Changing your business name seems like a simple decision. In today’s day and age, however, changing your name is not a one-step process, especially if you are a local business and depend on calls and/or visits to your location. Forgetting any one of these details can result in lost business and slower growth.
Think of the internet as a library full of interconnected information. Each website gets its information from other websites to provide data to their audience. When you consider that there are thousands of websites that can provide data about your business to potential customers, you see how critical it is to make any change in a way that all websites will detect this new information.
Business changes such as a name change, relocation, or a phone number change must be immediately updated in all areas of the web or your business traffic will suffer.
Below is a list of details you need to remember when changing business information, along with a printable checklist for you to make sure no details are missed.
Business Changes and How to Update them on the Web and in the Office
1. Update your logo
If you are going through a name change this seems like a no-brainer. However, while you are getting your logo reworked, it is a good time to have different aspects of your logo designed. This keeps the look of the business name but allows it to be used in different ways; letterhead, signage, social media, etc. Social media profile images tend to be square while letterhead and signage may have a different layout.
2. Update your domain name
If you are starting a new business, check the domain name BEFORE you decide on a business name. While you are brainstorming, open up a domain search like at www.tupelohosting.com and do a quick search to see if the name of the business you are considering is available. If you are going to have profiles on social media, check to see if the name is available on them as well; consistency will help your customers find you if your .com name is the same as your Facebook, Instagram, etc name.
If you have an existing domain name, your website may have been mentioned in articles, Pinterest pages, discussions, and other areas on the web that cannot be changed. To make sure you don’t lose potential website traffic, you need to set up a redirect that will take potential customers who type in your old domain name to your new website location (this is called a 301 redirect). You can google how to do this or have us do it for you.
3. Update your business cards and signage
A consistent look is crucial to a business. Customers relax with the familiar. If you aren’t using a consistent name or logo it causes friction and confusion during your customer’s experience with you.
4. Check for online listings of your business
As mentioned earlier, these websites list your business name, address, and phone number at a minimum. Others may include your website address, hours, and pictures of the business. It is vital to get this information updated on ALL websites to avoid confusing your customers and hurting your local rankings.
There are services that will help with this, but you need to choose carefully because not all do a good/thorough job. If you would prefer to do it yourself, do Google and Bing searches for your business name, address, and phone number (search each separately). Create a list of the business listings that result from each search. You will need to go to each website and update the information.
5. Notify your customers
This seems simple, but it’s a crucial step. Notification can be as simple as an email or social media blast, or more formal with a marketing campaign complete with specials that provide incentives for customers to visit your new website.
6. Small but important details
Don’t forget to change small details such as your email signature, newsletter footer, online document content, and voicemail message!
Additional tips and information
The websites that contain business data are free listings that are not always updated quickly. If a website relies on manual updating, the change you submit may take a while; we have seen these changes take as long as 6 months.
Not all listings can be updated. Many websites simply pull the data from another resource. You will need to track it back to find the source of the information and update it there.
Once you update your business information on the source website, the information will automatically be updated on the end website that is linking back to that data. If you cannot find the source a website is pulling your business data from, we can help.
Would you rather not deal with it?
We understand. This process is both tedious and time-consuming, and the effects on your business can be significant. As part of our search engine optimization services, we have tools that we use on a daily basis that allow us to complete your business updates more quickly and that also do a thorough job at catching all websites that need to be updated.
It does still take time for any website that processes information updates manually as they need to process the new business information we send them, but you will be able to rest easy knowing we are covering all bases while you are busy working your business.
Filed In: Search Engine Optimization