bfrazier

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Guiding a client going through a huge company rebrand, and I'm thinking we'll be able to keep their GMB but will obviously just need to change the actual business name and URL.
  • What is the best way to get this done, stay in Google's good graces, and not get suspended?
  • Do you have any tips for going through this process?
 

CarrieHill

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Google can be picky about this - sometimes, but it is completely dependent upon their "mood" at the time.

Is the rebrand a 100% departure from the current brand - or just a tweak on the existing name?
If it's a 100% departure when you change the name, be armed with photos of the change from old branding to new branding in place on signage, in the front entry, on business cards, etc - just in case. You might not have any issues at all, but having the ammunition could make the hiccup (if it comes) less painful.

Changing the URL shouldn't be too bad.

When you do make the changes, if you can do them a few days apart, you might have better chances of not incurring a suspension.
 

dmarks

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@CarrieHill - thanks for the insight. I am working on a similar scenario. In your experience, do citations help with this process. Would it make sense to build the citations to the new brand/url before doing the migration and 301 redirect? Also, any thoughts on whether approaching this from a suggested edit perspective would work. I think our largest concern is losing hundreds of Google reviews as the business name is changing. THANKS
 

CarrieHill

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@CarrieHill - thanks for the insight. I am working on a similar scenario. In your experience, do citations help with this process. Would it make sense to build the citations to the new brand/url before doing the migration and 301 redirect? Also, any thoughts on whether approaching this from a suggested edit perspective would work. I think our largest concern is losing hundreds of Google reviews as the business name is changing. THANKS
I think if you can get the more important citation sources updated as you rebrand - ie Bing Local, Yellowpages, apple maps, and the aggregators (I recommend @whitespark for this)- it might help google understand the signals - it could also royally confused them :insert shrug:

I don't think doing them BEFORE will help - in fact, it might make a bigger mess because until you do the change at Google, they'll be picking up a bunch of mis-matches.

It also helps to put have a blurb like "We rebranded "x" to "y" as of month day, year" somewhere on your "about" page - make sure the Sec of State is updated as well. If they have professional designations like doctors or lawyers - the NPI or state bar is an important spot.
 

dmarks

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I think if you can get the more important citation sources updated as you rebrand - ie Bing Local, Yellowpages, apple maps, and the aggregators (I recommend @whitespark for this)- it might help google understand the signals - it could also royally confused them :insert shrug:

I don't think doing them BEFORE will help - in fact, it might make a bigger mess because until you do the change at Google, they'll be picking up a bunch of mis-matches.

It also helps to put have a blurb like "We rebranded "x" to "y" as of month day, year" somewhere on your "about" page - make sure the Sec of State is updated as well. If they have professional designations like doctors or lawyers - the NPI or state bar is an important spot.
Thanks, in your experience, is it better to wait for everything to be migrated at one time and does using the Google search console change of url matter for signals to the GMB versus just doing redirects? THANKS
 

CarrieHill

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I don't really know if there's a difference between doing redirects or using GSC - GSC gives google the clue faster, I'd imagine.
 

bfrazier

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Google can be picky about this - sometimes, but it is completely dependent upon their "mood" at the time.

Is the rebrand a 100% departure from the current brand - or just a tweak on the existing name?
If it's a 100% departure when you change the name, be armed with photos of the change from old branding to new branding in place on signage, in the front entry, on business cards, etc - just in case. You might not have any issues at all, but having the ammunition could make the hiccup (if it comes) less painful.

Changing the URL shouldn't be too bad.

When you do make the changes, if you can do them a few days apart, you might have better chances of not incurring a suspension.
Hi Carrie! Thanks so much for your feedback! The rebrand is a 100% departure from the current brand. Totally new name, new logo, new colors. BUT... that's it. everything else is the same. Same services, same employees, same clients, same address.
 

CarrieHill

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@JoyHawkins or @Colan Nielsen - do you have any tips from the GMB side to try to avoid hassle with this rebrand & GMB listing?

I've not done one like this.
 

JoyHawkins

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You should be able to keep the same listing. This is the checklist I follow for rebranding (note to self: I need to get this added to our blog).

  1. Update website first.
    1. The logo needs to reflect the new name. Often logos include taglines. If you want it to be clear that something is a part of your business name, don’t put it on a second line.
    2. Any place that references your business name (About Us page etc)
  2. Update the Site name inside WordPress or whatever CMS you use.
  3. Update your domain registry.
  4. Update business license with the Secretary of State and other places you have licenses listed.
    1. If in healthcare: Update the NPI Record: NPPES NPI Registry
    2. If in legal: Update the state bar website
  5. Update major data providers. (I suggest hiring Whitespark for this if you don’t build your own citations.)
  6. Update Google My Business.
  7. List your new name on your website on the contact & about page clarifying that you rebranded “Old Name is now called New Name as of June 2018”…
  8. Optional: Send out a press release announcing the name change.
 

bfrazier

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You should be able to keep the same listing. This is the checklist I follow for rebranding (note to self: I need to get this added to our blog).

  1. Update website first.
    1. The logo needs to reflect the new name. Often logos include taglines. If you want it to be clear that something is a part of your business name, don’t put it on a second line.
    2. Any place that references your business name (About Us page etc)
  2. Update the Site name inside WordPress or whatever CMS you use.
  3. Update your domain registry.
  4. Update business license with the Secretary of State and other places you have licenses listed.
    1. If in healthcare: Update the NPI Record: NPPES NPI Registry
    2. If in legal: Update the state bar website
  5. Update major data providers. (I suggest hiring Whitespark for this if you don’t build your own citations.)
  6. Update Google My Business.
  7. List your new name on your website on the contact & about page clarifying that you rebranded “Old Name is now called New Name as of June 2018”…
  8. Optional: Send out a press release announcing the name change.
@JoyHawkins @CarrieHill Big thanks to you both for your feedback. This is very helpful!
 
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