How to Rebrand your Website Without Affecting your SEO Rankings
A major change in your website’s design, such as a rebrand, is likely to impact its internal structure, which may cause confusion for both your visitors and bots. If you want to rebrand your website smartly, you need to plan ahead of time before switching over so that everything is in place by the time it happens.
Brands need to stay relevant. Without the ability to adapt to changing trends and conditions, a brand can quickly lose popularity and momentum. The advantage of having an SEO strategy in place is that it ensures that your website has the flexibility to evolve with the times and remain relevant to your current and future customer base.
Rebranding Strategy for SEO
Without implementing an SEO strategy when rebranding your website, you will likely find yourself getting frustrated trying to keep up with people who are actually embracing new trends and technologies. At some point, the lack of an SEO strategy could force you to rebrand your website just so that it can stay current with modern times.
Know When to Rebrand
It is recommended that you review any traffic data before deciding whether or not to rebrand. If you are using Google Analytics, then this should be easy for you as all the data you need will be readily available. If you like what you see, then go ahead with the rebranding process.
If the traffic data shows that there are not many visitors on your website, then maybe it is time for a rebranding anyway so that more people can discover fresh content for your business.
Preparing for the Transition
To get started, make sure you have the admin access and authorization for the following:
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Google Analytics
- Registrar and Hosting
Also, make sure the new site isn’t indexed yet, which you can do with the Robots.txt file. And most importantly, back up your old site!
5 Tips For Considering SEO During A Rebrand
- Internal links—When you rebrand your website, it is important that you ensure that the links to old pages are still present on the new site. Links to old pages will redirect users back to these pages if they aren’t found in search results. This way, you can avoid broken links if some of your visitors will search for them.
- Indexing—The next step of rebranding your website without harming SEO is by indexing your content for search engines. You can either use Google Search Console or Bing webmaster tools to submit your sitemap file so that search bots can crawl your entire site including both old and new pages.
- Update anchor text—Anchor text is usually what people write in order to link back to another page or site. If you rebrand, then it is best if you update these links because it is possible that they are pointing to old content. Also, consider updating the links so that it uses language relevant to current content on your website.
- Update your backlinks—When you change platforms, you need to update any inbound links that point to your website so that they will automatically redirect visitors. If you are using Google for this, make sure you use the Disavow tool to let them know which links are not relevant anymore. You can also export all your backlinks from Majestic SEO and import them into Moz Pro.
- Build up new backlinks—Once you have updated all your backlinks, it is time to build up new ones. This ensures that bots will crawl the website regularly for updates and indexing purposes while also increasing brand authority. Plus, this gives search engines more reason to rank your new website higher than the old one.
Once everything has been rebranded, you need to create a 301 redirect from your old pages to your new ones.
What To Do When You Deploy
As soon as you launch your rebrand, make sure to test your old URLs to make sure they direct to the right web pages on the new website. Don’t forget to test the homepage.
Then, go back to the Robots.txt file to unblock it from appearing in search engines.
And then you’ll need to take the time to update the following:
- Business listings/directories
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Google Analytics
Finally, promote your rebrand! Showcase it everywhere you can: in your newsletters, on social media, as a PPC ad, etc.