Are you planning to update the looks, content, and functionality of your website?
This rebrand may be because you are moving to a new domain, keeping up with the latest design trends, or going through a merger and acquisition. Whatever your reason may be, it can be scary to potentially lose your rankings, domain authority, and traffic that you’ve spent years building up.
The main goal of your marketing efforts is to build online visibility and brand recognition. And when that isn’t done right, the transition to a new domain and name can put all your hard work at risk.
The good news is that there are ways to ensure that your SEO performance and rankings won’t be adversely affected when revamping a website.
With some know-how, careful planning, and adequate resources on your side, you can make a smooth and impactful transition to the new branding.
Suppose your website is doing great. You have flowing organic traffic, rankings are strong, and your ROI is growing. Do you want to ruin all that hard work? Of course, you don’t.
However, strategic planning can help you leverage the opportunity to improve your website’s performance even after a redesign. If you redesign it right, you won’t lose any rankings or traffic. You’ll augment them.
SEO is a vital aspect to consider when rebranding your website. Here are some of the steps that can help you understand the new site dynamics compared to your existing site from an SEO standpoint.
Here are some of the steps you need to follow to rebrand your website smartly without compromising its SEO.
Before we delve into the strategy, it is essential to make sure that you have all the necessary prerequisites needed to implement the right course of action at the right time.
Here’s what you’ll need:
If you are in the marketing team or industry, you most likely make a point of gauging everything. But your analytical data becomes even more crucial while you are rebranding.
Take out the time to set the benchmark of your most critical SEO KPIs prominent to the transition. The following factors can be an excellent place to start with:
Ensure a seamless user experience and boost the search engine ranking by redirecting every web page from your old website to your new site’s appropriate section.
Although you need to create your redirects file at this stage, you don’t actually get to use it until you are prepared to take your new website live. The intricacies in this step highly depend on the specifics of your rebranding strategy.
You can easily route all the web pages from your old domain to the new website’s corresponding web page merely by using a couple of lines of coding in your .htaccess file.
If you have different URL structure and pages on your new and old site, you’ll have to take a few additional steps. And if you have a site with lots of web pages (if you’ve been working on inbound marketing, you almost surely do), this step may take some time.
In this case, you still use the .htaccess file, but you’ll need to redirect every web page on your old domain to the most appropriate web page on the new site.
Some of the points to remember when redirecting the web pages from old domain to new domain:
Of course, web pages that generate site traffic or have backlinks need to be prioritized, so organize your worksheet accordingly to update these pages first.
Ready to execute the plan? It’s now time for all that hard work to pay off finally – this is the most straightforward step!
Don’t be convinced to take down your old website too impulsively. Since DNS can take a few days to update, some audiences will continue to view your old website after setting up the redirect.
Taking down your old site too soon could result in a cluster of 404s – confusing your visitors and jeopardizing your website traffic.
Typically, you’ll want to update the information in two places. First, under Account Settings, revise the Account Name field and under the Property Settings, update both the Default URL fields and the Property name.
You might also want to add an annotation in Google Analytics when you move your site so that you have a valid reference point when you want to compare the online traffic before and after you switch to the new site.
The search engines will ultimately figure out the correlation between your new and old company names, but you can also send those indicators to a number of locations to streamline the process.
Following are some of the different places that you can send signals to:
Typically, “About Us” pages essentially include some data about an organization’s history, making them a suitable spot to mention your former brand name.
While “information scent” is vital for SEO efforts, it also helps your transition less perplexing for your site visitors.
For example, someone who looks for your previous brand name and ends up on an unknown website with a new name may be confused. Without proper information, it will just increase the churn rates.
If you own a local business, your brand should be highlighted in the local searches that include your products and services.
One of the influential local search engine ranking factors is your company NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) – across the scores of regional, industry, and local business directories. From an SEO standpoint, these are known as citations.
That said, you’ll need to revert and update each listing with your business’s new information. It may sound monotonous, but it is of paramount importance for your local SEO efforts.
Be mindful. This is not merely a one-time undertaking. As you advance, you’ll see that many directories take much longer to update the listing. Once it updates, it can be weeks before Google starts indexing the new information.
A well-ordered spreadsheet is an effective way to structure, document, and monitor your progress. Additionally, there are also a bunch of powerful tools that can take some of your grunt work out of the process.
Much like updating business directories, the backlink outreach component of the procedure is certainly going to take some of your time. Here, the primary goal is to get all the strong links that direct to your old website and/or mention your former name updated to the new data.
The initial step is to determine all the sites that have included a link to the old company name or have mentioned it. Fortunately, various tools allow you to streamline this process, including Majestic, Ahrefs, Open Site Explorer, etc.
Then, assemble all of those links into a database, eliminate the duplicate copies of the similar data sets, and start to work your way down the list. Using an email template, you can expedite the process, but a customized approach is ideal with all other outreach efforts.
Additionally, you can use the spreadsheet to maintain the updated brand mentions and links. And get in touch with the relevant person to follow up.
Now, it’s time to put the word out about your new brand. If you do this successfully, you essentially end up with increased overall visibility and more traffic than before.
Your work doesn’t end here. It is imperative to monitor the progress for the next few months and follow up with the relevant course of action. Here are some of the main areas to concentrate on:
Initially, you might see a dip in your website traffic for a month or two while search engines are indexing all your updates. An exceptionally well-executed plan can lead to more visibility and more traffic.
Rebranding a website is a vast and essential endeavor as 88% of online customers don’t consider returning to a site after having a bad experience. The entire process requires input from all decision-makers within your organization.
You would want your customers to understand and recognize your efforts, and your website is the perfect way to showcase your new look. Promoting your rebranded website shows your company is assured in the new direction it took and owns the transformation.
All in all, building and retaining your online presence during the rebranding of your website process can provide optimal value to your business. Additionally, optimizing your website’s new brand elements for search engines is undoubtedly an enormous part of it.
All in all, it is vital to put effort into keeping your SEO rankings high throughout the process. We can help.
You need a partner that’s just as committed to generating profitable results for your business. We can help you reach your business goals for both website redesign and rebranding. Get in touch with us today!