Businesses often find themselves at the crossroads of growth and change, sometimes this can be as part of a company merger or acquisition, leading them to consider the option of merging websites.

A website merger can be a strategic move, offering various benefits such as enhanced efficiency, less staff to manage the sites, expanded market presence, and improved user experience.

However, website mergers come with a set of challenges, particularly in terms of web traffic and SEO and there are real risks to losing your website’s organic traffic and SEO rankings if not planned properly.

Why Do Website Mergers Happen?

There can be several reasons behind website mergers, for example:

  • Strategic Growth: Companies often merge websites as part of a strategic growth plan. This could involve expanding into new markets, acquiring complementary businesses, or consolidating resources for a more competitive edge in their target market.
  • Brand Consolidation: When businesses have multiple websites with overlapping content or targeting similar audiences, merging them can create a unified brand presence and messaging.
  • Rebranding and Repositioning: A merger can serve as a catalyst for rebranding and repositioning in the market. This may include a change in company focus, target audience, or overall brand image. It may be that a website rebuild was long overdue, and a company merger or shift in the market offering leads to the perfect time to do this.
  • Efficiency and Cost Savings: Combining websites can lead to internal operational efficiency and cost savings within the company. This is particularly relevant for larger organisations managing multiple websites that may overlap in content, services, or target audience.
  • Streamlining Product/Service Offerings: Mergers allow businesses to streamline their product or service offerings, eliminating redundancies and presenting a more cohesive and streamlined brand image.
  • Improved User Experience: A single website can provide a more cohesive and user-friendly experience, eliminating the need for users to navigate between multiple sites for different purposes.
  • Global Expansion: Merging international websites can create a more consistent brand experience and facilitate global marketing campaigns.

Advantages of Merging Websites

While website mergers come with many challenges, especially for SEO, they offer several advantages, especially when executed as part of a well-thought-out digital marketing strategy:

  • Enhanced Brand Image: A unified website can, over time, strengthen brand recognition and establish a more consistent brand identity.
  • Consolidated Authority: Merging websites can consolidate domain authority, combining the strength of multiple websites into one authoritative domain. This can positively impact search engine rankings. Indeed if one of the sites has a low domain authority (DA), or high spam score, it may be a good time to park this one and focus on the higher DA website.
  • Improved User Experience: A well-executed website merger and rebuild may also allow the web design team to enhance the user experience (UX), with a unified and seamless interface that enhances navigation and accessibility.
  • Enhanced SEO Opportunities: Merged websites provide an opportunity to optimise content, meta tags, and other SEO elements, aligning them with best practices and current search engine algorithms, which may or may not have been present or correct in either of the pre-merged sites.
  • Streamlined Content Management: Managing content becomes more straightforward when dealing with a single website. This allows for better content organisation, more effective keyword targeting, and improved overall content quality.
  • Reduced Costs: Maintaining a single website can be more cost-effective than managing multiple sites.

Disadvantages of Merging Websites

While the advantages are enticing, it’s crucial to acknowledge the potential disadvantages of website mergers, particularly in terms of web traffic and SEO. Understanding these challenges is key to mitigating risks effectively:

  • Drop in Website Traffic: It’s common for a website merger to result in a temporary drop in traffic as search engines adjust to the changes. This can be unsettling, but proper planning can minimise the impact.
  • Content Consolidation: Merging content may require careful curation and optimization to avoid duplication and maintain quality.
  • Potential for SEO Issues: Merging websites may introduce SEO challenges, such as broken links, duplicate content, or inconsistent metadata. Planning for, and addressing these issues during the content merge or migration is crucial to maintaining SEO health.
  • User Confusion: Users may experience confusion during and after the merger, especially if the new website’s structure or the design and content differ significantly from the original sites. Clear communication before, and during the migration and simple user guidance may be essential.
  • Loss of Backlinks: Consolidating websites may lead to the loss of some backlinks. A well-thought-out redirect strategy can mitigate this risk, but it’s essential to be prepared for potential setbacks, and again this can lead to a traffic reduction, as well as a potential reduction in domain authority.
  • Technical Challenges: Integrating multiple websites into a single platform can present technical complexities, not just SEO, but for example, a website may have multiple subdomains for features, or integration, that need to be considered and carefully planned as part of the merge.

Pitfalls and Steps to Ensure a Smooth Transition

To ensure a smooth transition during a website merger and minimise the risk of losing web traffic, businesses should follow a comprehensive set of steps:

  1. Thorough Pre-Merger Analysis:
    • Conduct a detailed audit of both websites to identify overlapping content, potential SEO issues, and technical considerations.
    • Analyse the backlink profiles of each site to understand the impact on overall link equity.
    • Consider merging content from a weaker domain into a stronger, one rather than building a new domain from scratch
  2. Content Mapping and Optimisation:
    • Develop a content mapping strategy to align similar content from both sites.
    • Optimise content for relevant keywords and ensure consistency in messaging.
  3. 301 Redirects and URL Mapping:
    • Implement 301 redirects for all pages and posts on the old sites to their corresponding pages or posts on the new site.
    • Create a comprehensive URL mapping document to ensure no pages are overlooked during the redirection process.
  4. Technical SEO Considerations:
    • Address technical SEO issues such as broken links, crawl errors, and duplicate content.
    • Update XML sitemaps and robots.txt files to reflect the new site structure.
  5. Communication and User Guidance:
    • Communicate the merger to users through various channels, including on-site announcements, email newsletters, and social media.
    • Provide clear guidance on navigating the new website and accessing previously bookmarked or linked content.
  6. Monitoring and Iterative Optimisation:
    • Monitor website performance post-merger using analytics tools.
    • Continuously optimise based on user feedback, search engine rankings, and overall site health.

Enhancing Overall Traffic Post-Merger

Successfully navigating a website merger doesn’t end with the technical aspects.  To enhance overall traffic post-merger and ensure the new site eventually outperforms its predecessors, consider the following strategies:

  • Quality Content Creation:
    • Invest in creating high-quality, relevant, and engaging content that resonates with the target audience.
    • Regularly update and refresh content to maintain relevance and appeal.
  • User Experience Optimisation:
    • Continuously optimise the user experience by refining navigation, improving site speed, and ensuring mobile responsiveness.
    • Implement user feedback mechanisms to identify areas for improvement.
  • Community Building and Engagement:
    • Foster a sense of community around the brand through social media, forums, and other interactive platforms.
    • Encourage user-generated content and engagement to build brand loyalty.
  • Strategic Link Building:
    • Actively pursue strategic link-building opportunities to strengthen the new site’s authority.
    • Leverage partnerships, outreach, guest posting, and other ethical link-building tactics.
  • Utilising SEO Tools:
    • Leverage SEO tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMrush, Moz or UberSuggest to track performance, identify issues, and refine strategies.

Helpful Tools for Website Mergers

Several tools can facilitate the website merger process and ensure a smooth transition, some examples of these are:

  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider: Crawls websites to identify potential issues, such as broken links or missing redirects.
  • Google Search Console: A free tool provided by Google that offers valuable insights into website traffic, search engine rankings, and potential issues.
  • Google Analytics: A powerful analytics platform that provides comprehensive data on website traffic, user behaviour, and marketing campaign performance.
  • Content Management Systems (CMS): CMS platforms like WordPress offer plugins and tools for content migration and URL management.
  • Hotjar: A user experience analytics platform that provides heatmaps, session recordings, and user feedback to understand user behaviour and optimize the website.
  • Project Management Tools: Tools like Trello, Asana, MS Planner or Basecamp can help manage tasks, deadlines, and communication throughout the website merger project.

Paid Advertising Strategies for Boosting Traffic

Paid advertising can be a valuable component of a post-merger traffic-building strategy. There is circumstantial evidence to suggest that boosting traffic from paid ads can also help to aid organic traffic, brand awareness and overall user engagement. Here are some effective paid advertising strategies:

  1. PPC Campaigns:
    • Launch targeted Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns to drive immediate traffic to the new site.
    • Utilise ad extensions and compelling ad copy to enhance visibility and click-through rates.
  2. Social Media Advertising:
    • Invest in social media advertising to reach a broader audience and re-engage existing followers.
    • Leverage advanced targeting options on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
  3. Display Advertising:
    • Implement display advertising if relevant to your website to increase brand visibility.
    • Design visually appealing ads that align with the new brand image.
  4. Shopping Ads:
    • Implement product-based shopping ads on platforms like Google Shopping, Facebook and Instagram.
    • Leverage audience targeting to put the visibility of your products into the hands of your ideal customers.
  5. Retargeting Campaigns:
    • Set up retargeting campaigns to reach users who visited the previous websites but did not convert.
    • Customise ad creatives to address concerns or questions users may have post-merger.
  6. Email Marketing Campaigns:
    • Launch targeted email marketing campaigns to existing subscribers, notifying them of the merger and offering exclusive promotions.
    • Use email to drive traffic to specific landing pages or promotions on the new site.

Rebuilding Brand Awareness

In addition to paid advertising, consider these strategies to re-build brand awareness following a website merger:

  • Inform existing customers: Notify existing customers about the website merger through email, social media, and website announcements.
  • Engage with industry influencers: Partner with industry influencers to promote your new website and reach a wider audience.
  • Create branded content: Develop high-quality, branded content, such as blog posts, infographics, and videos, to establish thought leadership and drive traffic to your website.
  • Participate in industry events: Attend industry conferences and events to network with potential customers and promote your new website.
  • Utilise public relations: Leverage public relations efforts to generate positive media coverage and enhance brand visibility.

By combining a strategic website merger approach with effective paid advertising and brand awareness strategies, businesses can successfully consolidate their online presence, enhance user experience, and achieve their digital marketing goals.

Plan Your Site Merger

Website mergers, while complex, can be a necessary transformative strategy for businesses seeking growth, efficiency, and a stronger online presence. Proper planning to help navigate the challenges associated with web traffic and SEO during a merger is essential as is ongoing optimisation following the site merge.

By understanding the advantages and disadvantages, addressing potential pitfalls, and implementing strategic steps, businesses can emerge from the merger with a more powerful and cohesive online presence.

Remember, the journey doesn’t end with the merger. Continuous efforts to enhance user experience, create valuable content, and leverage paid advertising will contribute to sustained traffic growth and increased brand visibility. By staying vigilant, adapting to user feedback, and embracing emerging digital trends, businesses can usually recover from the temporary setbacks of a merger.


Merging websites can seem like an obvious thing to do, especially when companies or brands are merging, and it can be a great way to show the world the new face of the merged or acquired company, but you need to plan and consider the advantages and disadvantages of doing this, especially when it comes to your SEO, organic rankings and web traffic.

Wiser IT can assess your situation and work with you to establish the best way for your website merger to be completed to maintain your business website SEO both during and after a rebrand, cleaning up SEO issues and strengthening the foundations of your online presence at the same time.  If you need a helping hand with this just give us a call.

Looking for an SEO or PPC consultant to help your business websites merge? Call Wiser IT today on 07941 783434 or fill in the contact form


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