How do you find a trendy restaurant in town? If you’re like many of us, you search online. So, it’s essential to make sure your company’s contact info, operation hours, and other details are up to date on all business listing platforms, such as Google My Business and Yelp. This will make sure your business shows up as a match for customers searching for “near me” businesses.

However, making manual updates across all the listing platforms is time-consuming and tedious. Having said that, you can lighten the workload by using automated location data services like Moz Local. This automated tool will distribute your new data to your current listing on the most important listing platforms. 

By using automated location data services, you’ll save a lot of time. However, you still need to manually edit your website and any listing platform that isn’t managed by the paid service you choose. 

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Special Considerations Involving NAP Updates

Once a company changes its name or phone number, it needs to update old references to feature the new data. That’s easy. But moving your business location is more complicated. Because if a business isn’t occupying a new building, the physical address will have a previous occupant. Also, the old local listings may still reference the former business that occupied that address.

Here are a few steps you can take after a business move:

  • Update all references to the old physical address on your site. This may include page content, headers, and footers. Announce the relocation on your homepage and on other listing platforms. Provide the new driving directions and a map on all the listing platforms and your homepage.
  • Find the listings, especially the Google My Business or Yelp listing, for the former occupant. Mark the listing as closed or report it as closed to the support teams of other important listing platforms.
  • Update your current local business listing to reflect the new address.
  • Update all website references such as blogs, government indexes, and professional associations.
  • Announce your relocation on all of your social media handles.
  • Track your local business listing in the following months to make sure there are no duplicate listings that have come up because of the relocation.

This method will help you transition from the moving process with as few problems as possible.

Also, while updating phone numbers involves a simple edit of all existing references, when choosing a new number, search for it online first. Make sure the new phone number you choose isn’t associated with previous businesses that are cited for scams, spams, or cold calling. 

During the NAP change, don’t accidentally violate Google’s guidelines. It’s common to see businesses doing this, especially after rebranding or moving.

For instance, you might see a restaurant that was formerly Savanna’s Café and is now named Savanna’s Diner editing their local business listing on their Google My Business page to read Savanna’s Diner (Formerly Savanna’s café). Or, you may see a restaurant that has moved from downtown to uptown editing their Google My Business Name field to Savanna’s Diner — Now Uptown. Because these business name updates don’t reflect the real name of the business, they’re violations of Google’s guidelines and you should avoid them.

So, you must rely on Google and other business listing platforms; it’s important to update data from the fields that have legitimately changed to reflect the real-world data.

However, whether you update your business listing automatically or manually, it’s crucial to have control over the data published online about your company. So always make sure that your business info is up to date and consistent within your website and across the web.

Until next time, when we’re going to look at optimizing ads for local searches.