How to tell the internet you’ve moved offices
Since Custard was formed in 2008 we’ve had four offices. In the time I’ve worked here I’ve had three different locations to commute to.
When you move around as much as we have, your online footprint gets a little confused. Citations containing your NAP information (name, address, phone number) pop up all over the place, some built by team members and some as a result of publicly available records.
Why this is a problem
1. Potential clients, suppliers and visitors struggle to find you
2. Local SEO is affected as Google struggles to identify the correct data
3. You end up looking disorganised and unprofessional
Where the data exists
We’ve been in Leyland for over 18 months now and I’m still finding references to our former offices in Longridge, Horwich and even another one in Leyland (Custard version 1.0).
They pop up in online directories, top agency lists and even social profiles. If you’re moving offices, learn from our mistakes and make sure you know where your data is so you can change it.
Most importantly, make sure you have access to that data so you’re in control of your online footprint. I’ve had to use email, contact forms and even social media to beg and plead for access to listings set up by former employees, just to maintain a consistent online profile.
Good SEO was largely built on online directories a few years back. These days they’re less important but I doubt any SEO will tell you to go around deleting your listings from DMoz, Yelp etc. (I don’t even know if it’s possible).
You don’t need to chase up every single directory listing you ever built, because most of them won’t rank highly for your brand name and therefore won’t ever be used to find your new office. In terms of SEO, Google doesn’t look favourably on the majority of directories anyway.
I didn’t tell anyone until I wrote this post, but recently I realised that our LinkedIn profile still showed our old address.
While most people would automatically change details on sites like Facebook, in reality there are plenty of people like us that just don’t use LinkedIn that much. I’m willing to bet many people forget Google+, too.
Which brings me nicely to arguably the most important data source. Your Google My Business listing often outranks even your own website for geo-targeted brand searches:
That means you need to keep Google informed of your movements unless you want your meetings to be delayed because someone drove to your old office.
Partners & Affiliates
Just because you set up a referral agreement with a non-competing partner doesn’t mean they keep the information about you on their site up-to-date. But if their website is established and authoritative, they might just rank on the first page for your brand terms.
Reviews and features
If you’ve been mentioned in the press, on review sites or on industry blogs, you may find that they’ve used your NAP information to help interested parties find you.
How to keep your NAP data consistent
- Google yourself
Enter your brand term into Google and see who ranks. Use variations like brand + former location (e.g. Custard Horwich) to find old listings that need updating.
Finally, get creative by thinking why someone might be Googling you and how they might search, e.g. ‘Custard Media review’
- Check your social profiles
As well as the obvious, here’s a list of social networking sites for businesses and professionals you might want to check.
- Change your listings at the usual directories
Realistically there could be thousands on this list, but if you’ve Googled yourself and seen which listings rank on the first few pages of Google you’ve probably covered most of this. Nevertheless, here’s a handy list of the top 15 places for local citations in the UK and US from Search Engine Journal.
Rule #1 – delegate
Chances are if you’re moving offices, you’ll have your team in place to handle the move and those people will be very, very busy.
Find someone in your company with some online ability and make it their job to ensure your online footprint is up-to-date.
If you’re looking at moving offices, we highly recommend speaking to our friends at Robinsons Relocation about their business removals services. In the meantime if you need help with your local SEO, contact us today.