Now you’re looking at your lease through the local SEO lens. A combination of the pandemic, the lockdown(s), the quasi-, and other changes has made you want to save money where you can, or work from home indefinitely, or move your HQ. The basic concern is, “Will I destroy my local rankings if I rent somewhere else or stop renting altogether?”
Your more-specific questions might include:
- Should you stay in your current building?
- If you stay, how long should you stay?
- If you move, which address (old or new) should you show online?
- Should you stop showing your address online?
- How important is your exact address, in the grand scheme of local SEO?
The answer to those questions and others in a similar bucket is: “it depends.” It depends on a lot of factors you need to weigh.
In recent months I’ve helped several clients transition to work-from-home, develop or with virtual/online/not-in-person services, or move to a new address. (I also did some of that pre-COVID.) You might have similar goals. In that case, I’m here to point out all the ways an address change can blow up in your face, so you can decide what the least-bad course of action is.
Below are some factors I suggest you include in your head math as you decide whether and when to drop your lease (or make a similar big change). The more of these you can answer “yes” to, the better.
- Do you get customers / clients / patients from a variety of cities or towns or neighborhoods, rather than only from the one you’re in? You’re taking a real gamble if most or all of your business comes from one small spot. But if you get people from a variety of places – and if you suspect they found you online and aren’t all just word-of-mouth referrals – then your visibility is probably diversified enough. Your rankings go down here and go up there, but you’re still OK. Not all your eggs are in one basket.
- Do you have a good way to explain PUBLICLY what your location is? If you want or need to specify it on your site, or explain it to Google My Business “support,” or clarify something in a response to an online review, you don’t want your place of business (or lack thereof) to seem dodgy.
- If you use AdWords and run location extensions, do your ads without location extensions do well? If your CTRs or other important metrics are only good when your Google My Business page gets dragged along into your ad, and then you make a big change to that Google My Business page, your Google Ads visibility may become collateral damage.
- Is your current place itself not a big selling point for most of your customers? If you don’t know already, see if you can glean any insights from your customers’ reviews of you. Maybe your possible new location or non-location is better for you and not a deal-breaker for your clientele, but how many people would miss something irreplaceable about the old location?
Lifting anchor from your lease may or may not be voluntary. Whether it’s a change you have to make, or want to make, or that you figure you might as well make because so many other things are in flux anyway, it’s worth engineering in your favor as much as you can. Knowing the trade-offs and blind spots is the best way to do that.
What are you considering doing with your lease or address?
Any factors you’re weighing that I did not mention?
Any unique twists in your situation?
Leave a comment!