Vital Steps for an SEO-Friendly Re-branding and Domain Migration


Many factors lead businesses to re-branding. Whether it is an acquisition, changing the company name, or even to reinvent the company in a new light. 

However, such abrupt changes often lead to downgrading the website’s organic standings. They may stand to lose in terms of lower visibility and lower domain ranks, because with the changes at the administrative level of the organizations, the entire website structure might also change. 

This includes changing the URLs, internal and external links, campaigns, redirects, and whatnot. More importantly, the user sentiment can also undergo a transformation as they won’t be able to relate that well to a new domain. 

Exercising a domain migration or re-branding must account for visibility, traffic growth, type of migration, site structuring, and more. Keeping these traditional SEO factors, there are 4 other key SEO aspects that are not talked about as much. 

These key considerations also play a major role in successful migration and re-branding. 


Re-branding and Domain Migration Key Considerations


  • Give an indication to your users and Google beforehand


As a good practice, start giving indication for the upcoming brand on your existing website before beginning the migration process. Since your existing domain still has a set visitor base, after the change they will know where to go. 

This will help you climb the site growth path quickly after the migration is complete. 

To send out these signals you can either add content and make alterations to the website metadata. Other than this, utilize some PR strategies and traditional marketing channels to share the information. 


  • Retaining the URL structures


Although, retaining the previous URL structure may not be possible to its entirety. You can try to retain these URL structures so that the post-migration risks are less. 

Along with this, you must also work to preserve the existing content placements. Both of these activities can assist in consolidating the signals and lead to better post-migration engagement. 

If you decide to retain the existing URL structures, redirecting them to a new domain will be easier. You will only have to rewrite one sentence in the htaccess file.


RewriteEngine On RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^$ [OR] RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^$ RewriteRule (.*)$$1 [R=301,L]


While you are redirecting the URLs remember that you will be altering the entire website structure. The external links that you have provided on your page might also have gone through some changes. This is particularly important here because Google Crawler never forgets its path. 

Hence, you need to do some work in this aspect and consolidate all the redirects and list them in the desired order to sustain the previous signals. 


  • Look after for the Brand searches


When you migrate to a new brand do not forget about the brand searches for the previous brand. 

The users will continue to search for the previous brand for the next few years, until and unless they knows that you have changed the brand name. 

It is essential to take steps to inform your regular readership, clients, users, and visitors about the future changes. 

Give your users a clear indication about the migration or re-branding via:

  • Frequently asked questions
  • Supportive blogs
  • Other support sections. 

While maintaining the flow of information you can easily cater to traffic coming on both the websites and remain loyal to your brand. 


  • Proper Signaling


Re-branding means that you are revamping the entire website. There are new business objectives, higher goals, and an altered sentiment. Having said that, companies often cover the ranking and traffic generation. 

What they miss out on is generating new signals and enhancing the link building, digital PR, and marketing. 

In this scenario, re-approaching the previous links that are given to your website by high authority domains will certainly help. Similarly, identifying the high importance links and getting the branding anchors linking to the new domains is also essential. 


A good example of Re-branding and Domain Migration

Keeping aside the best industry practices with re-branding and domain migration is concerned, some other business-specific factors play a key role. Parameters like the business objective, access to technology, and other resources play a key role. 


To sum it up…

Even though there are risks involved, they can be mitigated with an intricately developed and streamlined migration plan. Completing the migration within a short time span along with exercising other PR related activities can make for a smooth transition.