The life on the internet is a lot more forgiving and liberating than the real one. On the web, you can constantly reinvent yourself and your company until you finally discover that perfect path that undoubtedly leads to success. So, why not use that fact? It doesn’t matter if you’ve somehow managed to ruin your business’ reputation or if your company is having a midlife crisis and needs a brand new, fire-red corvette to show the world its power, rebranding is the answer to your prayers. We’re going to take you by the hand and lead you through the process, all the while focusing on creating an SEO-friendly transition. Let’s dive right in.
What is Re-Branding?
Obviously, we should start with the basics. What is actually rebranding? According to numerous definitions on the web, rebranding is the act of changing the corporate image of a company. This change can include a new name, new website, new logo, etc. Depending on what you need, you can change just some or all of these elements.
Besides the situation we (somewhat humorously) included in the introduction, rebranding can also be done for a number of other reasons. How to Build a Brand offers a list of possible causes, but we’ll only name the ones we feel are the most important.
A Shift in Focus – A company can get to a point where it has reached its initial goal and needs to rethink its priorities. Setting up a new mission statement requires a new business plan and, of course, rebranding to make sure the company’s focus is on point.
Modernization – In order to stay relevant to its consumers, a business has to follow all the latest trends in the world and utilize new technologies. For example, it is said that the AR technology will become a lot more popular by 2022, so companies should already start thinking about adapting their overall design to include AR.
Competition Difficulties – According to Internet Live Stats, there are about 1.8 billion websites on the internet right now, which means that no matter what industry you’re in, there’s always a whole lot of competition out there. If you want to attract users to your website, you have to stand out. Rebranding lets you reinvent your business as many times as you need it in order to find that one sweet spot in the market.
New Audience – Rebranding can also be used to break into new markets and capture the attention of new target audience. A new website, for instance, could be built with millennials in mind and contain a number of retro designs that will appease them.
Different Cultures – Of course, as companies expand into international markets, they can stumble upon different cultures that do things differently. Sometimes it’s necessary to adapt the website layout, to change images, slogans, or something else entirely. In general, it shows the local audience that you care about them as well.
Now that we’ve covered some of the main reasons why companies consider rebranding, let’s take a look at all the specific elements you can/should change and what effects it will have.
Since we’re talking about SEO-friendly rebranding here, it’s obvious that search engine optimization plays a crucial part, so the name of your company is quite important. You have to think long-term and do some basic research. Feedback Wrench notes a couple of steps you should follow to ensure good results.
- Pick a couple of names you like and do a research to see whether they’re available. Keep in mind, though, that minor businesses with the same name won’t be much of a problem in the future, so just focus on seeing whether there are any really popular brands out there.
- Be unique in your name choice because it helps establish a stronger brand in the future. If your focus is on a specific region, you can include that region or city name in your company’s name to make things easier for Google and boost your SEO. Of course, this can be a bit impractical if you plan on expanding in the future.
- Make sure you are what they call NAP consistent. Use the same name, address and phone number on all of your pages on the web including various social media profiles. This will help both search engines and your audience.
Quite obviously, we can’t discuss SEO without turning our attention to websites. While you’re in the process of rebranding, make sure your new website is SEO-focused from the very start. Approach its design with all current trends in mind. As Pankaj Mondal at RankWatch explains, responsive web design is a must for good Google ranking.
With the future of all online searches going mobile, search engines have started rewarding sites that are responsive. Not only does it trim the dangers of running two websites, which in many cases makes you vulnerable to duplicate content, it has proved to have lower bounce rates.
Also, make sure you’re familiar with the latest changes brought on by Google regarding meta description and image search, for example.
Meta Description – Back in December last year, Google decided to increase the character limit for its meta descriptions to 320. This means that you have a lot more room to present your article in search results and attract your audience. However, this will have to be a balancing act because you don’t want to give too much information – you still need your consumers to visit your page.
Image Search – In February, this year, Google also announced another important change that affects SEO quite a lot. Namely, the developers decided to remove the View Image button and replaced it with Visit. Because of that, internet users can only see the image in the context of its website, which brought additional traffic to those image owners. What does this mean for you? It means that you shouldn’t skip on optimizing images, including names, tags, and everything else. It could help increase your traffic quite a bit.
This might sound surprising at first, but a logo is also immensely important for SEO and rebranding is a perfect opportunity to optimize it. Here are a couple of ways logo design can actually help your SEO efforts.
Following Trends – Creating a high-quality logo is all about the user experience. Some of the best logo designs right now follow the popular retro trends and try to reach their audiences through nostalgic marketing, for example.
Navigation – Logo is also quite useful when it comes to website navigation. Linking your logo to homepage seems simple and unimportant, but it improves user experience immensely. Try to remember how many times you’ve clicked on a logo instead of a homepage tab to get back to the start and everything will become clear.
Animation – If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, you could also consider animating your logo by using micro-interactions. This little feedback that shows the user’s click is a great way of using details to improve the overall experience.
Various Optimizations – Finally, don’t forget to include all of the images attributes to your logo as well. Include your carefully chosen name in the Alt Title, File Name, and Schema.org markup for our logo and your brand will be a lot stronger.
Most of the time, you should think of rebranding as being similar to spring cleaning. It doesn’t have to be triggered by problems in your company or recent incidents that destroyed your reputation completely. Instead, it can be a regular yearly cleanse (if you’re into those things) that makes sure your business is still healthy, relevant, and focused on years of working. In today’s world, the ability to change is not only commendable but necessary.