If your business changes its name and meets the following criteria, reviews aren’t removed:
• You make a minor name change.
• You have multiple locations and the business name changes.
Be very careful because if your business changes its name but doesn’t meet the criteria above, it’s considered a new business and reviews are removed.
You can see the Google guidelines help article here: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3098204?hl=en
When making changes to your business name the safest way we have found is the following 5 steps:
1. Change first with your local secretary of sate office.
2. Change on your Website.
3. Change on your Facebook business page.
4. Change on your Google My Business profile.
5. Change on your Yelp Business account.
Hey, guys. Joe Burnich here with bigwestmarketing.com. We’ve been getting a lot of questions asking, “If I make this change to my business on my Google My Business account, will I lose my Google reviews?” So we’re going to talk about the different scenarios and some different steps you can take to make sure you’re doing it right. Let’s get started right now. First of all, if you’re trying to trick Google, it’s probably not going to work. There’s maybe a 5% chance it’s going to work if you try to trick Google. And in the long-term, they’re probably going to catch up with you. So I highly recommend if you’re trying to pull a fast one on Google, you do not try to do this.
So let’s say that you are a carpet cleaning company, but you want to stop doing carpet cleaning and start doing window cleaning, and you want to retain all your reviews. There’s a chance you’re going to lose your reviews when you go into the Category section in Google My Business and change it from carpet cleaning to window cleaning as far as a primary service category. Because Google doesn’t want you to have a bunch of legitimate reviews about carpet cleaning, which you’re very good at, but maybe you hardly have ever done any window cleaning. And you don’t want… Google doesn’t want to pass on the reputation from this service to that service. Like I said, there are exceptions to this. So there’s no hard and fast rule when I talk about this stuff, but you want to be very careful. The main thing people deal with though, is changing a business name.
So let’s say that you want to change. You’ve got a really specific Jim’s Carpet Cleaning Service, but you want to make sure that people know that you’re a full service cleaning company. Because over the years, you’ve added all kinds of stuff. So you want to change it from Jim’s Carpet Cleaning Service to Jim’s Cleaning Services or Cleaning Company, something like that. So you can be a little bit more general and you’re not confusing people and making them think you only do carpet cleaning. That’s a very good example. That’s somebody we’re working with right now is doing something very similar to that, and we’re having really good success getting everything changed over. But there’s a specific way that we’re doing it, a step-by-step way that we’re doing it. And so everything I’m going to share with you right now is based on two things.
1. Google’s Guidelines. We study Google Guidelines very carefully to make sure we’re not violating anything. And they change from time to time. So you want to stay up on that. I’m going to put a link down below. And then the second thing I do when it comes to the guide making changes like this is I make sure that it’s based on experience. Because the Guidelines don’t cover every situation, so there’s a lot of questions that come up. So I’m going to talk to you about the safest way to make a business name change and retain your Google reviews, and also your Google rankings, if that’s a concern.
So number one thing you want to do is go change your name first with the Secretary of State. Every state has an office, has a Secretary of State office that you can go to. Or you can get online and go through the process of making a business name change. Now, when you change it with Google, Google has something to refer back to, it’ll make everything look way more legitimate.
2. Second thing you want to do is change it on your website. And I’m not talking about just the logo or up at the top. Everywhere on your website possible that that business name could exist, you change that. Highly recommend you get ahold of your web designer or your marketing company, so they can not only change the visible stuff, but also the backend stuff like the schema. And your marketing company will know that if you’re one of our clients, we will change the schema for you. Just let us know. So that’s number two, the website.
3. You want to change on your Facebook Business page, you want to change the name there. It’s another very reputable source that Google will look at to make sure that you are doing this legitimate and you are the real deal.
4. This is where you want to go in and actually change it on your Google My Business account. So when you go to business.google.com, you login to your Google My Business account. Now you want to actually make that name change in there, in the Edit section.
5. The last thing you want to do is change it in your Yelp Business account. Yelp doesn’t like you to change it in their system until you’ve changed it in Google first, for whatever reason. But it’s very important that all of this stuff online, your Secretary of State, your website, your Google My Business, your Facebook and your Yelp, they all match. But there’s a certain order, there’s a very safe order in which to do that. And that’s what I just gave you right there.
So that’s it. If you have any more questions, you can always get on our website and apply for a free consultation. Or if you’re a current client with ours and you want to do this, and you want to stay in Google’s good graces, please call us, please notify us, email us. Let us know, so that we can do this for you. That’s why you’re paying us money, so that we can do this stuff for you. If you would like to become a client of ours, you can call (406)-493-1881, or you can go to the website, link below, bigwestmarketing.com. And like I said, apply for a free consultation. Once again, my name is Joe Burnich with bigwestmarketing.com, and I will see you in the next video.