Having to relocate a local business location is a fact of life. Ideally, we would all launch our business in a choice location and stay there for years, while having the capacity to expand, but for most of us this is not even close to reality.
If your business has relocated due to rent variances, an expired lease, need for expansion, or having to revise your business model to something more sustainable, chances are you will have to update your address information on Google My Business.
There is a right and a wrong way to update your Google My Business profile information when relocating. Unfortunately, due to lack of experience and knowledge, many businesses make the mistake of marking a location as permanently closed upon relocation. Let’s learn how this impacts your Google ranking, and how to fix it in order to have SEO continuity.
Do Not Delete Your Google My Business Profile
There is absolutely no need to start from scratch. One of the most common and fatal errors we have identified in association with business relocations has to do with the permanent deletion of their Google My Business profile, assuming that a new profile must be started in association with a different address.
If you are not rebranding, then you need to remember that your Google My Business profile has tremendous SEO value associated with its longevity, activity, followers, and reviews.
“Permanently Closed” the Only Option?
The majority of tools offered by Google have been created in a highly agile and iterative environment. For this reason, it is not uncommon to find that tools may be defective or lack options that are relevant to users.
Such is the case with business relocation. The only option available through the map feature is labeled “permanently closed,” and as a business that is relocating, you must take that route.
Once you have marked the location as permanently closed, you can click on the “permanently closed” notification and use the “report a problem” feature. In the free text area, you may now indicate that your business has relocated, provide the new location address, and request that Google activate a “relocated” notification. This notification connects both addresses on the back end, and provides Google users with guidance that will help them locate your new venue.
Don’t Forget to Request a Review Migration
Business relocations can be painful as far as location-based SEO. One thing that you can do to strengthen the Google My Business profile for your new location is submit a request to transfer the reviews associated with your prior location.
In addition to helping as far as ranking potential for segment-based searches, you will also benefit from a potential rich snippet showing your star rating for Google. To relocate your reviews to your new address, you must contact Google technical support using the form located here. Use the dropdown menu and select business information and edits.
Request a Relocated Tag
Be specific in requesting that a relocated message is activated in association with your old profile. If done right, your relocated tag will appear right below your name on Google Maps, Google Maps for Mobile, and your business listing in response to a brand-specific search or category search for local results.
Clicking on the “permanently closed” link and submitting a “report a problem request” is the simplest way to get this done. The process can take up to two weeks, and chances are it won’t be expedited by contacting tech support. Keep in mind that you should first migrate your reviews prior to requesting a “relocated” tag to make sure both profiles are properly associated with the same business.
If You Fail the First Time, Try Again
If after a couple of weeks of having submitted your request for either review migration or to have your “permanently closed” tag changed to “relocated,” you still see no action, do not despair. Consider resubmitting by following the steps above. It may take a couple of tries to get it done correctly.
Wait Until Your New Location Is Open Before You Make a Change
Marking your present location as permanently closed when you have not yet opened the doors of your new location may prove problematic. Don’t try to rush the process, or you may find yourself with a permanently closed location and an unverified location.
Instead, wait until you are ready to start serving customers at your new location, and then move quickly, making sure you tackle every single step and properly annotate your requests to tech support.
Permanently Deleted Your Google My Business Profile in Error?
If you are here searching for a solution to a permanently deleted Google My Business profile, then you are in the right place. Your only viable option is to now build not only your profile from scratch but also the engagements that trigger consumer reviews.
Situations like this demand the highest level of customer experience management to gain velocity in review acquisition. The fastest way to get to where you were before is to have a clear reputation and review management strategy, and put processes in place to encourage online engagements.
In some instances, starting from scratch may not be the worst thing in the world. Now that you are better and more experienced in your trade, you have the fantastic opportunity to build a flawless reputation from the ground up. You can closely manage every interaction with your customers, with the objective of fostering loyalty and shaping a sustainable business that is aligned with your brand concept and always strives to exceed customer expectations.
With diligent work and clear strategy, you may be able to shape your new Google My Business profile in a way that significantly exceeds anything that you might have achieved at the prior location.