Creating and successfully launching a rebrand campaign can be a terrifying and daunting task, especially when you think about all the potential SEO ranking risks. The last thing anyone wants to happen after building their SEO presence is losing it all because the company’s name changed. Thankfully, as long as the proper steps are taken, decreased SEO rankings do not always have to be a result of rebranding. It is crucial to always take the proper steps to make the rebrand a smooth transition.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when your company is considering a rebrand.
Try to Keep Your Original Domain Name
Keeping your original domain name is the best way to start rebranding. It has the smallest chance of damaging the SEO rankings, along with keeping the process simple. However, it is not always possible or practical to keep the name of your business, particularly during a rebrand. If the domain name needs to change, the company runs the risk of losing a lot of search engine traffic. If changing the domain name is necessary, read the next step about preserving your existing content, and read tips on how to choose an optimized domain name!
Preserve Original Content Whenever Possible
It’s extremely important to maintain the website’s original content, even if the business name and website need to be revamped. If new content needs to be created, it’s best to replicate the old content as best as possible. This will help avoid losing authorship and authority, which will help prevent search rankings from dropping. It’s also important not to overlook simple aspects of the website, such as fonts and headers. Maintaining little details like these can make a significant difference when it comes to SEO.
Maintain Your Old Site for a Short Time, If Not Forever
There is no specific answer to how long to preserve your old site at this time. Some experts suggest leaving the website up for a few days; others say it does not hurt maintaining it permanently. Businesses have to make a decision based on time and the company’s specific interests. Leaving the website up forever, but inactive requires more time, but it’s a good idea to revisit the site periodically to ensure it is not causing any problems.
One method experts agree on is NOT to take down your old site as soon as the new one has been launched. It can take servers up to several days on some occasions to recognize the new IP address. Deleting your old site after 24 hours could ruin all of your hard work. It does not hurt leaving the old website up for 3-7 days, so don’t click the “delete” button too fast.
Use Redirects Correctly
In order to optimize the user’s experience, every page from the old website should be redirected to the corresponding page of the new website. Depending on the structure of your URL, this can be a very easy or very complicated process.
If you maintain the same website pages and URL structure, this process is fairly simple. Sites having different pages and URL structures, makes the process more complicated, but it is doable. Because the old pages cannot be redirected to the exact same page on the new website, they need to be redirected to the most relevant page. This is why it is crucial to replicate old content when possible.
Be sure to read about how to implement redirects and whether a 301 redirect or 302 redirect is needed for your website pages!
Publicize Your New Brand!
Updating all the social media sites is vital. Depending on the social media platform, it can be an easy or challenging task. Here are some important things to keep in mind while rebranding on social media:
- Facebook only allows one name and URL change.
- Twitter has many inactive IDs. If someone has the username you need, reach out to the person and ask if you can take it over. Twitter suggests this method because they are slow at deactivating the accounts themselves.
- LinkedIn can be an easy site to use when rebranding, unless someone already has your company name. If that happens, you might have to alter your company name slightly, such as adding a tagline. To change the URL, LinkedIn needs to be contacted directly.
Along with updating social media, spread the word about the new brand any way possible. Press releases, email announcements, and blog posts are great forms of online advertising. Promotions for the rebrand can only help your company, so it is not an area to be overlooked.
Don’t Forget Your Mobile Site!
Marketing via mobile devices is as popular as ever, and could even be more popular than actual computers, which is why it is so important not to forget about your mobile site while rebranding. Make sure your new pages are mobile friendly. Be sure to read how to make your website mobile friendly if you need assistance.
Be sure to keep these tips in mind when your company is rebranding, and hopefully your experience will be much less confusing.