What happens to your web traffic when you change your company name?
The decision to change your brand should never be taken lightly. Underestimating how it can affect your online traffic—can be devastating.
Brand Narrative: Why change your name?
SpectorSoft, a security software firm, underwent a huge shift from the consumer market to business customers. Their decision to change their name signified a change in their focus toward B2B, corporate and enterprise clients. That’s a great reason to change your brand. While we can expect excitement over a new name, we have to consider the implications; Pros and Cons.
What’s in a Name?
SpectorSoft has been in business for over 20 years. There’s something to be said for longevity. They developed a serious trust—in a space that requires serious trust. For them, cutting ties to the consumer client in favor of a booming corporate business made sense.
They felt their old name, “Spector” tied them to black ops and ghosts in the machine. In the consumer world there can be a negative connotation, especially if you’re on the receiving end of computer surveillance. Spyware is a controversial marketplace, and “Spector” brings to mind the image of an oppressive Federal agency or Big Brother is watching.
Their new brand however, would change that perception, and their corporate image.
Can you explain the new brand?
What message does the new brand convey? Their new name, Veriato, is fresh and sounds like a modern tech startup. It comes from the Latin, veritas, meaning truth. In common Italian parlance, often adding -ato at the end of a word, denotes a place. Veriato can be loosely understood to mean a “Place of, or for, Truth”. Noble intentions and a strong narrative for their new name.
Media bombards us with daily revelations about information leaks and a growing cast of characters from Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Wikileaks and Anonymous—to former FBI Director James Comey and fears of the “deep state”. Scandal drives the news cycle and fear powers the security market.
In this environment, Veriato sees themselves as guardians. Their role is to protect the corporation from intrusion and internal leaks. They safeguard sensitive information and a company’s intellectual property—its IP.
Their software increases productivity among employees and keeps them moving in the right direction. Their new product, RansomSafe, provides detection, backup and recovery to shield their clients from Ransomware, a booming threat on the horizon. While a staffer who likes to browse YouTube during work hours might not appreciate their employee monitoring software, the C Suite and management surely does. In the business space, Veriato certainly provides a needed service, and allows each company to set their own limits. You decide what constitutes bad behavior, and you manage your company’s own culture.
Cause and Effect
Changing your name should be a great opportunity for positive change and generate some media buzz in the process. But, could there be unseen consequences?
As we looked at analytics data, we immediately saw a huge problem. If most of SpectorSoft’s search traffic and recognition came from their name, then what would happen when they changed their domain? The lion’s share of their traffic, which is considerable, was branded.
Google divides keywords in their Paid Search and Quality Scoring as branded and non-branded. If you’re Tesla, the keywords, “Tesla Model X”, is a branded phrase. While “electric luxury car” is non-branded.
What that meant for SpectorSoft was—that changing to their new brand name would (not could) seriously diminish traffic to their site, for the short term. For a software company, digital drives sales—and had they proceeded, it would have hurt. Problem identified, we worked with Veriato on a strategy to minimize the hit their traffic was about to take.
How do you transition?
To address the issue, we performed a deep audit of their site. We created a big picture view of who visits, what pages, and how often. Keywords and phrases, managing tags, and an in-depth look at campaigns all played a major role. And knowing historic sales patterns, we wanted to know the best time to make the switch.
To lessen the blow, we slowed down their roll-out and began a communications campaign. We spoke to their customers first to let them know we were in the process of changing our name. Then we helped craft press releases and news articles for the site to distribute to partners and media.
Because “SpectorSoft” was part of our branded keywords, we added the old name to our content. When we announced the change was coming, we mentioned “Veriato, formerly SpectorSoft” prominently, creating a temporary bridge to connect both names. And then we worked to replace it with the new brand. When the switch was made, customers knew it was coming. As we slowed the transition, we gave search engines time to process and understand that both sites were ours, and that we were moving from old to new.
All said and done, Veriato slowed their pace for their name change, yet communicated it to their customers and prospects. Understanding the impact of changes to your digital properties can be a life saver. Instead of a six-month battle to regain lost market share and sales—we helped communicate the change and saved the day for this amazing software company.
Longbow is a boutique marketing agency, focused on digital since 1994. Brand, content and digital experts, we provide serious expertise to augment your marketing department.
For more information on us, visit longbow.net.
Veriato, formerly known as SpectorSoft, is a software company that develops and sells user behavior analytics and employee monitoring software. They are based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Visit Veriato at https://www.veriato.com/solutions