Level Access – Case Study


Key Takeaways

  • Level Access and eSSENTIAL Accessibility needed to merge their sites, without sacrificing the domain authority or search presence of either.
  • To do this, a sound merge strategy would need to be set in place that would cleanly prune, move, and redirect content.
  • Arranging the correct redirects was crucial to the success of the merge.

eSSENTIAL Accessibility (EA) and Level Access shared a similar goal: bring digital accessibility solutions to the web. Specifically, both Accessibility-as-a-Service companies identified areas for improvement on sites ranging from banking to eCommerce, while providing actionable solutions for their clients to ensure that their sites are usable for everyone. 

Having got its start in 1997 from a group of engineers with disabilities, Level Access has existed since before the laws and standards that govern digital accessibility, like Section 508 and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), were even in place. eSSENTIAL Accessibility itself was founded in 2014 in Toronto, CA, with a similar, noble goal: bring the principles of accessibility and ADA compliance to sites across the web. 

Filling those shoes through the merger would ensure that their website was usable and worth ranking high in SERPs. 

The challenge 

Merging companies is challenging in all channels, both internal and external. In the online marketing channel, a website merger is monumental, to say the least. EA was Redefine Marketing Group’s client already, and had worked with us to gain a formidable presence in organic search. A poorly handled merger with Level Access could potentially wash all of that progress away, leaving that newly merged site stuck at square one. 

Redefine’s solutions 

It was all hands on deck to preserve that precious domain authority and search presence when it came time to make an action plan for a website consolidation strategy. 

Nailing migration basics 

The first steps involved us, and the client, understanding the basics of merging and migration from an SEO standpoint. The proper redirect strategy and ability to manipulate DNS settings from one website to another were crucial. Additionally, we’d need to submit an address change to Google Search Console. Accessing Google’s Webmaster Tools and registering, verifying, and successfully submitting a sitemap to the search engine to notify a change of indexing would also require a careful, exacting approach. 

The importance of these steps must be recognized: fumbling any technical SEO aspects could easily undo any additional work that might have been done to preserve an online presence.  

Focus on analytics 

Migrating the website was a numbers game. When comparing the two sites, we would need to identify what was working on each, and what wasn’t. A data-deep dive that picked apart both eSSENTIAL Accessibility and Level Access’s domain authority, search presence, and GA4 statistics would help shape all of our content and on-page SEO decisions going forward. 

A robust gameplan 

Redefine Marketing Group worked carefully with Level Access and EA to build a migration roadmap that would work with the newly combined Level Access team and maintain the authority and organic search presence that both sites carried, without sacrificing technical SEO or backlink profiles. 

We laid out a few options for Level Access. Our first choice would be to temporarily sunset Level Access’s site, and create a sort of ‘working version’ of eA’s WordPress. That ‘working copy’ would take the brunt of all eA and Level Access content. Once everything was arranged on this staging end, Redefine’s content and SEO teams would carefully review the overall site. From there, staging would move to production, and the redirect process would begin once it was decided which pages would be pruned – more on that below. 

Our second option avoided the ‘sunset’ approach in favor of creating an entirely new merged website when everything was executed. As with option one, careful review would decide what would stay and what would go. Upon making these critical choices, the new website would be pushed forward into the actual production aspects of merging the site. Removing the 302 redirects from the back ends of both Level Access and eSSENTIAL Accessibility would signal the official start of the domain migration. 

Finally, we toyed with the idea of migrating all retained content from a legacy Level Access site to the staged eSSENTIAL Accessibility page. A new home page would be built out, and as with the other options, arranging those redirects would be crucial. 

After meetings and collaborative discussions, we settled on option one. This would give us more control over what went where, and what the public saw when they accessed the site while the migration was still underway. 


No matter where you look when merging two websites, the word you’ll inevitably come across is “redirect.” Understanding the fundamentals of redirection best practices is the foundation of a proper website merger strategy. 

When combining two sites with such a similar niche – in this case, eA and Level Access’ shared emphasis on digital accessibility – you will inevitably come across at least a few, if not a great many, pages and blog posts that serve the same purpose. Both had articles about the importance of accessibility in e-commerce, about color palettes that are more friendly to colorblind users, and much more. 

This is where a keen eye for content pruning proved very helpful. First, both sites would be pruned for poor-performing, thin, or outdated content that no longer served a valuable purpose to either site. Second, blogs that risked keyword cannibalization were identified. Keyword cannibalization refers to the search-engine-tanking issue of multiple pages on a site targeting the same keyword. 

The result 

So, did all the effort of managing over 1,600 pages pay off? We’d say so: not only did we not lose any traffic, but after the merge, the Level Access site saw a 55% increase in overall traffic. This included ten new branded keyword rankings and an 11% uptick in organic keyword rankings. 

Increase in
Branded KWRankingsOrganic KW

All of these statistics reflect the site post-migration. 

Level Access: Accessing new SEO heights 

The now-merged Level Access continues to work with Redefine Marketing Group to this day. We proudly keep a trained eye on their content, keyword performance, and technical SEO to ensure that the hard work put in from both sides is not put to waste. 

We feel that this quote from Level Access says it best: 

“During a recent website relaunch as the result of a merger, RMG was our right hand to ensure our launch was a success in terms of maintaining and improving site and SEO health while also helping us organize and execute a large content migration.” 

– Rachel Pagliarini, Senior Manager of Website Marketing at Level Access 

Mergers are best done together 

As we’ve mentioned before, a merger is nothing to take lightly in the world of digital marketing. If you foresee a significant merger on the horizon, don’t leave your redirects and content management to chance. Invest in a team that can see you through the process with a comprehensive, actionable approach with proven results. 

Contact the team at Redefine Marketing Group today to learn how we can make your website merger a success – and keep supporting you beyond the merge to maximize your organic growth through a holistic SEO approach. 

Author avatar
Victor Lopez
Victor is an SEO specialist for Redefine Marketing Group. Victor's primary focus within his role at Redefine is technical SEO. He's also a Cal Poly Pomona alum with a Business Administration degree in E-commerce and minor Marketing.
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