In today’s climate of health care mergers and acquisitions, we are often asked how, from an SEO perspective, how should the acquiring medical group or hospital go about a rebrand and not lose current search engine rank.
There are a lot of things to consider when it’s time to deal with the details related to rebranding.
1. Choose the right domain name
Choosing the right domain name isn’t always an easy thing to do. Not only do you need to consider if the new domain name is available, but you also need to consider how changing your domain name will impact your website and it’s applications, social media profiles, directory listings and overall SEO.
If possible, be sure to consider a domain name that will add value for SEO. For example, adding a local or geographical term in your domain name will help drive organic traffic to your new site for those who search for local providers.
Finally, make sure that your digital marketing team is involved from the beginning to guide and oversee this process.
2. Don’t lose domain authority
As you develop your new rebranded website, don’t lose all of the great domain authority your previous site has gained with search engines over the years.
Your website developer should map all old URLs to similar pages on your new site. This is called a 301 redirect. Once your new site is launched, test to ensure that old pages are redirecting properly.
3. Update your social profiles
Not all social media properties are simple to update. Every site is different in how it allows you to update your social profile’s ID or company name.
For example, Facebook allows you to change your page name and reserved URL one time. If you are merging two or more practices, there isn’t a good way to merge separate profiles together. We recommend keeping the Facebook page with most likes and then rebranding that page to the new practice name. From there, redirect followers from your other page(s) to the one you decide to keep.
Don’t forget to also update Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google + accounts. For some sites that may mean activating a new account all together. For others, it’s changing the company page URL. This can be a detailed process. Be sure to seek help from your online marketing team to ensure that the best approach is taken.
4. Update your online directory listings
Online profiles and directory listings are common place today. In fact, these directory sites often come up first in local search results.
Typically, directory profiles reflect address, phone and website information for physicians listed. Updating them for all your physicians is important to ensure that potential patients are not referencing incorrect information or being directed to a previous group or competitor.
Google + Local is also a directory. Don’t neglect to update all location listing information for any acquired groups.
5. Update authorship
Your old website may have established an authorship connection – essentially a handshake between your website’s blog and an author’s Google + profile. Once your domain name changes, if the author doesn’t update their “contributor to ” link on his or her Google + profile, then the authorship may break.
Once you update your new website/URL, ensure that each author updates their “contributor to” links in their Google + profile pages.
Following these steps will help you manage your online integration process due to a merger rebrand.
Is your organization migrating through a rebrand due to a recent merger and or acquisition? Please contact us to learn how we can help.