Everything You Need to Do Online When You Move Business Locations
One of the biggest mistakes companies can make is to move locations with no concern for their online presence. While you may be anxious to get settled into your new space and would rather worry about the rest later, it’s wise to spend some time before your move making a few online changes.
When you finally get moved into your new location, you’re going to want some local SEO in place so your customers know you’ve moved. That way you can hit the ground running. The best way to make this happen: prepare.
Online Checklist When Moving Physical Locations (By Category)
The easiest way to remember everything you need to do online when you move is to break it up by category. Use the checklist below to start delegating tasks. Make sure you get everything done before you start packing and unpacking. It may seem like a long list, but all the updates are minor. It should take less than one week to make them all.
SEO and Paid Search
- Change your physical address and information on all your local accounts. This is the number one thing you need to do when moving physical locations. Visit your Google+ Business page, Bing Local, Yahoo Local, and any other search engines where you have an account, and make the address (and phone number if needed) change immediately. (Make this change on Google by clicking the “Edit” button on your main Google My Business page.)
- Update any directory listings and other online citations. Popular directories include AllTop, Business.com, the Yellow Pages, and any niche directories where you may have submitted a link. “Other online citations” refers to any other time your website has been mentioned on the web. Use a tool like Yext to discover all the places your address may be mentioned.
- Make sure your Maps are changed. This should change when you update your search engine local accounts, but it’s always smart to check a few days after you’ve made changes. If the Map hasn’t changed, go back and ensure you made changes correctly. MapQuest is another good third-party mapping site to check.
- Update any ad campaigns. This is pretty self-explanatory, but make sure you do a quick run-through of all your ad campaigns. Nothing should be location specific; otherwise it may get confusing for readers and search engine robots.
- Check any business data providers’ information. This includes websites like Wikidata and Wikipedia, Freebase, and Acxiom. Because your company likely didn’t set up these accounts, this step is often overlooked; however, this is considered a citation online. Everything needs to be uniform on these web pages as well.
- Update your information with any industry and member organizations you belong to. This includes the Chamber of Commerce, local papers, networking groups, and professional organizations. Find out where you’ve been mentioned or where you have partnerships, and send a quick email to let them know your company is moving. If you can get an announcement in your local paper, even better.
- Change your address on all of your social accounts. While this is pretty self-explanatory, the main thing to remember is to find all of your accounts—not just the ones you use most. If you don’t, this may come back to haunt you, since Google is likely going to use social signals as ranking factors in the future.
- Update all review and rating sites, such as Yelp. Other sites include CitySearch, TripAdvisor, and Angie’s List.
- Consider making an announcement about your move on social media. This will help spread the word of your move. However, you may see a lot of activity and engagement, so this is one exception on this list that may be easier to handle after the physical move. The example below makes this announcement; it also links to a blog post written by a local blog (more on that later).
- Update your email marketing templates or newsletters. You may not remember if your address is on your email marketing messages or newsletters, but it’s always a good idea to double-check. Don’t forget to include any customized holiday messages.
- Send a “Change of Address” announcement to your email list. This isn’t something you have to do, but it is a great way to let your email subscribers know you’ve moved. It’s just another way to know you’re covering all your bases.
- Have your staff update their email signatures. Good email signatures have links to your company’s social accounts and blog, as well as contact information, including the office address. Make sure everyone on your staff changes their address in their email signature block in case a contact needs it.
- Change any auto-response emails (including return policies). For an ecommerce company, return policies are probably automated and need to be changed. If you have any forms or documentation that says where something needs to be sent for a return, make sure you change this immediately.
Additional Online Tips
- Use the Fetch as Google tool for faster indexing. This tool allows you to submit the pages you changed on your website to Google, which helps Google crawl those URLs faster and more efficiently. This process takes approximately 24 hours, and it’s a great way to make sure everything is indexed properly so there are no SEO issues.
- Don’t forget to change your address on your actual website. It sounds obvious, but with everything you have to do before a move, you can sometimes forget the most obvious place.
- Write a blog post announcing your new move. Not only is this a good way to spread the word that you’re moving, but it also gives you something to link back to if you make a post on social media about the move.
While these updates range in their influence on your search engine optimization, it’s good to make all of them at once. Do them before your move; it’s easy to forget what’s been done when you’re in the midst of unpacking and organizing your new office. Although it’s recommended that you make these changes before the move, your business won’t be overly affected if you wait until you’re settled. Just make sure you remember to make these changes so you’re not sending out incorrect information to your audience.
Your local SEO factors, however, will affect your company if you wait too long. It’s important to remember that even the smallest citation mistakes can make a big difference when it comes to your local SEO ranking. Google will be confused when indexing your content, and you could potentially lose traffic from people who are searching locally. Get this set before you move so that you can start fresh and have a little bit of local SEO on your side.