How to rebrand without losing SEO value
Depending on the number of things you want to give a fresh overhaul, rebranding is rarely an easy process. You may change your brand name, switch to a different logo, create an entirely new website, and many more. However, every change you make will, one way or another, affect your SEO in general. To avoid placing all that hard-earned reputation, traffic, and ranking positions at risk, it has to be done properly. If done the right way, you will be able to rebrand without losing SEO value. Or at least, not so much that it will affect your considerably.
What to consider so you can rebrand without losing SEO value
To be able to properly approach the process, the first thing to understand is the reasons behind it. Companies often merge, acquire another company, or simply want to create a new brand. Whatever the reasons are, there is always a chance it will affect your search engine ranking positions, traffic to your website, and brand reputation. Depending on the scale of changes, they can potentially negate all the time and effort you have invested in building your old brand. The more changes you are planning to make, the more things you need to pay attention to.
To help you prepare and understand how to rebrand your website without losing any of your SEO values, here are several essential aspects to consider:
- Start your planning with a website audit
- Prepare your content
- Be ready to promote your new brand name
- Plan your 301 redirects
- Update all your listings
- Update your links
- Don’t forget your mobile version
- Inform search engines about rebranding
- Continue to monitor and analyze
1. Start your planning with a website audit
The first move is to analyze the entire situation and the steps you will need to take. After you have decided what you want to accomplish, you need to audit your website. Here, you will consider everything, starting from your website structure all the way to your content and SEO. This can be an enormous project for a large website, so you can either hire experts to lead the process or assign a dedicated in-house team. You will need all the help you can get because SEO is the foundation of your online existence. In essence, everything you do wrong in the rebranding process can cost you later on.
2. Prepare your content
Once you have a firm plan in place, proceed with preparing your content for a new website. Together with backlinks and keywords, content is one of the most important factors for your SEO. Not to mention that rigorous search engines like Google place a lot of value on the relevance and quality of content. In general, you need to identify the content that brings the most from an SEO perspective. This step will help you prepare for redirecting and all the other steps. If Google decides your redirect pages are not relevant, you can quickly lose all the SEO value.
3. Be ready to promote your new brand name
Besides choosing the new domain, there are other places on the internet where you will have to make changes. Basically, you want to change your name and keep all the traffic and reputation you have earned. This is not an easy task, so you have to consider:
- Promoting your brand on social media – where you will update your profiles and information and work on expanding your reach.
- Using emails to notify everyone from partners to customers.
- Using press releases and different platforms to boost your PR.
- Switching your PPC ads to share information about rebranding.
4. Plan your 301 redirects
To be sure your getting the most out of SEO for your new website, you will have to ensure 301 redirects are implemented correctly. For this, you can use all the valuable pages from your old website and redirect them to relevant pages on the new one. However, this step can either be easy or altogether complex. If your old and new websites have the same URL structure and pages, it will not be an easy task. On the other hand, if it differs, you will need to invest more effort to pass all the value from old to new. And even then, it doesn’t guarantee you will get the same results on the new website.
5. Update all your listings
Generally speaking, this is a crucial step for local businesses. If you are rebranding your local business, you will have to update all your NAP information wherever it exists. Your business name, address, and phone number have to be aligned and consistent across all listings if you want to keep your SEO standing for your new brand. In most cases, this can be a tremendous task, but your future local SEO depends on it.
6. Update your links
Another quite demanding part of rebranding is updating your links. Most likely, you will need to spend a lot of time handling your internal and external link structure. Fortunately, there is a number of useful tools you can use to make this process easier (Ahrefs, Majestic, etc.). First, deal with your internal links because they don’t involve third parties. Second, outreach to other websites that link back to you and ask them to update with new information. Bear in mind that this part can take a lot of time, but it can present you with some new backlink opportunities.
7. Don’t forget your mobile version
Considering that search engines like Google prioritize SEO for mobile versions, don’t forget to proceed with all the changes with the “mobile-first” aspect in mind. That’s why you should focus on optimization, responsiveness, and an appealing design that will boost the user experience on your new website.
8. Inform search engines about rebranding
After everything is ready, make sure to let search engines, especially Google, know about rebranding changes you are making. You can use Google Search Console to submit all the necessary information and upload all the required files.
9. Continue to monitor and analyze
Overall, once you have completed a significant portion of the rebranding process, keep monitoring the situation. In general, the SEO and rebranding job doesn’t end with your new website launching. You still need to track and analyze everything for a while. Check any suspicious activities and unexpected changes that may occur so that you can react properly and in time.
Given these points, rebranding is far from easy. But if you want to rebrand without losing SEO value, these are all necessary steps to comply with. All the effort involved will pay off because you will be able to keep your traffic, ranking positions, and brand visibility. Just make sure you approach each step and update professionally, and you will have nothing to worry about.