If you’ve been considering rebranding your business, you probably already know that you have a lot of work ahead of you. Not only does a rebrand include a new company name, logo, website, and content, it also means redoing SEO. If you’ve spent a good amount of time on your SEO already, you are probably dreading this part.
It can be painful, but we are here to give you some advice to make this as smooth as possible.
Pre-Launch Technical Steps
First, you’ll have to make sure that you’ve secured your domain name, hosting rights, and registrar. This basically means that you have your website’s name and space reserved online. Then, you’ll need to set up and verify your new website in Google Webmaster Tools.
To use this effectively, Google has to know that your company is simply moving its website. Google doesn’t know that your new company and your old one are actually one and the same, so you’ll need to let it know that you’re changing your address.
There are a number of other steps to consider, most of which are beyond the scope of most business owners. These can be complicated, time-consuming, and require in-depth knowledge of codes and other techy stuff—this is best left to a professional. After all, you do NOT want to ruin all your hard work by making an error that could easily be avoided with the help of a professional.
One of the most tedious steps is to update all of your directory listings with your new business name. If you changed address or phone number, you’ll have to update that too. For local businesses, this step is non-negotiable. Directories get confused when they find conflicting business names at the same address, and it can be equally as confusing for customers who want to find you online. So make sure to do this step—or have someone like Zoek help you get listed across directories.
Consider How Your Old Website is Currently Performing
In the industry, we have this term called “KPI”, which stands for Key Performance Indicators. These can include things such as marketing, sales, web traffic, social media, and SEO factors such as keyword performance and rankings.
If you know how to monitor this, it’s a good idea to “benchmark” your performance—meaning, take note of everything and use that as a baseline to start with.
So, for example, you’ll want to see where your sales are. You’ll want to see which marketing strategies you’re currently employing (AdWords, social media campaigns, ads in apps, etc)., how your chosen keywords are performing, and so on.
This is also a tedious step, and SEO professionals are always willing to help with it.
Once everything is in place, it's safe to launch your new website. And, once your new website is live, you’ll want to notify everyone about the news. Send out an email newsletter. Update your “about us” page to include mention of the rebranding, so everyone knows that the sites are the same. Include it in meta tags and descriptions so search engines know to link the two.
Make sure to update all social media accounts and use them to promote your new brand. You can also buy some ads (such as in AdWords) for your old brand name so that you can redirect people to the rebrand and let them know to bookmark the new site. This way, you don’t miss out on any clickthrough revenue in the meantime.
There are so many other steps, but these are the ones you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re considering a rebrand. If you have other questions, let us know! We’re always happy to help.