Rebranding isn’t really an easy task. A lot of work goes into getting a brand recognition and visibility online. If it isn’t done properly, moving onto a new name and new domain can be very risky. Rebranding will not always necessarily involve a new name and a domain. If you are just thinking of an updated logo and new positioning, most of the steps in this article are irrelevant. However, if you are taking the brave call of rebranding with your name, website and logo, read on to learn how to keep your SEO work in order!
Step 1) Preliminary Work
Before you jump into strategic steps, you need to have a plan in advance. You must ensure you have in possession all that you need. Verify both old and new websites in Google Webmaster Tools to obtain advantage of the change of address feature. Ensure you have proper permission to update information about the old website on the new one with the help of Google Analytics. Ensure access to hosting the websites. Your new site should be tentatively blocked from search engines, though it is fully operational. Have a backup of old website.
Step 2) Benchmark important KPIs
You must spend time to benchmark most essential KPIs of yours that lead up to the transit. Break down the traffic into referral, direct and organic. Take care of the ranking and pull up all those back links.
Step 3) Prep your 301 redirects
To guarantee a great user experience, you must redirect every single page of your old site to the page of your new site which is highly relevant. Though you will be doing the redirects in this step, you wouldn’t be using it till you go live.
Step 4) Deploy!
Here is where all your hard work materializes. Upload the .htaccess file you have created to the old domain hosting. Later remove the Robots.txt command which is on the new website which blocks it from search engines.
Step 5) Update Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics
You must tell Google about you moving to your new website. The features in Google webmaster tools help you do it. Once you have informed Google about it, Google Analytics must be told about the change of your site URL.
Step 6) Signal the search engines to connect the old and new names
Eventually, search engines would know the connection of your old and new names of the company, but you can always let them know in prior about it by sending signals in various places.
Step 7) Directory listings must be updated
You want to be displayed in local searches if you are into local businesses. Consistency of name, address and phone number of your company are the factors that determine ranking factors. You need to update every listing with new information of your company.
Step 8) Make some link update outreach
Just like updating the directories, this is also time-consuming. You need to identify potential links which lead to your old website and add updated information of your new site there.
Much like updating your directories, this part of the process is likely to take a little time. The goal here is to get all the strong links that point to your old site and/or mention your old name updated to the new information. Identify all websites which have mentioned your old name or have included a link to it. Compile those links in a spreadsheet and start working on them.
Step 9) Promote your new brand
Promotion will always generate you traffic. Press releases, Email announcements, guest posts, social media, PPC and other methods of promotion can help you take your brand out to the world effectively.
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