When two businesses merge, a key consideration is how to combine their websites or create a new site that represents the unified entity. This process involves strategic planning, technical execution, and a clear understanding of your brand's identity. In this guide, we will explore the step-by-step process of creating or combining a website when merging businesses, ensuring a seamless transition that leaves a strong, unified digital footprint.
Table of Contents
- The Digital Aspect of Business Mergers
- The Assessment Phase
- Choosing the Right Approach
- Planning for the New Website
- Content Migration and Management
- Design and Development
- Quality Assurance and Testing
- Launching the New Website
- Post-Launch Consideration
The Digital Aspect of Business Mergers
What can you expect when digitally combining multiple businesses? There are aspects like digital marketing concerns, but let's cover the importance of a unified web presence.
The Importance of a Unified Web Presence
In today's digital age, a business's website is often the first point of contact with customers. When two businesses merge, the importance of a seamless and consistent web presence cannot be overstated. A disjointed online experience can confuse customers and negatively impact brand perception.
Want to create an entirely new website after merging your business with another? TruVISIBILITY can store all relevant files (from both previous businesses) on a secure online drive, all while you or your team create a free website with hosting. Check out TruVISIBILITY’s webpage templates to get inspired.
Goals and Objectives
Before diving into the technical aspects, it's crucial to establish clear goals and objectives for your merged web presence. What do you want to achieve with the new site? Is it about retaining existing customers, attracting new ones, or rebranding the business? Having a defined strategy will guide your decisions throughout the process.
The Assessment Phase
The assessment phase consists mostly of a team (or business owners) looking at both business websites. The goal in this step is to understand how each site functions independently in order to assess how they can merge cohesively.
Analyzing Existing Websites
Begin by conducting a thorough audit of the websites of both merging businesses. Document their structure, content, design, and functionality. This audit will help identify the strengths and weaknesses of each site.
Look for overlapping content and features. Identifying and eliminating redundancy is crucial for creating a streamlined website.
Clarifying Brand Positioning
Understand the post-merger brand identity. What values and attributes should the new website reflect? A clear brand positioning strategy will guide your design and content decisions.
Choosing the Right Approach
After the assessment phase, it's time to start planning how you will make a new site combining multiple business sites.
Creating a New Website
Creating a completely new website can be the best option if the merging businesses have vastly different web presences. This approach provides a fresh start and allows for a unified brand message.
Combining Existing Sites
If the merging businesses' websites are complementary or share common elements, combining them may be more efficient. However, this approach can be complex and may require significant effort in content and design harmonization.
In some cases, creating a subdomain for the merged business can be a viable option. This allows you to maintain separate web presences while linking them through a single domain.
Planning for the New Website
Now, let's review the strategies for planning how to create a sustainable website. This will include design strategy, picking a domain, and more.
Clearly define the objectives for the new website. What should it accomplish? These objectives will drive the rest of the planning and implementation process.
Selecting a CMS (Content Management System)
Choose a CMS that aligns with your website's objectives. Popular choices include WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. Ensure it supports your content management and scalability needs.
Domain and Hosting Considerations
Determine whether you'll use a new domain, an existing one, or a subdomain. Hosting decisions should also be made, considering scalability and security requirements.
Establishing Design Guidelines
Create design guidelines that dictate the website's look and feel. Consistency in design is essential for a unified brand image.
Setting up Website Teams
Assemble teams responsible for content creation, design, development, SEO, and quality assurance. Define roles, responsibilities, and timelines.
Content Migration and Management
The migration and management part of merging two or more business sites into one can be technical and time-consuming. But breaking down each part of this step will make it easier for you and your team.
Inventory of Existing Content
Compile an inventory of all content from both merging businesses' websites. This includes text, images, videos, and other media.
Prioritize content based on relevance, quality, and alignment with the new website's objectives.
Content Auditing and Cleanup
Review and edit content as needed to ensure a consistent tone and message. Eliminate outdated or redundant content.
Create a mapping of old URLs to new ones to ensure smooth redirection and minimize broken links.
Develop a comprehensive redirection strategy to ensure visitors arriving at the old website URLs are seamlessly redirected to the corresponding new pages.
Learn more about redirecting visitors from an old webpage to a new one in this article.
Design and Development
Designing and developing a website can take patience as you come up with a design (the fun part) and communicate your web design goals to the developers.
Design and User Experience (UX)
Design the website based on the established guidelines, keeping user experience in mind. Focus on responsive design for mobile and tablet users.
Development and Testing
Program and test the website's functionality, ensuring it aligns with your objectives. Test for compatibility across different browsers and devices.
Mobile optimization is crucial since an increasing number of users access websites via mobile devices. Ensure fast loading times and responsive design.
Integrating E-commerce and Data Systems
If your business involves e-commerce, integrate e-commerce platforms and ensure secure transactions. Connect any necessary data systems for seamless operation.
Optimize the website for search engines from the start. Conduct keyword research, optimize metadata, and set up a sitemap for easy indexing.
Quality Assurance and Testing
Before you launch your website, you should test every page and ensure the website works toward your new business goals and functions on your PC and mobile devices.
Conduct rigorous pre-launch testing to identify and fix any issues. This includes functionality testing, cross-browser testing, and security testing.
Involve real users in testing the website. Gather feedback on usability, navigation, and overall experience.
Accessibility and Performance Testing
Ensure your website complies with accessibility standards, making it usable by individuals with disabilities. Assess and optimize website performance for fast loading times.
Data Backup and Recovery Plans
Implement data backup and recovery plans to safeguard your website's information. Have strategies in place for data loss prevention.
Want to learn about the all-in-one digital suite TruVISIBILITY offers to smaller and growing businesses for free? Included in every app - even the chatbot and email messaging applications - have access to a secure online drive. Drive will ensure you never have to worry about disappearing templates, files, and website data.
Launching the New Website
Once you are ready to launch your new website, there are a few things to keep up with to ensure your website is gaining the visibility you want and is easily accessible to visitors.
Inform your audience about the launch of the new website. Create a communication plan to notify customers, partners, and other stakeholders.
Monitoring and Analytics
After the launch, closely monitor the website's performance using analytics tools. Track user behavior, conversion rates, and other relevant metrics.
Addressing Post-Launch Issues
Be prepared to address any issues that may arise post-launch, whether they are technical, user-related, or content-related. Timely solutions are crucial.
What else can you work on after you launch your website?
SEO Recovery and Improvement
Monitor the impact of the website migration on your SEO. Implement recovery strategies if needed and continue to improve your website's SEO over time.
User Feedback and Adjustments
Gather user feedback and make necessary adjustments to enhance the user experience.
Content Updates and Maintenance
Regularly update and maintain your website's content to keep it fresh and relevant. This can include A/B testing as well for certain landing pages or other apps you may want to integrate with your website, such as a chatbot or surveys.
Learn more about setting up landing pages on a business website here.
Creating or combining a website when merging businesses is a complex process that demands careful planning, technical expertise, and a clear understanding of your brand's identity. The successful merger of digital assets sets the stage for a strong, unified web presence that aligns with your business's objectives and values.
By following the steps outlined in this guide and maintaining a commitment to quality and consistency, you can ensure a seamless transition and a website that reflects the strength of your unified entity.
You can start building your new site for free. Combine two businesses together easily with our Sites app. You can use TruVISIBILITY's secure online Drive to store sensitive documents from both companies, add automated email to your site, and include a chatbot and landing page for your new site.
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