When you change your business address in real life, what do you do? You probably start by submitting an address change to the post office. Then, you update any accounts you have with banks, credit card companies, insurance agencies, and so on. You also have to go down the list and notify all of your vendors, marketers, and important contacts. In a nutshell, it’s a big pain. Unfortunately, that’s not all. It’s crucial that you also remember to update all of your business’s online listings. And we’re not just talking about on Google. Every reference to your business’s address on the web (commonly called a “citation”) must be updated—otherwise, your search rankings could take a serious hit. We’re not being melodramatic. In this post, we’ll discuss:
- Why it’s so critical to update all of your listings with your new address.
- What goes into the process of changing an address online.
- How a marketing specialist can come in the clutch to help.
Let’s jump in!
An Accurate Business Address Is Vital
Did you know one of the biggest influences on your rankings comes from the accuracy of your online information? Here’s how we explained it in a previous post about controlling your online presence:
Google and other search engines want to present the best possible information to their users, so they gather data from around the web to verify what’s on your company’s listing. And when Google sees conflicting details about your company coming from different sources, it flags your listing for having the wrong information: Google won’t want to display your business as a search result if there’s a chance it’s not a legitimate company. This results in poor rankings and, sometimes, suspended listings.
So if you update your business address on your Google listing while leaving up the old address on other listings, your local search rankings will suffer tremendously. When your business address changes, it needs to change identically across the board.
How to Update Your Business Address Online
Here’s where things get tricky. You may have no problem thinking of places where your business is listed online. Google Maps, Bing Local, Yelp, Facebook, Manta, Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Angie’s List probably come to mind right away. However, these directories are only the tip of the iceberg. You see, some online directories in the darkest corners of the Internet populate their listings by crawling the web for business information. You won’t be aware of them because you never created a listing there yourself, but they exist all the same. And they need to be updated, too. What does this mean? Essentially, you have to spend hours searching the web for your business name and contact information in order to find every last place that mentions you. Then, you have to figure out how to update those listings, since you never created them in the first place. Sometimes, it’s as simple as claiming them on the spot. Other times, though, the process can present multiple hoops to jump through. For instance, the BBB is notoriously difficult to work with in this context. It can take three to four weeks to update your information on their site because they want to get you to pay for accreditation (which comes with expedited processing, of course). Updating a Yelp listing may also be complicated if you don’t own your listing. At the end of the day, a lot of variables affect how smoothly and efficiently the update process goes.
Updating Your Business Address May Require a Specialist
If that all sounds like a lot of work… it is. We won’t sugarcoat it. However, that doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your time and energy doing it. Internet marketing specialists like the ones at Prospect Genius are a great resource to lean on for these types of projects. Our specialists do this every day. It’s their job. That means they know the most efficient, streamlined process for finding and updating every last one of your listings. Moreover, they’re familiar with the best ways to deal with the BBB, Yelp, and other difficult directories so they can update those listings as quickly as possible. They even know the most important listings for your industry that need to be double- and triple-checked before moving on. Check out our WebFax® and CleanSlate™ programs for more details on how we can help keep your web presence neat, tidy, and working for you!
Consistency Is Key
When your business address changes, you need to update the entirety of your online presence. It’s not an easy job by any means, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to maintain your local search rankings. Now that you have a better idea of how to handle your new business address, you can move forward without hurting your web presence!