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What Are The SEO Considerations For A Rebranding?

Learn All ABout The 8 Most Crucial SEO Considerations To Take Into Account Before Rebranding

If it’s time to give your business a facelift but you don’t think redesigning the website itself  is enough, rebranding may be the solution. But, with a domain change comes the potential loss of all the SEO you’ve worked hard to build for your current website.

If you don’t want to start over from the bottom and risk losing customers and valuable traffic in the process, there are a few important things to consider before you begin the domain rebranding and migration process.

  1. Send signals before the switch

If possible, use the old website to signal Google about the transition for a short period of time before the transition occurs.

You can do this through traditional marketing and PR efforts, as well as by making changes to your content and metadata. When you move to the new site, keep the old brand elements within the new metadata as well.

  1. Use the same URL structure

Do your best to preserve the current URL structure. Changes in URL structure and content placement can wreak havoc on your migration and SEO.

Keeping the URL structure or moving to something similar with the same number of content levels helps mitigate SEO risks and consolidates a variety of signals. It also simplifies the redirection process.

  1. Keep existing content wherever possible

Although it may require some minor editing to bring it in line with the new branding, it’s best to keep as much of your original content as possible. If you must create new content, try to replicate your old content as much as you can to avoid losing authority and authorship.

This helps prevent your rankings from going down. Even keeping the same small elements like fonts and headings can have a big influence on SEO.

  1. Correctly implement 301 redirects

To maximize your SEO effort and keep visitors happy, redirect every page on your old site to corresponding pages on your new site.

If you haven’t been able to keep the same URL structure for whatever reason, things can get a bit more complicated.

Because you can’t redirect old pages to the exact same page on the new site, you should redirect to the most relevant page on your new site. The easiest way to do this is to create a spreadsheet with the URL of the old site in one column and the URL of the new site in the other.

This process can take a long time depending on the size of your site. So it’s crucial to prioritize and start with the pages that drive the most traffic.

  1. Remember that people will search for the old brand

Even if you’ve done a great job with marketing and PR to alert people to rebranding with a new business name, people will still be searching for your old brand for years. To account for this, accommodate the previous brand name throughout your content on your FAQ pages, blogs, and support section.

Users, both your existing user base and new ones that will be onboarded during and after the rebrand, may have questions about the old platform.

If you don’t include the old brand in your content to capture those searches, you leave the traffic to your competitors, which could result in a lot of missed opportunities.

  1. Generate new signals

For true success, you need to spend time generating new signals for the new domain. This can be done with traditional marketing, digital PR, and link building.

When building your redirect list, identify high-importance links, potentially with brand anchors or commercial anchors pointing to the old domain. You can use them as outreach targets to try to update the link, but these efforts should not be a substitute for adding new signals to the mix.

  1. Update your social media profiles

When your new brand is in effect, updating all of your social media sites is crucial. Depending on the platform, it can be a challenge. When rebranding on social media, consider:

Twitter has a lot of IDs that aren’t in use. So if someone has the one you want but isn’t actively using it, reach out to see if you can take over. Twitter recommends doing this because they are slow to deactivate these accounts.

Facebook only allows you to change your page name and URL once. If you need to rebrand a second time, you’ll be stuck creating a new page from scratch and waiting for the audience to migrate.

LinkedIn is pretty easy when rebranding, as long as someone else isn’t using your company name.

If that’s the case, it’s possible that you may need to change your company name just a bit, like keeping the same name and adding a tagline afterward. If you want to change the URL you can contact LinkedIn directly.

  1. Update Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics

To ensure you get accurate data about your traffic and potential tracking issues with Google, please update your Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics accounts to the new domain.

If you follow these rebranding recommendations and also focus on creating buzz and new signals around the new domain, it should be easy to merge the old brand with a new one and ease the transition after migration.

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