How to Update Your Online Presence While You're Moving
Tips to make those easily forgotten, sometimes annoying but absolutely necessary changes.
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Moving physical locations for your business, whether it's a store, office or something else, is stressful.
Not only must you find the perfect place but also, the actual act of picking up the pieces and dropping them elsewhere, all while keeping it business as usual is a daunting task.
And even then your work isn't over.
When you move business locations, you have to move your online presence right along with it.
It's incredibly important to make all the necessary changes online so that your SEO remains intact. You want to make sure that you're getting all the new local organic traffic coming your way, and every day that you leave your online accounts alone is another day you could be missing out on these opportunities.
Aside from just earning local traffic and visibility, if your NAP information (name, address, phone number) is not identical across the web, Google may get confused and start splitting your rankings, causing a decrease in traffic.
To avoid these potential problems and keep your move as streamlined as possible, consider the following pieces you need to update online.
Related: How to Relocate Your Business
Your actual website
You'll most likely keep the same website domain that you used with your previous location, but it still needs to be updated.
Go through all of your webpages by using a tool such as Screaming Frog and make sure that your NAP information is changed and consistent throughout. This also includes updating any links you have for directions on your website and any embedded maps or PDFs that include references to your old location.
Believe it or not, the actual site is the aspect companies forget most often.
Your local business accounts
Make sure that your new location is easily found through an online search.
Go through and make changes to your major networks: Google My Business page, Yahoo Local, Bing Places, Yelp. It's also important to include any other local websites you may be affiliated with such as:
- Any online maps including MapQuest and Apple Maps
- Any review or ratings sites such as Angie's List, Citysearch and TripAdvisor
- Any online directories such as Business.com or any niche directories
Remember, even if you don't use some of these very often, it's important for the Google bots to have everything consistent. If you're unsure where you're listed online, use a tool like Yext.com to help you find these links.
Change social media info
Your location on Google+ should already be changed because of the reasons discussed above, but other social networks provide opportunities for visibility as well.
Facebook, for example, has a check-in feature that you want to be made available for your new location. Twitter also has a location field, and LinkedIn should be changed in case people are looking to connect with location companies for business opportunities or even employment.
You should also be checking the smaller networks like Foursquare, StumbleUpon and others, as well as websites such as Wikipedia (after all, they generally get top rankings on Google).
Related: Is it Time to Move Your Business Out of the Spare Bedroom?
Change auto-response emails and signatures
This is particularly important for Ecommerce sites that are very familiar with the auto-response email, but any company could be a victim of this problem. If you have any email marketing campaigns out there -- or auto-response anything for that matter -- make sure you change your address on this so as not to confuse your customers.
It's also important to remember your email signature. Sometimes when people need an address, they search in their inbox to see your email signature (I know I do). It's something so easy to forget, but so easy to change.
Try a 'grand opening' blog post
While not necessarily something you need to change, it's something you can do to make your move more visible online.
Use video and photography to show your new space, and add this to a blog post about your move, why it happened and what you expect to get out of the new location. Once you have this blog post, you can start promoting it on your social channels to get everyone excited and ready to see your new business.
It's also worth keeping in mind that some companies choose to "move" their company online before they actually make the physical move. This will give you a head start with organic traffic and give you enough time to make sure everything's running smoothly before the chaos of your actual move hits. After all, getting everything you can out of the way is always a great option so that when you're in your new space you can focus on other, more immediately visible things.
Related: So, You Want to Move Your Startup to Silicon Valley. Now What?