Companies change their names and website domains for a number of reasons, including right after a merger, completing an acquisition or just to re-launch their brand and identity. What is oftentimes overlooked, though, is how do you let the digital world know you changed your name?

Changing your legal name is usually a one-step process, albeit maybe a painful one, involving a day at your local Social Security office. But, it is the aftermath—new driver’s licenses, updated credit cards, changing bank accounts, cell phone and health insurance billing, even your email and social profiles—that causes the most chaos.

The exact same scenario plays out on the digital front when your company blasts out that presser: Your name now is changing from Widgets to Cash Craving Extraordinaire. Whoo-hoo!!! You are done. Everyone is now aware of what you’ve secretly been plotting for months. Let the money roll in.doh

But in reality… D’oh! This is just the beginning of a process that can be very painful if you have not planned for it in advance and started the ball rolling.

Here is a list of major initiatives you should have considered first:

  1. Create a New Website Domain
    • Create new URLs for your site and landing page
    • Create new tracking codes
    • Update your inbound links
    • Update your Analytics & Webmaster tools
    • Rethink your keyword focus
    • Set-up appropriate redirects
    • Make annotations in your analytics the day of the switch
  2. Refresh Your Digital Content
    • Update your logo to match your new name
    • Update this logo on all PDFs, videos, white papers, spec sheets, success stories
    • Comb through your web content and appropriately update all copy with company name. Note: This is easier if you have created a new website for the rebrand.
    • Update your content to promote and describe any potential new offerings or target audiences
  3. Update Your Paid Advertising Campaigns
    • Implement all updated URLs
    • Create campaigns for new branded keywords
    • Make updates to the content on your landing pages
    • Revise your image ads for display and remarketing initiatives
  4. Email
    • Update the server your internal/business emails are sent from
      • Update the content in all your campaigns, including nurture tracks, newsletters, and promotional emails
    • Make appropriate changes to signatures and internal links
  5. Social / Offsite Properties
    • Update your company profiles. Note: You have to petition the various social networks that host your company profile (some have a very involved process)
    • Make sure that all your employees update any reference they have from you to your corporate mark
    • Update your blog and the content in old posts
    • Manage your existing directory listings to comply with the new URL and name
    • Work with any partners to make updates to their digital content where your old company mark and domain are referenced

While this may seem very daunting, it is a fact that updating your digital presence is just as necessary as your personal identity. Plus, name recognition is a powerful tool for many companies, so a name change shouldn’t be taken lightly. The key is to prepare in advance and map out all the digital properties and assets that need to be updated before you make the switch. That will allow your process to be much more manageable and smooth.

Changing your name is just one of many reasons to update your website—read 9 signs that it’s time for a new website and find out if your site is due for a refresh.

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You might also like Fathom’s essential guide to tradeshow marketing.

Michael Mazzone

About Michael Mazzone

Michael Mazzone is a Senior Account Executive at Fathom, specializing in technology-based lead generation campaigns. A graduate of Case Western Reserve's Weatherhead School of Business, Michael joined the Fathom team in 2006, bringing to the table a focus in entrepreneurial strategies and problem-solving skills. He has worked as the direct point of contact for Fathom on a number of accounts to include KeyBank, Vision Solutions, DoubleTake Software, Astute Solutions, mindSHIFT, Oppenheimer Funds, American Greetings, Eaton Corporation, Cleveland Clinic, Cub Cadet and Evenflo.As the main touch point, Michael provides cross-department coordination and strategies from SEO, conversion, online video, redesign projects, paid search and marketing initiatives like contests and product launches. Vital to measuring success for campaigns, he identifies ROI opportunities and implements measurement tactics. Follow Michael on Twitter @mmazzone29 or add him to your LinkedIn network.

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