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Re-Branding SEO & SEM Considerations

Re-Branding – An SEO & SEM Checklist

Is your company going through a re-branding journey? Here is a handy list of Search Engine Marketing (SEM & SEO) considerations for re-branding. These tips only cover Search Engine considerations. There are many other checklists to cover like designs, logos, etc… This checklist should complement your other re-branding checklists.

SEO & SEM Re-Branding checklist:

  • Make sure the new brand name is available; Trademarks, Domain Names, Social Media pages/handles, Blogs, etc…
  • Are there any other companies with the same or similar name? Are there trademark (TM) disputes that could occur?
    • Can you pay for Google AdWords brand name presence? Or does this company have it blocked for Trademark protection?
    • Contact the company and discuss how you can work together so there are no conflicts or surprises.
  • Purchase your new domain name in several different versions; plural, mispellings, .orgs, .coms
  • Change the name across the website; on every page, in all content, headers, body content, images
  • Change all SEO meta titles and descriptions to reflect the new brand name
  • Add a content blurb to the About Us page about the name change
  • Add a new page talking about the new brand name and WHY the change
  • Keep the old brand name prominently mentioned as people adjust to the change (and search engines adjust)
  • Pay for old and new brand names as keywords in SEM/PPC campaigns
  • Change all SEM/PPC links in all ads and keywords
  • Continue to mention the old to new brand name together in SEM/PPC branded ad copy, create ads that describe the change
  • Create branded banner/display ad campaigns about the name change
  • Update all social media profile names and links
  • Talk about the name change on your blog and in your social media often
  • Make the switch to the new .com when all your checklists are completed
  • Once ready to make the new .com the main domain, 301 redirect every page that EVER existed from old to new corresponding pages (keep URL structures the same to make this simple and traffic disaster free)
  • Run and inbound linking report, reach out to all websites linking to your website, ask them to change the links on their websites
  • Add the new domain name as a new Google Search Console property
  • Change the new domain name in Google Analytics settings
  • Monitor Analytics and Search Console for any major traffic fluctuations
  • Review traffic from domain hosting company (old to new domain traffic)
  • Precaution: Performing a major website overhaul at the same time as re-branding can work, but give it time, maybe a year or two, to make the changes thoroughly and correctly. The repercussions of hurry and haste can cost your business time and money.

When embarking on the re-branding journey, consider the implications it may have on your Search Engine Marketing (SEM and SEO). Being conscious of your Search Engine real estate will alleviate difficulties in your new branding. I hope these tips help with a successful new brand presence in the webisphere!