4 SEO Steps for Rebranding Your Business

One of the biggest concerns brands have when considering a rebrand is losing their search engine optimisation level. With SEO taking so long to make gains, it’s a genuine concern.

We’ve had this conversation many times with brands at our SEO company, so we developed a four-step strategy for rebranding your business. This allows you to maintain as much of your SEO juice as possible and maybe even improve it moving forward. Here’s everything you need to know about rebranding and SEO. 

1. Pre-Rebranding SEO Audit

Before you can begin the rebrand, you need to know what’s staying and what’s going. A rebrand is the perfect opportunity to be out with the old and in with the new. It also means you can benchmark where your current SEO level is so post-rebrand you have a measuring stick. 

Content Audit

Begin the rebranding process with a content audit. We use Screaming Frog in conjunction with the Google Analytics, Search Console, and Ahrefs integrations. This allows you to export a content list along with the information needed to perform an audit. 

When you perform a contact audit you have four options: 

  1. Keep
  2. Update
  3. Redirect or Merge
  4. Delete 

Keep (200)

The pages that you want to keep should be obvious. These are your high-traffic, high-ranking, or new pages yet to rank. Be aware of pages that don’t have typical SEO value but contribute to your marketing strategy in other ways. For example, they’re used for paid campaigns or customer resources. Always check with your team before making final decisions. 

Update

Updating content is usually a better way to go about improving the overall quality of content on your site. However, you do not want to waste time optimising if the content has little to no opportunity or relevance. 

You should update content if:

  • It has a high volume of keywords ranking in the top 100, but not necessarily in the top 10 or top 3
  • Hasn’t been updated in a while
  • Outdated time-sensitive content that can be repurposed as evergreen content
  • Steadily declining traffic
  • Lots of impressions but low CTR
  • Thin content

Redirect (301) or Merge

Any pages that have links but low traffic are still valuable from an SEO perspective. These pages can either be:

Merged (Use part of the content for a better-optimised page and 301 Redirect to it) or 301 redirected to a relevant page

To decide what action to take, you must identify why the page is underperforming. Often this is because the content is:

  • Poorly optimised (Is it ranking, but ranking poorly?)
  • Untargeted (Does it rank for no or non-relevant keywords)
  • Cannibalised (Is there more relevant/better performing onsite content?)

You should 301 Redirect the content if:

  • Low traffic but has backlinks
  • A low number of keywords ranking 
  • Time-specific and now irrelevant content
  • Low predicted traffic
  • Never redirect all the content to the homepage as this may result in soft 404s

You should merge the content into another page if:

Same conditions as above but:

  • Parent keywords have a considerable search volume
  • The page is cannibalising keywords that are relevant to a more important page
  • The page targets or ranks for a specific long-tailed query that may aid the rankings and quality of a more relevant page

Delete (404)

If pages are getting no “meaningful” traffic and have no backlinks, there is little to no SEO value. On very large sites, these types of pages can eat up the crawl budget, taking it away from important pages. 

Before deleting pages, ensure that they:

  • Are older than 6 months
  • Have no backlinks
  • Low/no keywords in the top 100
  • Low Ahrefs predicted traffic 
  • Low Quality or Thin Content
  • Are NOT  important for Paid Campaigns
  • Are NOT important for the business, i.e. resources, terms and conditions, customer-centric FAQs, etc. 

Ranking Audit

As part of your content audit, you should also be analysing rankings. This will reveal what’s working and what might need a bit more attention. It’s important to gauge the effectiveness of your existing SEO efforts so that you have something to benchmark against once the rebrand is completed. 

Remember that not everything is about rankings. While this is a good marker, you also want to make sure that content carried over fits in with your new brand image. 

Backlink Audit

Conducting a backlink audit allows you to review your current backlink profile to pinpoint high-quality links and spot any toxic ones. Tools like Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMrush are invaluable for this task. 

When it comes to high-quality links, it’s important to make sure these links continue benefiting your new domain. Implement a strategic 301 redirection plan so that existing backlinks point to relevant pages on your new site. This will go a long way to preserving your link equity. 

Also, if you’ve changed your brand name you’ll want to create a list of high-authority sites that have linked to yours. This makes it easier to reach out to them once the rebrand is done to change any branded anchor text. 

2. Develop a Rebranding Strategy

With the groundwork done, it’s time to build a rebranding strategy. This is a list of everything to remember to implement for the new brand launch. 

Set SEO Goals

Start by defining specific, measurable objectives to increase your new brand’s visibility in search results. This could involve aiming for top rankings on certain keywords or increasing your organic search presence.

Next, set benchmarks for traffic volume and conversion rates that take into account your levels pre-rebrand. Also, outline clear goals for user engagement metrics such as time on site, bounce rate, and interactions per visit. These metrics will help you gauge that everything is running smoothly. 

Keyword Research and Selection

Identify new brand keywords that embody your new brand’s identity, including variations that potential customers might use when searching. Explore competitive keyword analysis. By examining your competitors’ strategies, you can spot opportunities to differentiate your brand in the market.

Don’t overlook the power of long-tail keywords. These keywords can capture the specific, often less competitive queries your target audience is likely to search. Incorporating these carefully selected keywords into the correct pages will help guarantee that your rebranding efforts are moving in the right direction. 

Website Structure

Plan a hierarchical layout that logically organises content by importance and topic. This not only boosts SEO but also enhances user experience.

Make sure your site architecture is scalable and ready to grow as your brand does. Focus on creating clean, keyword-relevant URLs that reflect your site’s hierarchy. Implement intuitive navigation and breadcrumb trails to help users and search engines navigate your site more effectively. Don’t forget about an internal linking strategy for spreading link equity and keeping users on your site for longer. 

XML Sitemap Update

It’s important to update your XML sitemap with new URLs to help search engines quickly find and index your refreshed content. You’ll want to include any new important pages but also remove any pages that no longer exist. 

Monitor the status of your sitemap in Google Search Console after updating to make sure there aren’t any 404 errors. There’s also the URL inspection tool so you can check the status of individual pages. 

Contact Information Update

Make sure you update your contact information across all platforms as an important step in your rebranding strategy. It’s necessary to keep your address, phone number, and email addresses consistent on your website, social media, and local listings.

Failure to do so can create confusion among your customers. By ensuring that your contact details are accurate, you maintain trust and prevent any communication disruptions.

Contact information is also a trust factor for Google. If search engines don’t trust your website then you could run into issues. 

3. Building and Maintaining Domain Authority

A huge part of SEO is domain authority. This powers up content and is what brands are most fearful of losing when rebranding a business. 

Re-engagement Campaigns

To help your new brand during a rebrand you can run re-engagement campaigns. These inform key link partners about your new branding and to update their corresponding links. 

Reach out personally, if possible, to make sure they understand the changes and the benefits. Provide them with new URLs and any necessary resources to make the switch as smooth as possible. Remember, the goal here is to retain and even enhance the link equity you’ve worked hard to build. Keeping these relationships strong will support your new brand’s authority and online presence.

Content Marketing

Content marketing allows you to control the narrative of your rebrand. If you’re heading in a new SEO direction or tone of voice your new content needs to reflect that. Consider re-writing your brand guidelines so your writers are aligned.

You’ll want to create content that addresses the rebrand and why it’s happened. Dedicate someone to reviewing your existing content and updating the design. For example, implementing the new logo and website redesign.

If your product or services have taken a different direction, you’ll want to keyword research new topic clusters. These will help you to establish brand recognition in new areas. 

Citations

When you change your website domain or business name, updating your business citation information across all directories is important. This not only guarantees that backlinks to your site remain but also keeps your visibility high among local searchers. Neglecting this step can lead to broken links and outdated information, which damages your SEO efforts and domain authority. 

Local SEO Update

Updating your Google Business profile is something that you don’t want to forget. Here, you should revise your business name, address, phone number, and any other relevant details to align with your rebranding efforts. This keeps your local SEO strong making it easier for customers, both old and new, to find you.

4. Post-Rebranding SEO Monitoring

Rebranding and SEO wouldn’t be complete without monitoring your progress. It can be a nervy time for companies. But, if you have your benchmarks and system to monitor results, issues can be swiftly fixed. 

Set-Up KPIs

Set up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that track traffic sources, search engine rankings, conversion rates, and user engagement metrics.

You’ll need to keep a close eye on where your visitors are coming from and how these numbers shift post-rebrand. Watching your search engine rankings for both old and new brand keywords helps you understand if your SEO strategies are working.

This is a good time to see how these changes affect user behaviour—are more visitors converting into customers? Also, by analysing engagement metrics like bounce rates and session durations, you’ll get insights into how well users are interacting with your new brand.

SEO Tools

SEO tools can take care of the heavy lifting when it comes to tracking results. Start by integrating 

Google Analytics: Track your website’s traffic patterns and user behaviours. This will help you see whether users are engaging with your new brand as expected.

Google Search Console: Search performance and click-through rates. It’ll also alert you to any crawl errors or security issues that need addressing.

Ahrefs and SEMrush: These platforms are excellent for monitoring backlinks, keyword rankings, and overall site health, ensuring your new branding is gaining the traction it deserves.

Regular SEO Audits

Regular SEO audits make sure your rebranded website meets search engine standards and user expectations. You should regularly perform technical SEO audits to make sure your site has the best possible search engine visibility and user experience. This means checking that your site remains fast, mobile-friendly, and free from crawl errors.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on your competitors as well. By understanding their strategies and performance, you’ll be better equipped to adjust your own tactics and stay ahead. These ongoing assessments help you tweak and refine your strategy, ensuring your SEO and rebranding efforts run smoothly. 

User Feedback

Gather user feedback through surveys and direct interactions to understand how they perceive your newly rebranded website. This shows if the changes resonate well with your audience or if tweaks are needed to enhance their experience.

By analysing this input, you’ll pinpoint areas that may require adjustments. Don’t just collect data; actively engage with it to adapt your SEO strategies and website design accordingly.

How Does a Rebrand Affect SEO?

A rebrand can greatly influence your domain authority and search rankings. When you change your company’s name, it’s essential to manage redirects meticulously and update your content to maintain SEO equity. Implementing 301 redirects for all changed URLs will preserve the link juice and keep things running smoothly for users. 

Just how much a rebrand affects SEO will depend on the size of the rebrand. A logo redesign is obviously not going to have an effect but a new website and complete brand overhaul will. These changes can be mitigated by having a solid new brand strategy.

Fluctuations in rankings and traffic are common, so continuously monitor your site’s performance after the rebrand. Remember, updating metadata to include variations of both old and new names helps retain your visibility and supports a smooth shift in search engines.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Rebrand Without Losing SEO?

To rebrand without losing SEO, you’ll need to maintain your original domain, implement correct redirects, preserve existing content, and consistently update your online presence to reflect your new brand identity effectively.

Does Rebranding Affect Seo?

Yes, rebranding does affect SEO. You’ll need to manage redirects carefully, update your content, and adjust your strategy to maintain rankings and visibility as your business’s identity changes.

What Are the Steps of Rebranding a Company?

To rebrand your company, you’ll start by defining your new brand identity, communicating changes internally, updating all digital assets, and ensuring consistency across platforms. Don’t forget to monitor feedback and adjust as necessary.

What Are the Seven Steps to Rebranding?

To rebrand, you’ll define your goals, research your market, revamp your identity, develop a communication plan, implement changes across all platforms, announce the rebrand, and continuously monitor and adjust your strategy.

 

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Matthew Barby, Senior Director of Acquisition at HubSpot

"Whenever I have companies ask me if there are any great agencies in Australia, I always point them to Prosperity Media. James and team are always pushing out incredibly impactful work, and their depth of knowledge around SEO and content marketing is up there with the best in the world."

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