3. Use redirects properly.
Once you have recreated your content, it’s all about 301 redirecting your pages and then tracking your SEO in Webmaster Tools from your old site to your new site. This is the most important aspect of SEO when comes to rebranding or website redesign. A 301 redirection is the way to send both users and Google crawlers to a different URL from the one they originally requested. It is a key to maintaining a website’s domain authority and search rankings when the site’s URL is changed for any reason.
So, you should redirect every page from your old site to the corresponding page of your new site to optimize the user’s experience and boost your search engine results. Be aware that when moving a page from one URL to another, the search engines will take some time to discover the 301, recognize it, and credit the new page with the rankings and trust of its predecessor.
4. Try to Retain the Same URL Structure
The most important part of the redesigning job, SEO-wise, is URL redirection. Ideally, when redesigning a website, you need to keep the URL structure intact, but since we’re already dealing with the change of domain here, it can’t be done in this case.
Namely, if you fail to redirect users from the old website to the new one, you won’t be just hurting your traffic and annoying people with 404s. This is also going to destroy all the authority your pages are getting from backlinks since they’re simply not going to reach your new website. Not to mention the mess that’s going to happen with your internal links this way.
Thus it’s absolutely essential to crawl your existing website thoroughly to get a complete list of existing pages. Then you need to map all the old URLs to the new ones and let 301 redirects transfer the users and the authority you’ve built to the new website. This way, all your pages will maintain the rankings they had.
5. Promote Your New Brand
Time to get the word out. After rebranding is done, it is important to promote your new brand by updating all your social media sites and directory listings. Depending on the social media platform and directories, this can be simple or challenging. You can also end up with more traffic and overall visibility than you had before by doing these things:
• Email announcement. Send an email to your customers, vendors, suppliers, and friends letting them know that they’re going to see some new things.
• Press release. Draft up a press release and get it in front of key media outlets in your industry.
• Guest posts. Write a blog post (or two) to sites whose audiences can learn from your rebranding experience.
6. Don’t Forget About Your Mobile Site!
Marketing via mobile devices is just as popular, if not more so than actual computers. Don’t neglect your mobile site when rebranding. Make sure your new pages are mobile-friendly, meaning easy to access, easy to read, etc
Consider how much traffic your site gets from mobile devices. If this is what the majority of your audience uses, you might want to think about launching your mobile site first. If it isn’t, however, then it’s probably safe to focus on your main site first and then after that’s up and running work on creating an equivalent version for mobile.
7. Monitor Your Changes
Finally, it is important to monitor the changes you have made to track traffic and rankings closely to spot any irregularities quickly. You should monitor your website for at least two to three months.
To get the best results, you’ll have to be closely monitoring all the key SEO indicators, as well as those that can affect it in the long run. Comparing these numbers to those that were recorded before shutting down the old website is crucial. You’ll inevitably see some fluctuations in the first few weeks, in terms of traffic, keyword rankings, number of indexed pages, or page authority.
These fluctuations will probably be more extreme than usual due to the change of domain and company name. But it’s essential that you keep tracking all these metrics, to test which SEO practices work and which don’t and try to not just avoid damaging your rankings but actually improve them in the long run.
Hopefully, now the idea of rebranding your company is slightly less daunting. Don’t be afraid to do it, just make sure you put the time and effort necessary to make your attempt successful. If you still need help with your rebranding strategy Contact us for support.