How to Update Google and Other Listings When You Move to a New Address

New Address

If your business moves to a new address, you must properly update your listings on Google, Yelp, Apple and more as soon as possible after the move. Here’s a quick checklist to help you out.

Get Your New Address and NAP Ready

The first thing is to make make sure your new NAP (name, address, phone) is all lined up and ready to go. The phone number can be the most tricky part of this equation. Typically, it’s preferable to have a phone with a proper area code and prefix that match the new address. Some businesses, however, have a lot of equity in their existing phone number and don’t want to lose the benefit number that people already know. You’ll have to weigh the plusses / minuses of a new phone number for your specific business.

Make sure that you know the properly validated version of your new address. If you’re going to take the time to change your address in Google My Business and everywhere else, you want to start with an address that is properly formatted. For the United States, you can use the single address validation tool at SmartyStreets for free.

As for your business name, make sure that you don’t violate Google guidelines about representing your business online. You don’t want to add your new location to your business name, state something like “formerly at {wherever}”. If you are also changing your name during your move, you don’t want to put your business’s previous name there either. Just keep it to your business name as you will be promoting it to your customers or on your signage.

Update Google My Business and Other Key Listings

The next step is to update all references to your old place of business with your new location information. This includes the four major data providers (Infogroup, Acxiom, Factual and Localeze), the major local search engines (Google, Apple Maps, Bing) and other important sites like Facebook, Yelp, BBB, Yellowpages, Foursquare and CityGrid.

You’ll also want to update any key industry-specific listings like Avvo (attorneys), TripAdvisor (travel), Healthgrades (medical), etc. And don’t forget important hyper-local listings like your local Chamber of Commerce website.

Make sure that you UPDATE your new address in your existing listings instead of creating new ones. This means that you might need to still claim some of these existing listings if you don’t already have direct control over them. If possible, claim these listings several weeks before your move just in case they need to send a postcard to your address to validate your ownership claim.

Consider Getting Help with Your New Address

You can claim and update most of the major listings manually. It takes time, effort and persistence, but it can be done. Alternatively, you could use a citation management service to help you update the data providers, major search engine and other important sites. A good local marketing agency should also be able to help you with this and they often work closely with these citation management services.

Be aware that citation management services do cost money and you’ll still need to manually edit listings that the services don’t cover. But it’s often worth the investment. They’ll save you a lot of time and can more quickly update your new address in various sites because of their unique relationships with those sites. A couple of the citation management services will also help walk you through the manual updates that can’t be done automatically.

Some of the more popular citation management services include (in alphabetical order): AdviceLocal, BrightLocal, Moz, Yext, and Whitespark. We have free “Under the Hood” video sessions for both BrightLocal and Yext that you might want to check out.

A Few Other Considerations

  • Be sure to update your website with your new address. Look for everywhere on your site that references your NAP (name, address, phone number) and change it accordingly.
  • Update any local business schema markup code on your website. Your web developer should be able to help you with this, but we also have a great video training session taught by Martha van Berkel all about local schema.
  • If you’re moving into a building that had a previous business in it, make sure to find any other online listings that use your new address and report them as closed. You can do this on most major platforms.
  • It’s a good idea to announce your location change as a top banner on your website, to your email list, and on your social media channels.
  • And, finally, be sure to check in on your various online listings for the next several months to make sure everything gets updated properly.

Moving to a new address for your business is disruptive for sure, but if you follow the steps outlined here, at least you can minimize the impact on your customers and help them continue to find and do business with you.