Rebranding your blog is an exciting, albeit labor intensive undertaking. The possibilities for architecting your new virtual space in a way that best represents your brand are endless. Maybe you’re rebranding because you’re offering new services or trying to attract a broader audience. Whatever the reason, you’ll need to take the process seriously to maintain your SEO and provide an excellent user experience.
According to inbound marketing principles, your blog is a rich source of valuable information about topics in finance, not just your specific product. It’s where your existing and potential customers come to learn about planning their 401Ks for retirement or to educate themselves about interest rates, for example. It's also where you build trust with visitors who are thinking about big financial decisions. In the realm of financial services, trust is extra important since topics are tied to important life decisions for your readers.
For this reason, it is critical to consider these 11 tips when rebranding your blog:
- Permanent (301) Redirects
While it’s exciting to be out with the old and in with the new, rebranding is not quite as simple as saying “goodbye” to your old blog. Readers will still come across links to your old URLS (and so will Google). Neglecting old URLs will lead to lost traffic and unhappy visitors. This is a surefire way for your rankings to plummet.
Avoid this mistake by setting up Permanent (301) Redirects for all of your old URLS (yep, you’ll need to get started on that spreadsheet) that move traffic to a relevant, new URL. If you’re not keeping the exact same content, make sure that your redirects take viewers to pages on your rebranded site that are relevant to the old. You can do this by making sure that keywords on the new page to which you’re redirecting are the same as the keywords on the referring page.
- Use Your Old Blog Name
In addition to 301 Redirects, you can also give Google a little nudge to let them know you’re moving over to a new blog. Hubspot suggests you mention your old blog name on your new blog. For example, put the name into the meta description of your About Us page to let search engines (and your readers) know it’s you.
- Let Google Know
Similar to informing the Post Office that you’re moving to a new mailing address, you need to let Google Search Console know about your new blog address. Search Console will walk you through the process which helps Google recognize the change.
- Let Your Customers Know
Whatever you do, do not keep the rebranding of your blog a secret. Before you move over to your new blog, announce the change. And after you move over to your new blog, announce the change again. Promote the new blog on all social media. Doing so will put your customers in the know and keep valuable traffic coming. Even Google did it when it rebranded from Google Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console.
Choose your keywords carefully, keeping in mind Tip #1, to incorporate relevant ranking keywords from your original blog. Just as you would for any blog, plan keywords for new content carefully, making sure that you use terms that the average reader would type into google or some other search engine to find you. Keywords and the content that you build around them should be aligned with the main goals of your rebrand.
- Align Your Social Media
We’ve talked about promoting the rebrand of your blog on your social media channels. Don’t forget to update your profiles with your new name and to change the “About” sections to reflect your new domain. Change out profile images too so that they are aligned with the new visual branding of your blog. Do you have scheduled posts that link back to your old site? Don’t forget to delete them and update with your new domain and content.
7. Blog Signup
Don’t forget to ask visitors to sign up for your blog. Add an option to receive blog notifications on each blog post. You can then nurture your contacts through email campaigns.
The look and feel of your new blog is important in keeping your readers engaged.
It’s crucial to carefully think about the appearance and readability when rebranding your blog using these tips:
Finance is abundant with data. This presents an opportunity to engage blog visitors with images, especially infographics and charts. Consider using visuals in your blog posts to show off stats about rising interest rates or mutual funds fees, for example. Whatever the topic, data and numbers are easier to digest when presented as an engaging infographic.
The average reader might not be familiar with financial lingo and concepts. And even if your reader is a finance expert, structuring your text in a layout that is approachable and easy to read will ensure that your visitors stay on your page longer, which will give you a better chance to convert. Breaking up your content into short snippets and paragraphs will move your reader through your article. Large blocks of text are unwelcoming and tiresome.
- Establishing Your Blog Voice
Typically, finance is more conservative in its adoption of modern marketing practices. Rebranding your finance blog is an opportunity to keep up with best practices in inbound marketing and to attract readership from younger followers. That said, consider the tone and voice that you want your rebranded blog to convey. You can maintain professionalism and compliance standards and still offer content that is approachable and easy for finance amateurs to understand.
- Measure and Gauge
Your new blog is finally live. It’s time to measure its performance – KPIs like visits, bounce rate and click through rate will help you determine if your content is resonating with your buyer personas.
Along the same lines, review reader comments in order to gauge overall reaction to your new site.
Phew! That might have seemed like a long list of To Do’s, but planning ahead will help you save your ranking, keep readers happy, and lead to an overall successful blog rebrand. And if your blog truly needs to reposition itself and put its best foot forward to attract and delight the right audience, a rebrand is probably worth the work.