How to Move Your Service Area Business Google Business Profile Without Destroying Ranking

Moving your Service Area Business (SAB) can be a busy and confusing time with packing, planning, and telling customers. In all this chaos, it’s simple to forget about your Google My Business (GMB) listing. 

But, doing it right is really important to keep your local SEO ranking and make the move smooth. Here’s a comprehensive guide to moving your SAB Google Business Profile without messing up your local position.

Update, Don't Restart

When relocating, resist the urge to close your existing GMB listing or to start anew. Your current listing holds valuable SEO juice, such as reviews and history, which can drastically affect your visibility and credibility.

Smooth Transition Steps:

  1. Update Your Address: Directly update your current listing’s address in GMB. Google may require re-verification, often through a phone call or postcard. Opt for phone verification when possible for quicker results.
  2. Maintain Consistency: Avoid making further edits to your GMB information while verification is pending. Changes to the name or category could invalidate your verification attempts.
  3. Be Prepared for Google Support: Interacting with Google Support puts your listing under scrutiny. Before reaching out, ensure your profile is fully compliant with GMB guidelines. Have documentation like business permits, photos of store signage at the new location, and business cards ready.

Potential Challenges and Solutions

  1. Duplicate Listings: When you move, Google or users might accidentally create extra listings for your business. This can confuse customers and split your online visibility, weakening your search rankings.

Solution: Set aside time to regularly search for your business on Google Maps. If you discover a duplicate, use Google Maps’ “Suggest an Edit” feature or contact Google support to request its removal. Keeping on top of these searches helps you identify and address duplicates swiftly.

  1. Outdated Listings at Your New Location: Your new business location might still have a Google My Business listing for a previous occupant who hasn’t updated or closed their listing. This old information could mislead your potential customers and cloud your business’s online presence.

Solution: Try to get in touch with the previous business owner to kindly request they update or close their Google My Business listing. If direct contact isn’t possible, use the “Suggest an Edit” option on Google Maps to mark the business as moved or closed. For stubborn cases, filling out a Google Business Profile Redressal Form can help escalate the issue. Starting this cleaning process early — before your move — is key to ensuring a smoother transition.

  1. Verification Delays: When updating your address on Google My Business for a move, you might face delays in the verification process, whether through postcard or phone verification. This delay can temporarily affect your listing’s visibility and accuracy.

Solution: Choose phone verification whenever it’s available for a quicker verification process. Ensure the phone number in your listing is correct and be ready to answer the call for the verification code. If you’re waiting on a postcard, plan so you can receive mail at the new address promptly. If delays persist, contact Google support for assistance.

  1. Risk of Listing Suspension: Modifying your business details, particularly when moving, risks your listing being temporarily suspended by Google, especially if any details now seem inconsistent or if the change prompts a manual review.

Solution: Before making any changes, ensure all your business information is compliant with Google’s guidelines. Prepare supporting documentation, such as lease agreements or utility bills with your new address, as proof of your move. After making updates, if your listing faces suspension, promptly reach out to Google Support with your documentation to resolve the issue.

Best Practices for a Smooth Transition

Pre-Move Checklist:

Before hitting the road, give your Google My Business (GMB) profile a detailed once-over. Confirm that every piece of your listing aligns perfectly with Google’s guidelines. 

This not only sets you up for a seamless transition but also guards against potential hitches, such as your listing being temporarily suspended by Google. A little preparation goes a long way in maintaining your online presence during a move.

Show and Tell:

Once you’re situated in your new location, capturing both the inside and outside of your business through photographs is crucial. These images serve dual purposes: they provide concrete proof to Google that your business is up and running at its new address, and they give your GMB profile a fresh look. 

Updating your photo gallery post-move not only bolsters your listing’s appeal but also reassures customers of your active presence.

Protect Your Reputation:

In the local SEO world, reviews are like gold. When you make changes to your GMB listing, make sure you keep your gathered reviews safe. These reviews show how good your business is and can really affect what potential customers think. 

It’s important to make sure your move doesn’t delete these reviews so you can keep your online reputation strong.

Keep a Close Watch:

Post-update, it’s vital to keep a watchful eye on your GMB listing. Be on the lookout for any anomalies, required verifications, or errors that might crop up. 

Addressing these promptly can prevent unnecessary downtime or visibility issues, ensuring your business remains in the spotlight, ready to serve your community from its new location.

Final Thoughts

Remember, accurately updating your GMB listing during a move not only helps keep your local SEO ranking intact but also ensures your customers can find you without a hitch in your new location. By following these guidelines, you can enable a seamless transition for your online presence, mirroring the fresh start you’re making physically. 

Updating your GMB correctly is a crucial step in maintaining business continuity and safeguarding your online reputation throughout the move!

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