How to Update Local SEO & Maintain Rankings When Moving to a New Location?

Let’s say you are a local business owner. You’ve worked hard on your local SEO over the years. And, you are generating many leads because of your local SEO strategies.
But what happens when you decide to move? All your local SEO efforts can go in vain. It is likely to happen if you do not take proper measures.
You can still ensure that your local rankings are not affected by the change of location. You can do this by implementing certain strategies while moving.
In this extensive guide, you’ll learn about how to maintain your rankings when moving to a new location.

First, Update the Location on Your Website

The first step you must take while moving to a new location is to update your website.
You probably have your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) listed in many places on your website. These can be on your Contact page or Footer. Change these to update your new location.
You can also embed maps on your contact page. It will help customers to find your address easily. Also, consider adding a couple of pictures of your new place.
You can even go as far as to create a blog post or video stating about the move. All these will help your customers to reach your new location easily.
After updating your website, check your site’s structured data. You can do this by using Google’s Structured Data Data Testing tool. Through structured data, you can update Google with your new NAP listing.

Close Your Old Business Location

Next, it is very important to close your old business location. You can do this by removing your business profile from your Google My Business account. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Log in to your Google My Business account.
  • Click on the profile you want to remove. And, in the menu on the left, select Info.
  • Click on Close or remove this Listing. And, select Remove listing. You can also select Mark as permanently closed. You can do this if you wish to mark your old location as permanently closed.

To remove your old business location from Maps, take the following steps:

  • Go to Google Maps and log in with the same account used for Google My Business.
  • On the map, click on your old business location.
  • Select Suggest an edit. Click Close or remove.
  • Once done, your request will be under review. Later, Google will send you an email regarding the status of your request.

Add Your New Business Location to Google My Business

The next step is to add the new location of your business to your Google My Business account. Here are the steps to follow for the same:

  • Log in to your Google My Business account.
  • From the menu, click on Info.
  • Click the Address field and enter the address of your new business location. Follow the address guidelines given by Google while entering the address.
  • If Google is unable to locate the address you’ve entered, you can use the Set marker location option. Drag the pin on the map and set it to your location. Click Apply.
  • Google may not instantly approve the location. Google may take time to review and approve your location request. Google may even send a postcard to your new location to re-verify the address.

Correct All Business Listings

For comparatively older businesses listings are probably present all over the internet. Finding and changing all the old listings to new business locations is a must.
Otherwise, your customers will have a bad experience with your brand. And they may even leave negative reviews in those listings. Not updating all your listings may also affect your local search rankings.
You can use a local citation finder tool to do this. Using this tool, you can find your citations and update them to your new locations.
You might also have old locations listed in some niche-specific directories. Updating these listings is also essential. It will help in the smooth transition of your business to the new location. Hence, ensure that you do not leave any of these listings as well.

Benefits of Updating Your New Location in Business Listings

1. You Will Gain Visibility on Local Google Search and Maps

Most users make a quick Google search or use Google maps to look for local businesses. If you fail to update your Google My Business listing when moving to a new location, your business won’t show up.
Hence, it is very important to update your new location in your Google My Business account. By doing this, your business will show up in Google maps and search. It will help you gain visibility when people are looking for local businesses.
Visibility for local search is very important for bringing in local traffic. Traffic generated through local search is highly qualified. And, the chances of conversions of these local users are fairly high.

2. You Can Build Trust with Customers

Google is one of the most trustworthy search engines in the world. Everyone trusts Google. Thus, adding your new location to Google will help to gain the trust of your potential customers.
The converse is also true. Suppose you fail to update your new location while moving. Then users won’t find your physical location on Google search or Maps. It will lower the trust of your prospects. It will ultimately result in a huge loss for your business.
Adding your new business location to Google enables users to add ratings and reviews. These ratings and reviews also help to build trust with your customers.
Social proof in the form of ratings and reviews is very significant. Users often judge a business based on their reviews and ratings.
Also, not updating your new location may result in lots of confusion. Some of your customers may even end up going to your old location. It will result in a very bad user experience, ultimately leading to customer churn.
Hence, in many ways, updating your new business location is a must for gaining the trust of your customers.

3. You Can Gain a Position in Google’s Local 3-Pack

If you are familiar with local search, you would know about the local 3-pack. The local 3-pack is the set of 3 businesses that appear on top of Google search results during a local search. We all tend to click and go with one of these three businesses.
Most top local businesses try hard to show up in the local 3-pack. When you show up here, your traffic significantly increases. You’ll gain more customers, ultimately leading to increased sales and revenue.
Without updating our new business location on Google, you wouldn’t have a chance to show up in a local 3-pack. By updating your new location, the chances of attaining this coveted position increase multiple folds.

How to Maintain Local SEO Rankings?

Now you know how to remove your old location and update the new location. Next, let’s look at how you can maintain your local SEO ranking while moving.

1. Gather Positive Reviews and Ratings

Google My Business Reviews play a huge role in your local search rankings. Positive reviews not only help to rank higher on Google local searches. But, they also help to impact the minds of your prospective clients to convert.
When you move your business to a new location, it is very important to gather as many positive reviews as possible. Hence, you should proactively work towards gaining positive reviews.
You can do this by reaching out to happy customers. Either ask the customers in person to give you a positive review and rating. Do this after you know that the customer has had a positive experience with your business.
You can also do this by reaching out to happy customers through emails post-sale. By taking these measures, you’ll gain lots of positive reviews for your new location. It will help you to rank higher for your new location. And thus, maintain your local search rankings.
You should also manage your Google My Business reviews.

  • You can do this by thanking the positive reviewers.
  • You should also address the negative reviews and resolve their issues. It will again help to maintain your local search rankings.

2. Optimize Your Website with Keywords Based on your New Business Location

If you have been getting local traffic for your old location, you need to gain that back for your new location.
You are getting the traffic for an old location because you might have optimized your website for local keywords. Now, you need to optimize your website for the new local keywords. Only then, you can quickly recover your traffic for the new location.
For this, start by using Google Keyword Planner. You can find popular keywords for your location using this tool. Using this approach:

  • Come up with a list of local keywords popular in your location.
  • Optimize your webpages for these keywords.
  • You can replace your older local keywords with the keywords for new locations.
  • You should also optimize your content for the new location keywords. For this, create content around the new location keywords.

Also, remember to optimize your web page URLs, meta tags, and titles for these new local keywords. You can also optimize your website around other popular landmarks in your location.
By taking these steps, your website will start ranking for the new local keywords. Your website will show up on Google search when users search for keywords based on the new location. It will help you to maintain your local SEO rankings and search traffic.

3. Create Content Around Local News and Events

Creating local content plays a pivotal role in grabbing the attention of local prospects. You need to do things that make your business an authority at the new location. And the simplest way to go about it is to create local content.
You can do this by creating blog posts, videos, or social media posts around local news. You can also support some local causes and talk about local events.
Doing this will attract local customers to your website and social media pages. More and more people will get familiarized with your brand. They will also gain awareness about your products and services.
You can also create web pages for your location. You can add hyper-localized content to each of these webpages. And, you can optimize these web pages for location-specific keywords.
When moving to a new location, this can be helpful, as people will get to know about your new location. And, you’ll start gaining back your local search traffic soon.

4. Optimize for Voice Search Using Conversational Keywords

Did you know that 58% of consumers use voice search to look for a local business? That is why optimizing your site for voice search can help you quickly rise the local rankings.
Voice search includes generic information based searches. Ranking for these will help you gain awareness in the new locality.
Voice search may also come from users who are already familiar with your business. These people might be looking for specific information. It can include details such as opening hours, reviews, and ratings. It is important to optimize for both these kinds of searches.
Voice search generally tends to be more long-tail and conversational. They usually begin with words like “what”, “where”, and “when”. Hence, try to optimize your content with these keywords. And, use more long-tail variations. Try to make your content more conversational as well.
Also, ensure that all your business information is readily available on your site. These can be the exact address, nearby landmarks, and opening hours.

5. Earn More Local Backlinks

Backlinks are an important ranking factor for Google. But, did you know that local backlinks matter too? 100% of local SEO experts believe that local link building is an effective way to improve local rankings.
When you are moving to a new location, you should build backlinks from local websites. It will help you rank higher for the new location.
You can generate local backlinks by creating high-quality, unique local content. When your content is valuable, local websites will automatically link to your website.
You can also work on building PR for your new business location. Reach out to local newspapers and media outlets with news about your business. It will also help you generate many local backlinks for the new location.
Another way to build local backlinks is through email outreach. Create high-quality and valuable content. And, reach out to local websites asking for links to your content. Ensure that your content adds value to their audience. You can also consider other options like collaborating with local influencers.

What Are the Mistakes You Need to Avoid While Changing Your Local Business Listings?

Let’s look at some of the common mistakes made by businesses while changing their local business listings. Try to avoid these mistakes. Doing so will help you maintain your local SEO rankings for the new business location.

1. Not Removing or Closing your Old Business Location

Not removing or closing your old business location can put you in a lot of trouble. The worst that can happen is, users can visit your old business location only to find it closed. It can lead to a very bad user experience. It will also affect your local SEO.

2. Incorrect Map Pin Location for Your New Business Address

Sometimes, Google might not accept the address you enter for the Google My Business (GMB) listing. You have to pin the exact location on the map manually. If you fail to do this, Google Maps will show the wrong address. It will also show the wrong directions for your new business location. It will lead to a very bad user experience.

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3. Not Claiming Your New Business Location Listing

Apart from adding your new business location, you should also claim and get it verified. If you fail to do so, any other business owner or user can edit your business listing. It can hurt your local SEO rankings.

4. Missing or Incorrect Information in your GMB Listing for the New Location

It can be frustrating when you don’t find the contact information while doing a local search. It can hurt your rankings and lead to a bad reputation for your brand. Hence, add all necessary information to your new location’s listings. It includes your contact information and opening hours.

5. Not Adding Photos and Videos

Adding photos and videos of your new business location to GMB can make your business more trustworthy. Users will easily learn about your new business location. More people will learn about your business location move. And your business will appear more authentic and trustworthy.

6. Not Responding to Reviews

Every business tends to get negative reviews on GMB. Ignoring such negative reviews is not a good approach. You should actively work towards tracking your reviews on Google listings. When you get negative reviews, try to respond to them as soon as possible. Your response should ideally consist of an apology followed by a resolution to the issue. You can also reach out to the customer later on through other mediums.

What is a NAP?

NAP is short for Name, Address, and Phone number. It refers to the business information you provide across various places on the internet. It includes the information on your website and Google My Business listing. It also includes other local directories and relevant business listings.
NAP is a very important factor that can affect your local SEO rankings significantly. It helps Google to come up with rankings for geo-targeted searches.

Why is NAP Important?

NAP is very important to provide accurate contact information to your customers. Not having NAP information can massively hurt your local SEO rankings. Apart from rankings, it can also affects your customer experience and brand reputation.
Google uses name, address, and phone number to decide the rankings of local listings. Hence, it is essential to include accurate NAP information on your website. You should also include the same in your social media profiles and other local directories.
Google will use NAP information from these places. It will use it to decide your rankings for local searches. Failing to include NAP will affect your local SEO rankings. Your business will not show up when users perform local searches.
Having consistent NAP information is also crucial. Consistent NAP means that you should add the same information to all the listings across the internet.
It includes information such as name, address, and phone number. Even every letter and the order of your address lines should be the same everywhere.
Having a consistent NAP is important. It is because Google scans all your business listings when searching for information. It happens when users search for your business information on Google search or Maps. Google will store this data and use it for rankings.
Incorrect or inconsistent NAP information will lead to confusion amongst users. Google will also get confused while trying to find the right business information.

How Does NAP Affect Local SEO Rankings?

As explained in the previous section, NAP is important for local SEO rankings. When a user does a local search, Google will scan all your business listings. If it fails to find appropriate NAP information, it won’t rank you for the search results.
While adding NAP listings for your new location, it is also very important to add accurate and updated information. If you add incorrect NAP information, you will receive negative reviews and ratings. You’ll also experience a bad brand reputation. All these will lead to a decrease in your local rankings for your new location.
Another thing that significantly impacts local SEO rankings is NAP consistency. Search engines need to crawl and index your site successfully. It also plays a major role in ranking in the local 3-pack.
Your NAP listings may turn inconsistent due to many reasons. Different people may have entered different NAP information, or you didn’t know the importance of consistency. So, ensure consistency while entering NAP information for your new business location.
Moreover, NAP also contributes to on-page signals and citation signals concerning SEO. Google uses these signals as a major ranking factor. In fact, according to Moz, NAP is the fifth most important ranking factor for local SEO.
NAP is also important for building customer trust. Studies show that 90% of consumers are frustrated with incorrect NAP information. Also, consumers are more likely to blame you than the business directories. It happens when they find incorrect information.
Here’s how you can ensure that you optimize your NAP information. It will help you rank higher on Google while moving to a new location:

  • Decide on a common name, address, and phone number for your new business location. Ensure that it is the same word by word. For example, do not swap between “Street” and “St”.
  • Ensure that your entire team is on the same page when it comes to NAP information.
  • Add the NAP details, that you’ve decided upon, to your website and social media profiles.
  • Search for popular directories and local listings using Google. Update consistent NAP information of your new business location in all these directories.
  • Use resources such as a list of important local citations. Using such resources, search for and update your new NAP information everywhere.
  • Keep track of all these listings for future references and updates.


Moving to a new location can be very tricky for your local SEO rankings. Failing to take proper measures can lead to a significant drop in your local rankings.
If you want to maintain your local SEO rankings, it is important to update your GMB listings with the new location. You can take the help of this in-depth guide. Using this will ensure that you make a move to a new location with minimum damage to your rankings.
Are you moving your business to a new location? Get a free consultation on how to Maintaining your Local SEO rankings during this time from our experts.

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Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years in strategising and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested to writing Digital-marketing, PPC and Social Media Marketing related topics.


Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years in strategising and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested to writing Digital-marketing, PPC and Social Media Marketing related topics.