Are you a photographer or creative entrepreneur looking to relocate your business, but you are unsure of how to market it at the new location? Or Perhaps you are afraid you will lose all of your SEO rankings?
I was at this exact situation and have relocated not only once but now twice.
I got married back in 2004, and my husband and I had always talked about one day leaving New Jersey. He is also originally from Brazil, so we were both looking to escape the cold. That dream always felt like a faraway mirage, and we would occasionally talk about it. Until one day I caught the relocation bug, it tugged me and left me without sleep. The desire to move was so great that it got me into taking action. I won’t go into full details, but the way a door opened for us to move South.
I could technically relocate my photography business anywhere, so it was a win-win except I did have some leg work ahead of me. After all, I was ranking so well in New Jersey at the time, and I would have to learn how to start over and well let Google know I moved. The other worry was that SEO was really working for me and I feared losing my Google rankings.
Last year I relocated once again, and I know a thing or two about how to transfer your business without it being an SEO nightmare.
Check out my top tips for business relocation.
Before Moving Your Business
Recently I have seen some photographers mention that they were told by some expert that they should change all of their current page titles and descriptions of their current posts and pages to state the new location. So for example if I live in Miami Florida and all of my posts have Miami related content, this means going back to those blog posts and adding the new city, let’s say Dallas. PLEASE DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT DOING THIS!
You will piss Google off and your audience even more so. How? Well if you actually start ranking in a new place and your image or post shows up in Google results and that Dallas bride gets to it to find out it’s not about Dallas weddings, she is gonna be ticked off and she will hit that backspace button. She is not getting married in Miami so this will be a miss message and basically false result for her search query. If more visitors do the same this will trigger Google to thinking your website is not a good fit at all and you will lose rankings instead of gaining them. This is also flat out lying which is not good for any brand.
If you know you have a few months to move or even a year. Here is what you should do first.
- Have a set date when all the info should be switched over
- Start blogging about the new city with that new city related content
- You can add the new city to your contact or about page
- You can start networking with businesses from the new city ( FB groups, Meet Up groups and even Instagram)
- You can start blogging interviews and features of the new city
- Join Facebook Groups for networking and asking questions
- Find some location related hashtags for Instagram
- Start a new Pinterest board ( or a few) about your new location
- You can create a brand new page targeting that new city and desired keyword you would like
- Make a video when you are ready to do your business relocation announcement
After you move your creative local business
You will first want to tell Google that your business has now moved. This means updating your Google My Business listing and secondly updating all of your other online listings like in directories.
- Update all of the page titles and meta descriptions to match the new location. Make sure your pages don’t have the old location content
- Update all of your social media bio info since Google uses this as a ranking signal.
- Start using more geo-specific hashtags on social
- Verify your new location with Google My Business if verification is needed
- Create a weekly Google Posts schedule for Google My Business
- Create a Press Release to announce your business relocation
- Build your citation listing ( online directories and make sure all business listings has the new location information). Check out Whitesparks Citation services top local ones they recommend. Bright Local also has a good list – https://www.brightlocal.com/resources/top-50-local-citation-sites/
- I recommend getting a local business number
- Geotag your photos with this free tool
- Add photos of new office or studio ( if you have one) to your website and Google My Business listing
- Embed new office location on your location/contact page
- Implement local schema markup or new location
Other marketing ideas for when moving your business
- Attend local events to meet new vendors and businesses. I love Tuesday’s Together and Bloggers Union
- Set up a launch event to celebrate. Events rank well online and can give you some PR opportunities as well
- Give back and sponsor a local event. This will allow for you to meet potential new clients, give back to the community and get a new backlink which is great for SEO
- Work on backlinks for your local business. Try to get some local blogs or websites to link to you
- Become a Google Local Guide and review local businesses and restaurants
Relocating a business is never fast and smooth sailing. It takes some groundwork and time but it is crucial to have a marketings strategy in place. If you are new to SEO then you should check out my Free Keyword Mini-Course. Learn how to find new SEO keywords for your business and optimize your pages when you move. Click on the photo below to sign up.