What Do We Want to Achieve?
Online & Social Media Audit
Social Network Limitations
Social Media Campaigns
SEO Ranking Maintenance
301 Redirect Strategy
Launch Day & Post Rebrand Launch
Step 1 & Step 2
3. What Do We Want to Achieve?
Smooth and seamless transition
Customers informed, engaged and happy
No loss of customer
Keep / Improve Google page rank/authority
Clear, consistent message and TOV
Get across change of ownership
Get across the brand/company positioning
Where does the company want to be in the future?
What does the company want to represent?
Effective internal collaboration and teamwork
Working harmoniously with digital and branding agencies and partners.
Project Management & Map
Project Team in place
Categorise customer type; behaviours
Likes and dislikes of current brand
Domains secured for .com and .co.uk versions of the new brand name’s URL
Social media page names/URLs secured
Don’t forget mobile!
Analyse customer behaviour on Google Analytics; pages, drop-off points, devices, location etc.
If majority of traffic is on mobile, prioritise mobile into rebrand plans
Backup the site
Double up or even triple up
5. Online and Social Media Audit
List all social media account and online profiles
Number of active fans and their preferred content
Company and employee profiles
3rd Party accounts
List all Backlinks, referrals and old URLs
Use Google Webmaster Tools to identify most linked pages on the current site
Identify most important, high authority and highest traffic referring backlinks
Create a full site-map with domain authority for each page
Found using Google Webmaster Tools
Identify top content on the site
Create a base line for all social media and keyword data
Followers / Fans / Likes / Shares / Subscriptions etc.
Keyword Page Rank, search & traffic volume, competition data.
List al online ads in use.
List all agencies or software tools used to track, monitor online data
6. Social Network Limitations
Easy and instant if name is available.
When a rebrand is on the horizon, simply register a new account under the new brand name. Then when it’s time to switch,
change the new account to different, and change the original account to the desired username that was previously held.
Group identities changed max. 5 times: applies to both group name and group logo.
Company pages can only be changed by contacting LinkedIn Help Center: reason for change
A Google+ page name can be changed at anytime without losing the following of those who have circled the page.
If you haven't yet been invited to set a vanity URL, your page URL will remain unchanged.
If you do have a vanity URL set, it will revert back to the default-style URL (lots of nondescript numbers).
If you have verified page status, you will lose it upon renaming the page. Luckily, you can simply re-apply right away.
YouTube doesn’t allow users to change their registered usernames, it is possible to create vanity URLs that effectively “mask”
an old channel’s content to display at a rebranded URL.
Start a new Channel from scratch. Though your videos can be archived and re-uploaded, you will lose view count, likes/dislikes,
playlists, comments, friends and Channel subscribers.
Difficult to change name once over 200 Likes. Facebook’s customer support required.
Quick and easy to change although there is a15 character limit on username
7. Content Strategy
Capture all content
Content is King
Digital Asset Management System
Spot gaps in content; quantity / quality
Repurpose old content and create fresh
Provide Unique Content on Each Channel; Website and Social Media
Give people a reason to follow you on all platforms.
Identical updates on all platforms at exactly the same time, gives no reason for customers to follow all platforms.
Check for unofficial pages, claim them and brand them. e.g. Yelp review site.
Add administrators or report the unauthorised use.
Social Media campaigns
Create a buzz of excitement around the new brand
8. Social Media Campaigns
Send out teasers
Provide useful information
Post a video/s
Blog about other businesses
Provide unique content on each channel
Reach out to educate followers/fans on why these changes have occurred and what the new brand represents
Sneak peak at new elements of brand/website, then monitor social conversations for natural feedback. Do they love it? Hate
Launch day & Post launch
Encourage customers to Like, Comment and Share promotional content.
Q&A sessions on Twitter
Discussion topic on LinkedIn
Connect all social media pages to one another and/or to the new brand website
Listen, monitor and respond.
9. Communication Plan
Customer communication is top priority throughout the branding process
Create a video explaining the reasoning behind the rebranding
Make it clear what is, and what isn’t changing, how it benefits them and why it’s a positive change
Use as many formats as possible
Blog / Social media profiles / Email newsletter / Others
Reach out to the press to update their links and write a new blog
Make sure every employee is on board and understands the new brand message so they too can support the change.
Be ready for negative feedback
The change lifecycle
Educate influencers and seek ambassadors of the new brand.
Update regularly; broadcasts / meetings / calls / intranet updates / email etc.
Communicate the new brand guidelines; colour scheme, brand rules, TOV etc.
10. SEO Ranking Maintenance
Keep old site on old IP addresses
This catches all of the potential server delays.
Build new links to the new domain name
Create a coming soon page with information about the company and the site.
Search engines will start crawling the new site earlier, allowing any indexing errors to be tracked.
Monitor daily for changes in page rank and traffic volume.
Compare to stats obtained in the Audit phase.
If rankings drop, it may mean a 301 redirect were missed,
Respond by taking appropriate action to fix the problem.
Add new website address to digital directories
Well in advance of the launch (6-8 weeks).
Allowing for new info to show in the larger directories and be funnelled down into the small niche ones.
Check and update title tags and meta data
Update contact information throughout the site
Revisit links from any inbound link; ask site owners to update their links
Other sites / Bloggers / News sites / Directories
Send out press releases announcing change, and blog about the new site
11. 301 Redirect Strategy
List all old URLs and map them to the same or similar content on the new site.
Column A: old URLs
Column B: new URLs
Create a set of 301 redirects before moving to new domain
Set up 301s from http:// and http://www versions since they’re technically 2 different sites.
Add the redirects to /htaccess file.
Test 301s after launch to ensure they are working properly
Contact 3rd party sites that link to the company and ask them to update their links.
Preventing reliance on 301s
Have a menu of popular items from old site, and their locations on the new.
Also have this on the ‘Page Not Found’ page. Over time this menu can be removed.
Use the correct types of redirects.
Other types of redirects , like 302s, shouldn’t be used in most relaunch situations.
Only use 301 redirects.
Create a great 404 Page
Create an interactive menu to direct users to hot topic areas
12. Google Authorship
A common source of trust and credibility for sites.
Ensure authorship continues to show for the site.
If author does not also update the ‘contributor to’ link on their G+ profile, the authorship will break.
Reach out to each author to encourage them to update the links on their G+ profiles.
Obtain higher rankings
With authoritative authors, articles can always get higher rankings.
Have authors with a rich professional knowledge, instead of fancy advertising copywriters.
Google is also expected to optimize the algorithm to take authors’ authority into account, and give higher rankings to the
content written by a more respected and authoritative author.
Add details for the authors to help Google remember the site and the connection.
Allow authoritative bloggers or writers to write articles on the new site
They may bring more traffic to the site. With their personal authority, more readers will link to the site too.
13. Launch Day & Post Rebrand Launch: Step 1
Make the switch
Social media pages updated
Check multiple search engines to see if an algorithm update caused organic traffic loss after relaunching.
Monitor 301 Redirects
Most SEO rank loss comes from here.
Look at the organic traffic of individual pages, before and after the rebrand.
For pages with major drops, enter the URL itself. If a 404 error shows, then there’s a problem.
A set of instructions for search engines that tells them which pages to index and which to avoid.
Set up robot.txt file could be wrong, where some pages should have been indexed, but actually not.
Open a browser and enter the domain followed by /robots.txt to find out whether it is set up wrongly. Look for “disallow” ,and
you will know which is forbidden on your website.
Noindex in the robots meta tag.
Similar to robot.txt but here, other pages could be blocked as a result of a wrong operation.
14. Monitor, monitor, monitor
Track metrics and KPI’s; traffic and rankings closely to spot any irregularities quickly.
Monitor daily for about 2 weeks: respond quickly
Employee profiles and 3rd Party representation
Sustain the new brand by measuring employees’ consistent and complete use of it.
Reach out to each author / website
Encourage update of ‘contributor to ‘ links on their G+ profile pages.
Ask for backlinks to be updated from other site managers
Keep old site/s up for a short time
Use Google Webmaster Tools
Indicate to Google that site address has permanently changed, to help mitigate any risk with Google.
People ask a lot of questions when a company rebrands.
Potential backlash; lack of content / broken links / confusing layout / slow upload/download speeds
Answer patiently and consistently.
Share positive feedback. Reinforces the story and encourages others to do the share.
Consider investing in promoted posts and advertising; greater targeted audience
Promote as often as possible; organic content and paid ads
Launch Day & Post Rebrand Launch: Step 2