What-Can-You-Do-To-Maintain-Your-GMB-Ranking-When-You-Move-To-A-New-Location-feature

Steps to Take to Maintain Consistency on Your Google My Business Profile After a Move

Bob, Jesse and Sue address a listener question about how to maintain rank on your Google My Business profile after moving to a different location. The trio discuss what changes to make, and in what order, to make sure that the impact to your GMB is minimized and you’re on the right track to restore your ranking with as little time as possible spent with a lowered rank. If you’ve recently moved your business, or are thinking of moving, check out this episode today to learn what to prioritize to maintain your online presence properly!
Got a question for the team? Contact us at www.localseotactics.com/questions to submit your q! We’d love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the show.

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What you’ll learn

  • What is needed for a Google My Business address change.
  • Where to focus your energy and attention to make your changes as smooth as possible.
  • Why it’s important to move quickly on address changes and more.

Transcript For Is There a Way to Use Multiple Tracking Numbers Without Messing Up My NAP Continuity? – 117;

 

Caleb Baumgartner: Welcome to Local SEO Tactics where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I am producer, Caleb Baumgartner, and in this episode, Bob, Jesse, and Sue address a listener question about how a physical move for your business might affect your SEO. Are you planning a move to a new location, or have already moved and want to make sure you maintain your Google My Business profiles ranking? Check this episode out for great tips and insights to make your transition as smooth as possible. Got a question for the team, visit us at localseotactics.com/questions to shoot it our way. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show.

Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan, here with Mr. Bob Brennan-

Bob Brennan: Hi.

Jesse Dolan: … And Sue Ginsburg. I don’t know-

Sue Ginsburg: Hi.

Jesse Dolan: … I got Sue on the top, Bob in the middle, me on the bottom, I don’t know how everybody else’s Zoom is here, but Sue is up on the top there hanging out in Seattle today. How come you’re in Seattle, Sue?

Sue Ginsburg: I am in Seattle because the listener question we are going to talk about today is from a chiropractor who emailed us from Seattle.

Jesse Dolan: Perfect. What’s going on in Seattle that we need to help out with? How can we help? I should say.

Sue Ginsburg: Yes. Great question. So the question asked is, “When we move locations, what can we do to maintain the GMB ranking and not let it fall?” This question has come up more than a few times, whether that is because people are noticing that their GMB has an old address on it, or they’re moving and they want to prevent that from happening, what can you do? And the quote of the day today is, “It is sometimes necessary to take one step backwards to take two steps forward.” Quote from Lenin, lawyer, revolutionary, and the first leader of the USSR and government that took over Russia in 1917. Trivia for 20, what was Lenin’s first name?

Bob Brennan: Vladimir?

Sue Ginsburg: Yes! You win, Bob!

Jesse Dolan: Did you know that or did you just pick a Russian sounding name?

Bob Brennan: No, I’m the Cliff Clavin when it comes to certain facts that people don’t care about at all, type of deal.

Sue Ginsburg: I want you as my Trivial Pursuit partner.

Jesse Dolan: There you go.

Bob Brennan: Trust me, the simpler questions all totally go through my head, but the obscure ones I’ll nail.

Jesse Dolan: Hey, we all play our parts in Trivial Pursuit.

Sue Ginsburg: That’s right. So again, we see this commonly when a business changes their location. At first traffic may be down for the new location, Google needs to realize it’s them, well, people need to realize that they have moved, it’s still the same business and people, service, different location, and you need to build up your visibility for people to get used to it. Even with positive reasons to move, you will likely be taking a step backwards before you soar forward two steps or more. And whether this is a physical geography move, or a different move/change in your GMB, all businesses experience this, and most, every time they make a change to move forward, which is a good thing. So if you are a business owner who has not experienced this then please get in touch with us and we’ll interview you for your secrets to streamlining forward-

Jesse Dolan: There you go.

Sue Ginsburg: … and we can all learn something. So what we’ll learn today is what you can do to keep your GMB ranking when you do move locations, or if you have moved locations and you haven’t moved your GMB with you to the new location.

So why did this come up? When a business moves there are many, many details to handle and the business owner and team have a lot of logistics, lists of things to do, to consider and make happen. At that point in time the GMB rank is likely not the number one thing on your mind. And then you move and you or your team is back to tracking metrics and they see that your rank may have dropped, you’re showing up lower on the page and you wonder why.

So today, talking to Jesse and Bob, they’ll help us understand why this happens, and what we may be able to do preventatively, some tips and tips to be aware of that will help us stop this from happening or minimize it if we can’t stop it. And then we can have the move be a positive thing all around, positive impact right away, which is all what we want. So, Jesse and Bob, as they say in Hamilton, drop some knowledge on us. What can you tell us?

Jesse Dolan: Yeah, I think this is an area where the old ounce of prevention is worth a pound a cure. So basically how do you move locations, move your GMB, and maintain your ranking? Not to say that you might not have a little bit of a dip, and this is a pretty major thing. I think here’s some things we’ll walk through real quick that can at least get you on the right path and do the right things. And there is a bit of an order too here so as I go through these, I think this would be the order to do them in too, just to be explicit for everybody.

And like you said on the front side, Sue, let’s just say you’re doing… Everything’s great right now, you got a website, you got a business, you get your GMB ranking good, follow this process. But then also like you’re saying, maybe I’ve been at my business for a couple of years, maybe you’re out there listening to our podcasts like, “I do got to get my GMB… I had one, what happened to it?” And you look at it and it’s like, “Oh, it’s got my old address. Well, I’ve been here for a year now, what am I do?” Do the same things that we’re talking here, which is going to be a little late for some of them, but just go through this process here.

So number one thing, in all of these the common thread is going to be, you’re going to update your address. At the end of the day this is the main thing. What you’re going to want is for Google to know, “We are now located at this location.” Whether you move down the street, other end of town, or from the Northern suburbs down to the Southern suburbs, this is going to ring true across the board.

Start with your website. If you’re a single location business then you have your address on your home page, on your contact us page, maybe in your footer. Wherever it is for this location, update that on your website. If you’re a multi-level business, odds are that you just have a section about this location on your website, maybe it’s contact us page, or a store page, or whatever you want to call. The same thing, wherever this address, your old address for that location is, update it to the new address, do that right away in all instances.

Then do a search online for all of your citations. If you’ve got… And what we mean by that, like Yelp, if you’ve got a Facebook page even for that location, MapQuest, just do a search of your business name and then your current address, or your old address, I guess I should say, and see what pops up. Those are all digital fingerprints that Google is associating your business with that old address, you’re going to want to update your address on all those as well. So update, update your website address, update all your other profiles except your GMB. And then last but not least, once that’s all done, which can take awhile, then you’re going to want to update the address on your GMB.

Now, the reason you want to do it in that order is because what we’re trying to do is have Google understand that you have moved and kind of expedite the process. If you do your GMB first, usually what happens is Google has to send a postcard to your new address. And that’ll probably work, they’ll probably send off the postcard and you’ll receive it and you’ll enter in your pin, but now your GMB is going to have this address that’s not reflective of anything else you have online.

And so we want to flip that around, update all the things that are in your control that’s not part of Google’s game board, the GMB. So then, and when you do this process and you go to… Say to Google, “All right, Google, we have moved and we are ready to make it official with you.” Change the address on your GMB, they’re going to fire off that postcard, you get the postcard, you enter in the pin, now your GMB is showing your new address, and everything you have online is going now have your new address. Google is a machine so when they fire off that postcard, and then when you received the pin on the postcard, you enter it and then you verify your new address, along the way, this is not proven, by the way, this is like opinion, Bob, we’ve talked about this.

Bob Brennan: Yeah.

Jesse Dolan: Google knows everything. There’s a 99.9% chance that when you enter in your new address, before they even send off the postcard, that they’re looking for evidence that you’ve moved. Just how trustworthy is this, is somebody trying to steal this location? Did they really move, whatever? And then same thing, when you verify that, now they go, “Okay, yeah. They’re at the new location, but are they really?” And the more things you can have match up the more Google’s going to trust that, not cause any disruption to your rankings, hopefully, just because you’ve kept that trust high, that authority high like these type of signals, if you’ve kept all that high, that’s going to be your best chance of kind of being seamless for not losing anything in your rankings.

And then I’d throw a couple more caveats on there. This is going to be more back to your website. If you are moving to a completely different suburb, or a different end of town, or a different city, not only just change the address, but sometimes as a tactic for SEO, if you have a location page for let’s just say our auto repair in Minneapolis, if we’re moving to St. Cloud, which is, I don’t know, 100 miles away, on our Minneapolis page maybe we’re talking about some of the neighborhoods in close proximity to Minneapolis.

Look at your content. If there’s local landmarks, or a different phraseology you’ve used talking about your neighborhood and area, you can’t just update your address on that page, say, “Here’s our new address in St. Cloud.” But all the surrounding content is talking about Minneapolis, you kind of want that context to be part of it too. So in addition to actually changing just your straight up address, these other references you’ve built into your website with SEO tactics, you’re going to want to update those too to reflect truly where you’re at now and draw that overall relevancy.

Now that hopefully gets you set up with your new GMB, gets you active on your new GMB, and your address is accurate everywhere. Bob, I’ll turn it over to you to talk about some of these things. As we know, we want to engage in that new GMB. I’ll throw a couple of things out to seed it. If you’ve got a new storefront with a new sign, update your cover image, update your storefront, things like that, but then overall, just engage in that GMB.

Bob Brennan: Yeah. And to that point, we’ve had clients that have gotten in trouble with their GMB because they neglected to put up hardly enough signage, type of deal. And in some extreme cases, Google is sending out representatives to take pictures of the building you’re in, and if there is no evidence that you’re Smith Plumbing, and there’s no signage, no nothing, they’ll drop your GMB. Can you get it reinstated? Yeah, it’s going to take months, type of deal.

So you’ve got to put a punch list together of things that you need to do, and signage seems pretty self-evident, but it isn’t for everybody. So yeah, do that, and then start getting reviews. I mean, right away start getting reviews at that location. Show evidence of life to Google that you’re there and you’re operating there. Reviews is one way to do it along with the pictures of signage and things like that.

And then just a backwards note on the… And this is a theory, again, where we’re saying, “Hey, get your evidence of your new location and everything else that goes with it on your website, get that going now before you send out the issuance for the new address or postcard.” Or whatever the case is. Because you can’t really make that address change, can you make it without getting a postcard, Jess, or do you need to reinstated postcard?

Jesse Dolan: Yeah. Good question. Roll back the clock a few years, you could do it with a phone call, and sometimes not even need verification. It was all really built on… And there was no set guidelines right on this, this is just how much did Google trust you as your Google account you’re logging in with through Google to manage your GMB, how much did they trust you and the actual business/GMB itself? If you had super, super high trust, yeah, you could just go in, you can change your address, and boom, you’re good to go. Maybe call it mid-range trust, they might just say, “Well, let’s place a phone call to that number.” And you just have to verify the pin through that way. And then the least trust is they’re like, “We’re going to send a postcard to that.” And just make sure you can receive it and loop it back.

Over the last probably roughly two years here a lot of it with COVID, the amount of resources, this is all free with Google. So the amount of resources they’ve put into this has really dwindled, and they basically just default the postcard verification now for everything. If you’re setting up a new GMB, if you’re changing your address, anytime they really want to verify, except for extremely rare cases right now, it’s all postcard verification.

Bob Brennan: Right, and so at that point, a postcard is, I’m guessing, 50 to 65 cents, if you’re Google it’s going to be less because you’re doing it in mass. So if Google’s going to use its intelligence and its AI and everything, this is purely speculation, before they sent out a 50 cent postcard, which you and I may think, “That’s ridiculous, it’s nothing.”

Jesse Dolan: Just 50 cents.

Bob Brennan: 50 cents. Well, if you’re doing literally, I don’t know, 10, 20, 30,000 of those a day, that’s a lot of money so won’t you run an algorithm that checks the person’s website first to see proof that they in fact are at this address or this new address before even a postcard is sent out.

Now, does that mean they will never send a postcard out at your request? Our suspicion is, they will eventually, but it’ll take two, three, four tries on your end before they’re like, “Okay, yeah, we’ll send this guy a postcard.” That’s our theory because we’ve gone down this road several times and we’re like, “Why is it taking months when it used to take seven to 10 days to get a postcard?” And our suspicion is, is they’re reading your website first before they issue of postcard, and you better jump up and down three, four or five times before they issue that postcard because again…

And I would say in most cases, they don’t just send… Most times people have to request multiple times postcards, and they may be sending them, but for whatever reason, they’re not getting to you. So we really don’t know in the end how much they’re spending for each of these GMBs. But again, if you’re having to spend that amount of money, why not use technology to figure out, “Are these guys legit?” And if they’re not, you delay the whole process?

Jesse Dolan: Yeah. I think again, whether somebody can prove this as true or not, it’s kind of one of these deals where if you can just default to it, it’s like, there’s no harm, you can control all these things we’ve talked about. You can update your website, it’s fine if we’re wrong in this concept here, you still didn’t lose anything, you had to do this work anyways. If we’re right, then you sped this up quite a bit. And it really goes back to just the trust signals, the more Google can trust you actually did move and this is all legit, because they’re constantly fighting spam listings and everything else, you’re going to have a higher chance of getting that postcard sent quicker, verified quicker, and get your business move quicker.

But then also your rankings don’t get disrupted. The more trust you can build, and that’s kind of what we’re outlining here in this process is, do some things before you move the GMB, after you move the GMB, engage in it right away, again, just show them that nothing broke here, we just moved locations. And again, nothing’s guaranteed, this is SEO, but this is your best shot to, like you said, Sue, just to make sure there’s no disruption and this is your best shot as a follow-up process like that.

Sue Ginsburg: And does all of this apply to a move that you made a couple of years ago and never changed your GMB?

Jesse Dolan: Yeah, I’d say the same thing. Great follow up on that. If you’re in that situation where you’re hearing this and you’re like, “You know what? I do need to get my GMB. I am looking, it is my old address, it’s been a year.” Then just go backwards. “Hey, is my website updated? Okay, check. Let me check Yelp. Let me check MapQuest. Let me grab all these other places. Does my Facebook page have the right address?” Same thing, check all the boxes, then go back in, hopefully you still know what Google account you used to manage for your GMB. Go in, just try to reverify it. if you can’t find out what account that was, use your current one and try to claim it, reverify it, same thing. At the end of the day, what they’re going to do is they’re going to send you off a postcard. The more confidence you can build before you initiate that postcard with following those things, then hopefully you’re in good shape.

And get reinstated because I guess something people need to understand here too is, when we talk about moving the GMB, but could you just set up a new GMB? Sure, new location, new GMB, go for it. But if you’ve been listening to what we’ve talked about before, hopefully you have a ton of GMB reviews. And that’s a big thing that we’re talking about here is bringing the GMB over, including your 342 reviews that you had. You don’t want to start over on those or lose those at your old address. So yeah, if you’re sitting there with a GMB that’s outdated and you’ve forgot about it, try to reclaim that thing, especially if it has reviews and bring it on over to your new address and start thriving again.

Sue Ginsburg: So Jesse, with that, is there a better or a worse if you take down that GMB, to say it’s not flush with Google memory on it, or reviews, or whatever, any recommendation for better or worse there?

Jesse Dolan: Yeah. I’ll answer this, hopefully I understood exactly what you’re getting at. Hopefully my answer is the right one. If you’re in a scenario where you trying to reclaim a GMB or move a GMB versus starting a new one and then closing the old one, always try to move it/claim it if it’s existing because there’s just stuff there, there’s a history there, there’s photos there, there’s reviews there, there’s some kind of context in relation to your business there in the Google database.

If you’re hitting your head against the wall and just not making any progress there, cut bait at some point once you realize it’s not going to happen, start a new one, get it verified, and then go mark the old one as closed. I forget the exact thing in there, but you can log in with your GMB, go make a suggestion to edit the business and then mark it as closed or mark it as a duplicate location. Google will confirm that they received your request, they’ll send you an email, hopefully within a day or two, maybe a week or two, if they’ve applied this.

If you’re finding that they’re not… If you’ve moved, now you got your new GMB and your old one’s still showing there, maybe you need some of your friends and family or business associates to also go in and mark that as closed and just have the public tell Google that it’s closed, or at least tell the Google algorithm, the bot, that it’s closed. But I would definitely want to make sure if you’re trying to get rid of that old one so it doesn’t compete with your new one, that you take those tactics and mark it as closed.

Now, if you’re in the gray hat or a black hat for SEO, you may want to leave that sucker up and just have to GMBs. At some point the old one will come down, but if it’s not causing a conflict, if you are in a scenario where you’re on the opposite end of town now, and you’re like, “Sure, I’ll take calls from Minneapolis and see if I can convert them to St. Cloud.” More power to you, there’s nothing that says you have to close it, but most often there’s going to be a good business argument to close that old one and just run with your new one if you’re in that scenario. Hopefully that’s not too confusing for everybody.

Sue Ginsburg: We are directing that to Google and having them recognize it, but do you really want your old customers or any new ones thinking you’re in this location and wasting their time calling you only to find out you’re over here?

Jesse Dolan: Great point.

Sue Ginsburg: So you might have a little bit of bad ill will if you keep them both up too.

Bob Brennan: And I would throw out, it depends. And this is a rare scenario, but could you convert that old GMB to a service area? Let’s say you’re a plumber and you are making trips from St. Cloud to Minneapolis on a semi-daily basis, that would be the only scenario I could think of that would-
Jesse Dolan: Service area business.

Bob Brennan: … Somewhat legitimize what you’re doing.

Jesse Dolan: Yeah.

Bob Brennan: But if you’re a gas station or somewhere brick and mortar, all you’re going to do is create ill will and confusion.

Jesse Dolan: Right on. And with that too, Bob, depending on if you have access to that GMB now to modify it, sometimes if you’re trying to change it to service area business and it’s been a while, if it’s this one year scenario where you haven’t been in there for a while and it’s your old address, they may not let you change it to a service area business if it wasn’t already. But like you’re saying, if you have the ability, again, playing in that kind of gray hat area, if you want to leverage it, hide your address, convert it to a service area business to avoid that ill will, not a bad suggestion, if it makes sense for your business. But there is definitely a little quirk there on if you can do it or not, to be clear.

Sue Ginsburg: And I think again, asterisk, if it makes sense for your business.

Jesse Dolan: Yep. As in with all things SEO, the cliché, it depends is the answer, unfortunately.

Sue Ginsburg: Interesting. So I would say if you remember one thing and one thing only it is that progress is not always, or generally not linear. Two steps forward, one step back is pretty good progress if you’re a business owner, and as long as it’s moving in the direction that you want, then you’re good, you can’t expect it to be perfect, and knowing these things helps you at least minimize your steps backwards.

Jesse Dolan: Right on.

Sue Ginsburg: That’s what I’d say.

Jesse Dolan: So this is usually the spot where I would jump in and talk about send us your questions and all that, which I will do. I thought we lost you for a second there. Anybody watching on video might have had the same reaction I did. So this is a spot where I’d usually ask that for your guys’ questions, your gals’ questions. But Sue, we got a review that mentions you on our podcast. And so usually I just read our reviews on kind of the other… We do two shows a week, two different formats. But since this one kind of mentions you and being on the team I thought this would be kind of a cool one to read here.

So I will take the chance to mention, if you haven’t left us a review, if you want to do that, lets us know we’re doing a good job, if you’re getting value, if you like these shows, if you’re like hearing Sue on these shows in addition to Bob and I, go to localSEOtactics.com, go down to the bottom, click reviews, we got Facebook, Google My Business, the podcast, wherever you want to leave us a review, we really appreciate it. And we’ll give you a shout out if you do so.

This one here is from, it’s either Stefan or Stephen, sorry. This is a nice long review, five-star review, it says, “For a little project I’ve been doing I’ve been listening to dozens of SEO podcasts on a regular basic. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the one for entrepreneurs. Local SEO Tactics is packed with useful information and light on the witty banter that wastes your time. This team is classic, Midwestern, sincere, and friendly, and that means they don’t waste your time sharing fishing stories.” We probably should do more fishing stories-

Bob Brennan: Yeah, I think we should.

Jesse Dolan: … I’ve got a few. “It’s packed with practical, actionable tips that any business person can take advantage of. If you’re an experienced SEO, there are other options that are as good, but either way you’ll benefit from these truly essential tactics that this team shares. Keep up the good work.” And at the end it says, “I’m glad I can’t use “guys”. Thanks to your recent edition of the strategy and data focused, Sue Ginsburg, great addition to the team!!”

So there you go, Sue, I thought that one was pretty cool, called you out by name and just talks about kind of the expanded team. And aside from that, a stellar five star review more broadly for all of us. So thanks for sharing that. And again, anybody else, we’d love to hear from you. So virtual pat on the back, Sue, for your contributions to not only the company, but the show here on Local SEO Tactics, we appreciate it, Bob and I, I know, and so does everybody else out there, so keep up the good work.

Sue Ginsburg: I would just like to mention, that is not a relative, it’s not a friend, just for vetting purposes, thank you.

Bob Brennan: Was that a paid endorsement?

Jesse Dolan: No, that’s genuine and it reads like it too. So that’s awesome and thanks for letting me share that, and I do want to then give the official. This podcast episode was about a question that Sue had from a client or a listener out there, and we are always looking for new questions to help all of you out. If you’ve got a question, something you’re hung up on, some strategy you’re curious about, whatever it is, big or small topic, doesn’t matter, send it on in to us, go out to localSEOtactics.com, just like for reviews, scroll down to the bottom, there’s a link for submit a question, and send that on over to us, we’ll read it on the show. And if you’d rather call in, which we need some more of these, we need you guys’ help. We’ve got a couple of them holding in queue here still, but we want more. If you’d like to call it and leave it as a voicemail, we’d love to play it on the show and kind of add that dynamic too.

Bob Brennan: Yeah.

Jesse Dolan: I should say, if you do that, we’ll fire you off a fancy Intrycks t-shirt that will be yours to keep, we will never ask for it back once we send it to you. LocalSEOtactics.com down at the bottom, click on, submit a question, we’d love to hear for you. All right, any other closing thoughts from either one of you too? Cool.

Sue Ginsburg: Great question, appreciate it.

Jesse Dolan: Yeah, I think it was a good episode, hopefully that helps everyone out. We’ll catch you on the next episode. Take care.

Bob Brennan: See you guys.

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