How Refinitiv smashed its SEO target during domain migration

Changing its name and launching a new website presented Refinitiv with a tough SEO challenge, but after generating 20 million links in one year, it was a challenge the brand met head on.

Refinitiv, formerly known as Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk, set a tough SEO challenge for its search marketing team: to migrate to a new domain from a successful one that had generated three years of strong growth, while continuing to improve SEO performance globally.

The brand provides information, insights and technology to global companies. With a new name and a new investor Blackstone Private Equity looking for quick returns, Refinitiv was expected to compete with longer-established rivals such as Bloomberg.

This expectation became more urgent when the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) agreed with Blackstone to buy Refinitiv for $27bn. The company’s new domain name was completely unknown to search engines.

Refintiv’s digital performance director James Rowland led a strategy to leverage historically powerful product brands that were owned by Refinitiv, such as World Check and Eikon, that continued to generate traffic and links.

At the same time, the company focused on generic terms to offer a more customer-focused experience. This was in contrast to its former brand-heavy website.

It also developed a united digital ecosystem, instead of the dozens of legacy websites that had split the online equity of Thomson Reuters F&R.

Although it operates in 190 countries, Refinitiv also took the decision to focus on four core languages. And it created new types of data-focused content to help boost its market-leading data in videos, podcasts and special reports.

At the beginning of 2019, Refinitiv set out on its journey, devising a detailed SEO strategy, getting stakeholder buy-in, and starting the implementation process of SEO migration – in a project called SEM-antics – which needed to take place at unprecedented scale and speed.

Measuring the effectiveness of the project involves large numbers. Refinitiv generated more than 20 million links within one year, grew into a global, revenue-generating website and paved the way for future development.

The Marketing Week Masters judges were suitably impressed, calling the project an “exceptional entry,” and “a brilliant example of a successful domain migration”, leading it to be crowned the winner in the search marketing category.


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