Domain Authority 301 Rebranding – A How To

How To Perform Domain Authority 301 Rebranding

The main goal of domain authority 301 rebranding is to keep the SEO rankings thaCompanies that are undergoing a rebranding must consider domain authority 301 rebranding to maintain their website’s search engine optimization. This involves preserving the domain authority you gained from your original online identity, which is important because rebranding risks losing organic traffic. Utilizing a 301 redirect allows website owners to change their name or acquire new websites without losing the link profile associated with the old domain. Keeping the link profile and DA intact helps massively to maintain and grow your presence online. 

Domain authority is a score that a search engine gives a website to determine its rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). Website owners need domain authority to remain relevant online. With a 301 redirect, websites can send visitors of an original website to the new one. Here’s a closer look at how to perform one.

Graphic representation of a 301 redirect

When to use a 301 redirect 

301 redirects for domain authority rebranding are typically used in these cases: when a company is changing it’s name, when a company has found a better domain name, or when a company has acquired a competitor’s website. 

In the case that a company is changing its name or moving to a new domain name a 301 redirect serves the purpose of maintaining all of the link equity and traffic that the old domain was receiving. In other words, a 301 redirect transfers the ranking power of one url to another. This way companies can feel free to change their domain name without fear of losing all of their hard work in building authority. 

Additionally, when acquiring a new business, a 301 redirect allows you to grab all of the traffic and business your former competitor was receiving online. Nathan Gotch of Gotch SEO refers to this as the “Merger Technique” in which he noticed a data center was massively increasing its DA and search traffic each time they performed a 301 redirect from an acquired business. 

Anytime you want to send searchers to a new location, without losing traffic, it is appropriate to use a 301 redirect.

How To Perform Domain Authority 301 Rebranding

The main goal of domain authority 301 rebranding is to keep the SEO rankings that an original domain has spent years building. Here are some steps to take to do this for a rebrand.

1. Confirm the New Domain’s Status

Any company that is restructuring its website must ensure that the new domain has a clean past. Changing domains to one that has a history of penalties will do no favors for improving SERP rankings. Rebranding alone carries a risk of losing traffic.

As such, companies should research the new domain. They can consider looking through online archives or using tools like Google Search Console to confirm its status. These are essential steps if the company is not buying a new domain from the beginning.

2. Review Existing Website Pages

Another important step in preparing for the rebrand is to audit existing pages. Companies that are rebranding should map out all of their original pages, including the pages that they don’t want to include in their new domain.

The point of reviewing all existing pages is to see what search engine crawlers have been using as bases for a website’s domain authority. This includes the page’s content and structure. Massively changing the content or structure of your website can have a negative impact in SERPs.

3. Send Notice About the Rebrand

Companies must communicate with their existing customer base to let them know that they are rebranding. This transparency ensures that everyone affected knows what is coming and gives them enough time to adjust to the changes. Consider sending out a notification through email and social media, so that those performing branded searches about your company can find you easily.

4. Set Up 301 Redirects

Every page from the old domain will need a 301 redirect to the new domain. Tools like Google Analytics can help gather all relevant URLs to simplify the setting up of 301 redirects. These redirects can happen at the server level, go through a domain registrar, or use external hosts, such as Cloudflare. An extremely easy way to do this is with the word press plugin AIOSEO, this tool allows you to 301 redirect from an old domain to a new one in a matter of clicks. This is the tool we use when performing 301 redirects for clients and it comes highly recommended.

5. Monitor the Stability of the Changes

After updating everything from the old domain and making the change known to everyone, companies should expect some changes in their traffic. If a website’s traffic drops within a month, then there must have been an issue in the rebranding process. It will require the company to retrace its steps in moving domains. Successful rebrands should have no significant traffic changes. This means that no issues happened when changing names.

Graphic representation of SEO traffic increasing

Advantages of 301 Rebranding

Any company that is rebranding needs to utilize the benefits of 301 rebranding to minimize the chances of losing domain authority when changing its website’s URL. Regardless of the reasons why a company is changing names, this essential strategy ensures that the company will not have to restart its website all over again.

Redirects are mainly important for preserving SERP rankings. Search engine crawlers always check websites to see if they are still alive and relevant, and then they rank them accordingly. If a website moves or changes its name without a 301 redirect, visitors (including crawlers) will see a 404 error page.

When that happens, the crawler will determine that the website is irrelevant. It will drop it altogether, so the site loses its original SERP ranking. Likewise, visitors may think that the site is no longer available and will look for substitutes instead. The website loses its audience that it worked hard to build.

Essentially, 301 redirects help all parties involved in a rebrand, including the company that is changing its name, the website visitors, and search engines that make websites relevant.

Disadvantages of 301 Rebranding

A case study by moz showed that on average, a 301 redirect was associated with a 15% loss in traffic. This study was performed by accident, as one of their clients, WayFair, needed to have tens of thousands of links redirected. Obviously this is an extreme case but it gives us insights into the possible dangers of excessively performing 301 redirects.

In most cases a simple 301 redirect should be no issue, but performed on a large scale, could lead to a slight loss in traffic.

Final Words on Domain Authority 301 Rebranding

Domain authority 301 rebranding is a critical strategy for any company that intends to change its name. Regardless of why the company is rebranding, an original domain name must have built a following and established SEO rankings from the time it spent online.

Changing now risks losing all that work. With 301 redirects, search engine crawlers and visitors will know that the original website still exists under a new name. Rebranding requires careful preparation and communication. If you plan on rebranding, be sure to do it correctly. Discuss your goals with our IT experts to secure a smooth transition to your new domain.

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