- by Jeff Sunden
Re-Branding in the Digital Age
Back in the day it was probably way easier to re-brand your business image by simply coming up with a new name, logo, business cards, letterhead and a new header for your website.
In today's world much more must be considered, especially when websites, social media and sought after rankings are involved. Here we will talk about what you can do to better prepare yourself and your business when it's time for a facelift and renaming.
Re-Branding in the Digital Age
Back in the day it was probably way easier to re-brand your business image by simply coming up with a new name, logo, business cards, letterhead and a new header for your website. In today's world much more must be considered, especially when websites, social media and sought after rankings are involved. Here we will talk about what you can do to better prepare yourself and your business when it's time for a facelift and renaming.
So, here's where to start...
This will be one of the most vital parts to your digital re-branding. You'll need first to check availability of your new name. I recommend using WhoIs to research domain names you're interested in followed by searching your name on Google to see who else might be using it. Don't fret if your domain name you want is taken. Sometimes all you have to do is contact the existing owner if they are not using it. You might even get a good deal on it.
Update Your Social
Facebook. Here's the kicker. You can only update your Facebook Business name and reserved url once. This might change in the future but for now you'll want to be extra picky and make sure you are 100% settled with your new name. If you have already changed your FB name and url, you might have to consider creating a new business page from scratch and migrate your followers over from your old page.
Twitter. The Twitter platform isn't too bad and if the name/twitter ID is taken there are plenty of abandoned IDs available. Simply contact who owns the ID and they'll probably hand it over free of charge if it's one they stopped using. Otherwise change your Twitter ID as many times as you wish.
LinkedIn. LinkedIn isn't so bad either as there are not as many limitations. If the name you want is taken, just get creative and workout an alternative. To change the company URL you will need to contact LinkedIn Support.
Google +. Google + is another easy platform to update. The business name can be changed easy enough thru the editor. The vanity URL many like to use cannot be changed unfortunately. Make sure to update your authorship/links in the "contributor to" section of the profile to keep authorship intact. This is the a direct link to your blog on your website. Make sure you have authorship setup on your new website as well to complete the link. This will enrich your SERP (Search Engine Result Page) listings.
Authority. Make sure you don't lose your online authority! You'll want to have old pages redirected to the newer, similar pages. This might sound self-serving but you'll want a hand setting up redirects from a web developer. These can be added to the .htaccess file on your server. Make sure you test these as well!
Structured Markup. This might be another task for your web developer. You'll want the proper structure markup on your site as well. Checkout www.schema.org and www.google.com/webmaster/tools/richsnippets to test the markup.
Mobile. Don't forget mobile! Make sure it's up to date. Better yet, this might be a great time to build-in responsivness to your new template. A responsive template shrinks/squeezes the pages content to fit on mobile devices like tablets and smart phones.
Old Site. It might be a good idea to leave your old site up and running for a few weeks. This gives Google plenty of time to crawl your new site and to start appearing on SERP.
There you have it! I hope this was helpful and insightful for when it's time to begin planning to re-brand.