Throughout the life of a business, there will be times when it is essential to change locations and up-size or downsize their office. When this happens, their online profiles are often an afterthought. This delay in keeping your online profiles up to date can cost you in this hyper sensitive localization focused age. In addition to updating profiles there are some extra steps that should be taken in order to ensure that your business has the edge when it comes to local listings.
We just moved offices ourselves, and wanted to share some steps to make it easier to retain your hard earned rankings and listings, so without further ado, here are 5 areas that will help ensure that your local listings are carried over, and that your business will have and edge when it comes to local SEO:
1) Update Your Own Website
This should be your first step. The moment you have access to your new location, you need to update your website. The 3 things that need to be updated are the business address and if relevant, the phone number. In order to ensure that you have updated all instance across your site, it is recommended that you do a site search in Google with a snippet from the old address. For example, our old office was at 1650 Duranleau St, so if we go to google, we would search:
‘site:1updigitalmarketing.com 1650 Duranleau St’
This search would list any areas that still need to be updated with the old address.
Another hint is to update all pages and templates before the move, and save them as drafts that will automatically publish on the day of the move, one less thing to worry about!
2) Update Your Google Listing
Google’s local search results are now more important than ever before. As we mention in our post about AdWords top 4 listings, the local pack is a big deal. When customers are doing branded searches, and are looking for your location, their first stop is Google, so ensuring Google is up to date, is step #2.
Google’s “My Business” portal makes it easy to update your listing and transition your business reviews to your new office location. simply go to ‘https://www.google.ca/business/’ to sign in.
In regard to the structure of Google My Business, there are layers, the top layer is Accounts, followed by Locations and Brand Pages which are separated by tabs on the same layer. The idea is to group Corporations as a single account, with the multiple locations and brands being managed under this main Account. The transition to this structure has not been entirely smooth, but Google has come a long way to sorting this data out.
The main area to focus on is the location, and specifically the address, but while you are in this area, it is vital that you ensure that all of your information in the profile is identical to what is on your website. I really do mean identical!
3) Update Your Social/Other Profiles
The next step in updating your location is to update your other social profiles. While different companies are listed in a number of different directories, it is important to attempt to update them all. Here are a list of sites that you should consider checking:
- Your Facebook Business page
- Your LinkedIn Business page
- Your Yelp listing
- Your TripAdvisor listing (tourism related)
- Your Yellow pages listing
- Your Bing Business listing
This is really a starting point, to ensure that you have update all listings, do another search with your brand name, and a snippet of your old address, this will drag up a number of other listings and directories, I recommend updating all that show up on the first page of Google’s search results.
4) Add Structured Markup Data
The Internet search engines are becoming smarter at understanding content, and knowing its relation to other information. Part of what is driving this growth in ‘semantic’ understanding is a special mark-up to code. This markup is commonly referred to as Structured Markup, and often you will hear about Microdata and Rich Snippets.
There are tools available that help add this markup to your address content on your website such as Micro Data Generator. You simply add your business information and it will generate the rich snippet code for you to embed onto your website. Once you have added the data to your site, be sure to test it with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
5) Add New Local Content
This recommendation will help you build some local authority with search engine. The concept is to really use language that is unique to the area that you moved into. This could be as simple as a blog post, or an updated description on your contact page. Regardless of the medium, you want to think about what makes your new location special. Here are some ideas to get your local content creation going:
- Is there another name for your area?
- Are you in a building with a name/history?
- Do you know the architect that built your building?
- Are there famous landmarks near your new location?
- Can you see any features from your windows?
- Are there other famous businesses near by?
Answering some of these questions will help you create some unique content that helps build up the repository of local keywords, and hopefully provides some interesting information to your readers. Here is an example of what 1UP did recently when we moved locations.
Have you moved locations? Were there other steps that you completed to ensure a smooth digital transition?