You finally got that website address you wanted! Should you rebrand everything? Here is a four step system to update your brand.
Many of us started out on the Internet with a website. Few got that easy dot com name we wanted. We appended “books” on the end of it, added a dash, or accepted a dot net, dot org, or dot us extension, just to get something up there.
Now that you’ve had time to think about it, you may have found that practically perfect web address and wonder if it’s worth rebranding. If you’re smart, you’ve shared that old address all over the place. It’s on all your social profiles, in every book you’ve printed and perhaps even connected to an email address.
Is rebranding worth the hassle?
It’s OK and even smart to rebrand when you get a web address that better describes you, is easier for others to remember and is simpler to share, verbally. “Find us at Ramirez and Clark dot com,” is super easy for someone to commit to short term memory. “We’re at Ramirez dash Clark dot store,” not so much.
If you decide to rebrand, think about how the big companies do it: Slowly and over a long time.
Step 1: Update your website to reflect the new address. Put it in every bio and profile. Share the news. “I have a new web address! It’s cooler and easier to remember. And here it is…”
Step 2: BUT, still have the old address point to your same website. For better or worse, you have worked hard to create a fan base that has saved your first brand location to bookmarks and mind. This is an easy thing to do with most registrars (the people you bought the address from). It’s usually offered up as a option to point that old address to a new address. People who have the old address on file will still be able to find you.
Step 3: If you’re an indie or can update manuscripts, change all references in your books from the old address to the new address. Yeah, it’s a pain. But it’s worth it. Every new sale you make will bind the reader to the brand you are now showcasing. It’s relatively easy to do at KDP, harder elsewhere, where old-school printing practices and change fees abound.
Step 3: Renew the old address for at least another year, while promoting the new address. Minimize any reference to the old one. Forget it existed. Over time, people will fully associate you with the new brand icon. The annual cost to renew isn’t a budget breaker. We have friends who are still forwarding outdated addresses to their better brands after five years.
Step 4: Update that website! Search engines are constantly indexing and updating. Give your site a facelift in concert with your new address. If you have decided that blogging is part of your game plan, be prolific there, too. Every change alerts the Googles of the world and updated content, done right, can strengthen your Search Engine Optimization; the likelihood that your name will appear near the top of the search results. Search engines also spider social media, so use that new address often on every platform you frequent.
The best web address is something your fans can easily remember or deduce. ESPN.com, Disney.com, RamirezAndClark.com are all names searchers are likely to try, even if they don’t know for sure if it’s the official location of the brand. Use care in selecting one that your readers can easily discover. And if you find one after you have established a web outpost, it’s ok to migrate. Just make sure you give your fan base time to adjust and re-associate.
Need a fresh website? We can help.