Moving your business is hard enough to begin with. Packing up inventory, doing leasehold improvements and spreading the word about your move can easily push your endurance to the brink.
In the shuffle, many small business owners make a handful of mistakes that can severely hamper their business’ online visibility. In fact, most don’t even realize they are making them.
It’s all got to do with something we call your digital shadow.
Sure you’ve moved, but after years in business at your original location, your old address and phone number is still listed on dozens or even hundreds of websites. This digital shadow of incorrect information can frustrate customers who turn up at your old location to find shuttered windows.
Back in the day, if your phone number got listed incorrectly in the local yellow pages one year, you’d find yourself in a spot of serious trouble. Your business could be lost to the world, along with your profits.
These days there are a handful of giant companies (with names like Acxiom and Infogroup) that collect and distribute listings data about businesses large and small. This data is pushed to websites like Yelp, Urbanspoon, 411.com and hundreds of other places you need to be seen (you can find out more about where listings come from here).
When moving your business, or starting a new one, it’s important to avoid these common mistakes:
Doing nothing: If you fail to take any corrective action, your old “zombie” listings could haunt you for years. Customers will be calling the old number, visiting the old address, and possibly concluding you have gone out of business.
Not alerting the major listings distributors: Since all the review and listings sites are getting your address from the same few major listings distributors, you’ve got to let these big boys know. This will help your listings be corrected and updated automatically, no muss no fuss.
Forgetting to update social media pages: Facebook is one of the largest search engine in the world, and many of your customers will go there first to find your address and phone number. This is an easy fix, but not to be overlooked.
Moving your business in the digital age is all about getting the drop on it, lest it get the drop on you.
This is why Vendasta offers a service called Listing Distribution. With this system we can alert the big four listings companies – Neustar/Localeze, Acxiom, Factual and Infogroup – that you’ve moved. From there you can sit back and watch your correct information trickle down to over 300 websites.
It’s a lot like hiring a crew of movers.
Avoiding these common mistakes can save you a lot of headaches, and make your move as easy and organized as possible. So mind your digital shadow, and protect your profits from phantom listings.