Rebranding your B2B company, if done right, can help you revitalize your business, improve its visibility, and change your customer’s perception about your products or services. However, while all of that is true, rebranding can be pretty fickle. Not only will you have to come up with a brand new visual identity for your company, but you will also have to do customer research, deal with all the legal stuff, and last but not least, Google.
How so? Well, if you are not careful, rebranding can undo all of your SEO efforts and cripple your rankings.
Since your goal is to make your business more visible, relevant, and profitable, you can’t allow your SEO rankings dip too low. Easier said than done, since Google looks at over 200 major ranking signals and over 10 000 minor ones. However, with some careful planning and some technical SEO knowledge, you can avoid most of the rebranding pitfalls.
With that in mind, let’s take a look our checklist of things you need to do during the rebranding process to avoid harming your rankings.
1. Keep Your Original Domain Name if Possible
In some cases, cutting ties with your old brand can be the best thing to ever happen to your B2B company. But if you’ve already had some success and you’re looking to build upon that, it would be good if you could keep your original domain name, and of course, your brand’s name.
Not only is this approach simpler, but you’ll also do the least harm to your SEO rankings this way. On the other hand, if you’re looking to start fresh, then you’ll have to change your domain name, which will require you to do a lot of URL redirecting and optimize your website for on-page SEO from scratch.
One of the better examples of rebranding and changing the domain name at the same time is Vi3. They used to be known as Valmarc. Their previous visual identity did little to reflect what their company was all about. With their new logo, colors, visuals, and new website, they have finally showcased their cutting-edge data intelligence solutions in a more focused way.
2. Handle All the 301 Redirects
To maintain a great user experience, which also counts as a ranking factor, you will need to make sure that you have redirected all the pages of your old website to the corresponding pages of the new one. This seems like a very simple process, and it is, especially if your new site has the same structure of the old one. However, if their structures are different, you will have to access the .htaccess file, and then redirect every old page to the relevant page on your new site.
Be prepared to do a lot of editing, in case you have created lots of pages as part of your inbound marketing strategy. We recommend using a spreadsheet to simplify the process. If you have additional pages, such as specific landing pages or blog posts, you will have to do the same for them in a separate .htaccess file.
3. Your Brand’s Look and Feel Need to Match
If you are really serious about reaching the right type of customers, then you’re going to have to be very specific when it comes to branding as well. In other words, if you’re a B2B company that provides a very focused service, then your visuals, starting with the logo, will have to communicate a message that is equally focused.
This is especially important when it comes to your outbound sales strategy. For instance, when you send a cold email to a potential client, making a great first impression will depend on a well-established brand identity and strong brand voice.
One of the best examples of B2B rebranding for the better is Digital Reasoning. Their goal was to demonstrate how successful they were at integrating both the human and tech elements into their products.
4. Try and Save Most of Your Content
Content is still king, not just because it provides value, but because it’s still one of the most important ranking signals. If you already have a blog with high-quality content that has been around for a few years, you already have some solid authority, which you want to keep. Because of that, you will need to transfer all, or at least the majority, of your most relevant and evergreen content to your new blog.
Also, according to the stats, 50% of organizations are creating more content than in the previous year, due to increased demand. This means you cannot afford to let go of your existing content during the rebranding process.
5. Let Your Customers Know about Your New Brand
After you’ve made changes to your brand and deployed your new website, it’s time to spread the word.
You should start with your social media accounts, which might seem simple at first, until you realize that some platforms, like Facebook, allow you to change your profile name only once. But, all things considered, this may even result in getting you more shares, likes, and comments, as well as getting more people to your website and landing pages.
In addition to social media, you should also notify your customers, vendors, and suppliers via email, press releases, and guest posts on relevant industry blogs. You can even write about the whole rebranding process on reputable marketing blogs, whose readers will be interested in the content.
6. Track Your Changes
The entire B2B rebranding process is finished and you’ve let everyone now, which means it’s time to break out the champagne, right? Not quite, because you need to monitor the results of your changes in order to determine whether they were actually for the better.
Using Google Analytics to monitor traffic, ranking, and leads, should be a given. Of course, you should expect your numbers to drop right after the rebrand, as well as to start growing after a short while. Make sure to follow your brand’s mentions on social media to help you gauge how your customers are liking the changes.
Rebranding your B2B company is not an easy thing to do, but it can be made less painful and detrimental to your SEO efforts if you decide to follow the tips laid out in this article. Create a visual identity that reflects what your company is doing, keep your content, make sure that the entire user experience doesn’t suffer as a result, and you should be fine. Good luck!