It’s so exciting when we outgrow our office space or buildings and need to move to bigger digs! You have a prep list for the move that probably includes utilities, ISP, updating the post office. But did you think about your online address that has been there for a while? That needs to be updated EVERYWHERE and consistently.
I’m talking about NAP - Name, Address, Phone number. For search credibility, your business listing needs to be consistent in every directory and with every search engine that indexes your content and site. By precisely I mean that if you have a suite number, and you list it sometimes at Ste. and sometimes as Suite or # or Unit those are not the same. Your phone number. It’s great to have an toll free number on your site, but for this purpose you need a LOCAL phone number that a human answers. The SAME number everywhere. You can add additional numbers in listings in directories, but the MAIN number needs to be local and formatted precisely: 503-555-1212 vs. (503) 555.1212.
A great place to start is Google My Business. I’m assuming you already have a profile set up for your company on Google My Business. This is what shows up in the right column boxed info when people search for your company. It has hours, location, reviews, photos. You need to take control of that first. Then, you can search out the rest of the listings to see how you are listed.
A quick hit list includes:
- Yahoo - yes it still ties to and feeds other directory listing sites.
There are about 80 more in the list - many are fed by these three, but you still need to make sure they are all matching precisely.
Once these are cleaned up, and you start to post to some of your profiles 1-4xs per month with images, recommendations, strategic partner news you’ll start to see an organic rise in your search rankings.
Just as moving an address can affect things, so can changing your domain. Long-term domains hold some credibility. If you’ve used the same domain for years and years and suddenly you want to change directions, had issues with hacking or other reasons, you will lose a ton of traction from your old search results. You want to make sure you account for the change through redirects from the most popular pages in old domain to changing the content on the old site to thin it out and then a custom 404 page to redirect to the new site or content. Without careful planning, making this one change in your business can have you fall off the face of search results and it’s a long road back. Be aware of and regularly review your search console on Google to see where errors are happening. Where are people trying to get to in the OLD domain. Do NOT remove the old domain from analytics or your search console - not yet. It doesn’t hurt to keep it all running to track traffic and come up with redirect solutions. If you can, retain the old domain to use it to your advantage in the redirecting. You can change your hosting plan to something tucked within another account if money is the issue, but do not delete the domain or the site - at least not all the way. Be careful with a domain change that the mail is set up with the change, as well. Auto responders are handy for a transition such as this. You want people to use the new email account? You’ll have to have your entire staff find EVERYWHERE they are listed with the old domain email and have them update it. They’ll need autoresponders. You’ll want to set up forwarding for a while. You don’t want to pay for 2 mail plans indefinitely, but at least let the dust settle.
You now have a good list to start with.
If you would like me to dig around for you to find your entire list and see where things need to be corrected, let me know. It’s one of the discovery packages I offer through Exit Power Strategies.