So you’ve just moved into a newly renovated office in a completely different city. It’s in a great location, it has beautiful renovations, and it’s got the extra space you need for your growing practice. There’s just one small problem: Google. Moving locations can often be a death sentence for a business’s local search rankings, but thankfully Google is getting better at dealing with businesses that change locations. If you play your cards right, this shouldn’t have too much of an impact on your rankings.
Getting Your Ducks in a Row
First things first: your website is your highest priority. Go through all of your pages, and anytime you find a mention of your previous address, change it. Be especially sure to update your main location pages (these may include your contact page, about us page, or maps and directions page) and your website header and footer with the new address. Once you’ve taken care of your onsite text, it’s time to edit your title tags and meta descriptions. You’ll want to ensure that all of your tags are updated with the new town you are located in. If you don’t edit your website directly, your Webmaster should be able to do this for you.
While your website is the most important thing to change, it’s certainly not the only thing that has an effect on your local rankings. You’ll want to ensure that your profiles on local sites like Google+, Google My Business, Yelp and Angie’s List are accurate. It’s critical to hit the major directories, but don’t forget niche ones targeted towards dentists and orthodontics – Zocdoc is a classic example. Finally, check for and local city and state directories. These are often organized through the city’s Chamber of Commerce.
Be sure to check for duplicate listings, marking any other inaccurate listing of your business – like the one for your previous location – as closed. Additionally, check for the business that occupied your new location before you and mark them as closed.
As always, social media is your friend. Try to keep all of your social pages and profiles extra active in the time period leading up to and following the move. Change your address in the ‘About’ section and even try writing a blog about the big move. In addition to keeping your customers informed of your location change, this will also drive more traffic to your page and help give your rankings a bit of cushion.
Be Patient and Don’t Be Afraid to Call
Even if you do everything right, you still may see a temporary dip in your search rankings after a move. This is normal and is no cause for concern – just stay the course, keep checking for duplicate listings, and continue following best practice for local SEO. If something is confusing, don’t be afraid to reach out to Google. They’re a gigantic company, but their customer support department is surprisingly helpful. If you’re making your best effort to work with them, they’ll do the same for you.
As an Account Executive at Wpromote, Megan is responsible for assisting clients with their search engine marketing needs. While helping clients become recognized in search engines is an integral part of her job, she is also a regular contributor to the blog. In her spare time, Megan enjoys Dodger games and trying out new recipes like chocolate chip cookie dough truffles! Learn more about Wpromote at TeleVox.Wpromote.com