Some steps to relocate
If you plan to relocate your business there are many steps involved in the project, including your online visibility. The comments below apply just as much to a multi-location business that moves the location of one of its branches. Think about the process that you would currently go through which include things like:-
- New signs
- New letterheads (or letterhead templates)
- Update the Royal Mail database if in the UK
- Updated address details on paper advertisements
- Updated address details on your website
- Notify contacts on your database
Everyone thinks of these steps because they are obvious and would be quickly spotted internally if not changed. Externally, however, the above changes have very little effect. The results of a local search will still show the old Name, Address, Phone (NAP) until they are updated. Countless businesses forget about this and, over time, add themselves to the same local listings all over again. This results in duplicate listings and confusion both with search engines and with potential customers.
The less obvious thing to amend when you relocate is your citations which are the mentions of your NAP on other websites and directories. These are often overlooked because they are not monitored; they are sometimes difficult to find; or because there is no record of the usernames and passwords required to edit them.
Google My Business is still the main listing to update when you relocate. All businesses should have claimed their existing GMB listing and have access to the dashboard. It is important to update any changes to your NAP and this could involve verification with Google all over again. You should not be put off by directories that require verification as they will have the highest authority and be the best places to be listed.
As for the other listings, looking for citations manually is a very time-consuming exercise. It can be done by a series of online searches, then following the links into the directories to see your NAP. It is, therefore, quicker and easier to use a tool to undertake the search and consistency checks if a monitoring system is not already employed.
As mentioned earlier, each directory will have its own update and verification process for when you relocate. Some require a username and password for self-service (e.g. Bing Places or Facebook) and others may require an email from the business owner. Some will only amend their records when they have seen them amended elsewhere online. A Local SEO consultant will be able to guide you.
The online updating process can take a long time in the case of some directories. It is worth starting the process sooner than later when you relocate your business.
We work with your website designer to improve your ability to be found in Google and other search engines. Also, to look good wherever you may appear online. We specialise in local SEO and most of our work is off-site. But there may need to be some on-site work undertaken by your webmaster to complement what we do. If you would be interested in finding out more, please use the Contact Form on our website.