Perhaps you are aware that rebranding is not an easy task. Apart from all the legal, creative and repositioning headaches you will no doubt have to deal with, you must also ensure Google is OK with all of this.
A lot of what marketers do is connected with building online visibility and brand recognition, and if this is not done the right way, a transition to a new domain and name may put all of this at risk.
If you wish to change the name and logo of your company as well as your website, keep reading.
Before you begin
- Verify both your old and new website in Google Webmaster Tools to make the most out of the Change of Address feature Google offers.
- Check that you have administrator level access in Google Analytics for the site in question. This is necessary for you to be able to update the info of the former site to the new site.
- Check that you have hosting access for both sites.
- Don’t index the new website in search engines yet, although it is already live and functional. This can be easily accomplished in the robots.txt file and is necessary in order to avoid duplicate content issues.
- Have a backup of your website in case anything goes wrong.
Measures the key performance indicators
If you have been in the marketing industry for a long time just like some top SEO services companies, you probably have the habit of measuring everything. Take the necessary effort and time to measure vitally important KPIs such as traffic, rankings, links and citations.
You will need to redirect all of your webpages from the old to the new site in order to ensure awesome user experience. You should have your redirects ready but you will not be using them yet before the new website is fully-operational and live.
This could be an easy or a difficult task depending on whether both website have the same URL and page structure.
Are you ready for the easiest step so far? Then it is time to deploy the site so that all your hard work pays off.
You will need to upload the .htaccess file with all the redirects it includes to the hosting of your old domain. As the result takes place immediately, it will be great to examine some of the old URLs to ensure they point to the correct content on the new website. Once you do this, just remove the commands in the robots.txt file of the new site preventing it from being indexed by search engines and you are good to go.
Update the information in Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools
After the 301 redirects are correctly set up, you will want to inform Google that your website has been moved. There is a helpful change of address feature in Google Webmaster Tools that will allow you to do just that.
Take a note, that even after you have completed these steps, there might be a slight drop in traffic. Allow some time for search engines to index your site.