steviephil

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
2
Hi everyone. A client of mine has told me that they plan to sell one of their two locations to another company. If it goes ahead, the deal will likely complete in the next 1-2 months.

I've never had this happen before - and while I think I have an idea of how to handle aspects of it, I wanted to lean on the wise expertise of this forum to double-check my thinking and make sure I've not forgotten anything major related to it.

I'm going to call the location they're selling as "Selltown" and the one they're keeping as "Keepsville". My client as "Client", the buyer as "Buyer". I thought colour-coding might help as well, haha...!

I'd share more details (such as what industry it is), but as the deal is still pending, I wouldn't want to risk giving away too much to the point that it reveals what company it is, just in case it jeopardises the deal somehow. One thing I will say is that Client's two locations are far away from each other, and given that the nature of the industry involves visiting the locations in person, it's not likely that Client's Selltown customers would want to migrate to Keepsville instead. Client's customers will become Buyer's customers in Selltown as part of the sale. Also, Buyer will rename/rebrand Client's Selltown name, to coincide with their own branding.

A possible complication to start us off: as part of the sale, Client has said that Buyer can have Selltown's phone number in addition to the location/premises. So they'll essentially be taking the A and P of the NAP (as mentioned, the name will change to Buyer's branding). There's also apparently been the tentative suggestion of giving them the GBP listing and that Client will redirect the Selltown landing page URL to Buyer's website rather than back to Client's own (eek!), which was hinted at before getting me involved and letting me know their plans. However it's all just been discussed verbally so far, and apparently won't be in the actual sale agreement itself (phew). I think Client suggested it as a 'gesture of goodwill' type thing without realising the confusion it might cause customers and Google. Giving the phone number makes sense to me I guess (after all, it doesn't make sense to redirect calls to Client's Keepsville location, who'll just say: "sorry, call Buyer's Selltown location instead"), but I'm uncomfortable about giving them the GBP listing and doing the redirect (surely doing the former would be against GBP's rules anyway?).

Anyway, here's what I currently have in mind for each Local SEO aspect of this...

GBP listing: I'm guessing I mark the Selltown location as 'permanently closed', and Buyer has to create their own listing for the location? Or should we gift/transfer it to them - especially as they're taking its phone number? That said, it has a lot of reviews, so - with Buyer taking it over - it doesn't make sense to me that they'd inherit all of those, especially as Client is still active as a company separately (just not in that location anymore)...?

Citations: Should I go to the effort of deleting as many Client Selltown citations that I can? I use Moz Local on the location and it looks like they have a 'Delete location from Directories and Platforms' option, so that sounds like the best thing to do in the first instance, and then I can manually track down and try to remove any stragglers that remain. It'd then be up to Buyer to create their own for Selltown.

Redirects: There's landing pages for each of the two locations on Client's site... I'm thinking of redirecting Selltown's page to the homepage, rather than Keepsville's location page (in my eyes redirecting it to Keepsville's page could be a little confusing, and the two locations are so far away from each other that I can't see Selltown customers becoming Keepsville customers anyway - BUT it would be good to give the Keepsville page more 'link juice')...

Homepage: Now that they're down to just one location, do they still even need a dedicated Keepsville landing page anymore? Should we rewrite the homepage to just be about the one location, and then redirect the Keepsville landing page to it as well? Or would it be good to keep it anyway, because it'll have "keepsville" in the URL (and has historically been the URL for it)? I want to avoid a keyword cannibalisation issue if I can though, if both the homepage and the Keepsville page talk about Keepsville.

Other on-page considerations: Obviously we'll go through all landing pages, blog posts, etc. and remove mentions of Selltown from them, affecting pretty much all of the 90+ blog posts and 20+ landing pages on the site (whew)! Any Selltown-specific blogs posts will be taken offline and redirected, but I think there's only 1-2 of those. Update site-wide menus as well (removing the Selltown links/mentions), etc.

Possible rebrand: Another potential complication in all of this: Client might use it as an opportunity to merge the remaining Keepsville location with another company they own (in a different but related industry), and rebrand both of them under one new name (or possibly under the other company's name). But I think this'll be more of a 'phase 2' type thing (with 'phase 1' being selling off Selltown - i.e. I don't think they'll action both at the same time). But that might affect some of the above plans as well, as there could be a new domain soon, etc.

Have I missed anything obvious?

Thanks! (And sorry for the epic post!)
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
Moderator
LocalU Faculty
Top Poster Of Month
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
4,383
Solutions
19
Reaction score
2,469
GBP listing: I'm guessing I mark the Selltown location as 'permanently closed', and Buyer has to create their own listing for the location? Or should we gift/transfer it to them - especially as they're taking its phone number? That said, it has a lot of reviews, so - with Buyer taking it over - it doesn't make sense to me that they'd inherit all of those, especially as Client is still active as a company separately (just not in that location anymore)...?
Yes, and I would ask Google to transfer the reviews to keepsville, first.

Citations: Should I go to the effort of deleting as many Client Selltown citations that I can? I use Moz Local on the location and it looks like they have a 'Delete location from Directories and Platforms' option, so that sounds like the best thing to do in the first instance, and then I can manually track down and try to remove any stragglers that remain. It'd then be up to Buyer to create their own for Selltown.
I would only spend time updating the higher quality sites that rank organically for branded searches.

Redirects: There's landing pages for each of the two locations on Client's site... I'm thinking of redirecting Selltown's page to the homepage, rather than Keepsville's location page (in my eyes redirecting it to Keepsville's page could be a little confusing, and the two locations are so far away from each other that I can't see Selltown customers becoming Keepsville customers anyway - BUT it would be good to give the Keepsville page more 'link juice')...
Homepage makes sense.

Homepage: Now that they're down to just one location, do they still even need a dedicated Keepsville landing page anymore? Should we rewrite the homepage to just be about the one location, and then redirect the Keepsville landing page to it as well? Or would it be good to keep it anyway, because it'll have "keepsville" in the URL (and has historically been the URL for it)? I want to avoid a keyword cannibalisation issue if I can though, if both the homepage and the Keepsville page talk about Keepsville.
I would check to see if the two pages are already ranking for the same keywords. If so, I think you would have a strong case to optimize the homepage for the core keywords. You could keep the location page, and optimize it for other things that the homepage doesn't rank for.
 

steviephil

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
2
Yes, and I would ask Google to transfer the reviews to keepsville, first.


I would only spend time updating the higher quality sites that rank organically for branded searches.


Homepage makes sense.


I would check to see if the two pages are already ranking for the same keywords. If so, I think you would have a strong case to optimize the homepage for the core keywords. You could keep the location page, and optimize it for other things that the homepage doesn't rank for.

Thanks Colan. Really appreciate the reply.

Point #1: Wow, I can do that?! I mean, I knew I could, but I didn't think it'd be allowable here, given that those reviews (while for the same company) were for that particular location? It's ok to ask Google to transfer them regardless? Also, do you have a guide or step-by-step process you can recommend for it please? I know Google can be meticulous (and a bit 'difficult') with this type of stuff, so I'd want to follow it to the letter.

Points #2 & #3 - thanks!

Point #4: I've just doubled-checked the situation and both the homepage and the Keepsville landing page rank - the homepage is indented below the landing page in the SERPs. So I'd be inclined to make the homepage the 'primary' page going forward, and even redirect the Keepsville landing page to the homepage (rather than keep it separate as you've suggested), as there's already keyword cannibalisation occurring from what I can see.

Thanks again!
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
Moderator
LocalU Faculty
Top Poster Of Month
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
4,383
Solutions
19
Reaction score
2,469
You're welcome, Steve.

For point 1, I am basing it off of this. Not a move per se, but in the same ballpark. - How to move your reviews across Business Profiles - Google Business Profile Help

Change your physical location​

If you move your business to a new location and keep the same business name, Google generally transfers the reviews to the new location. Exceptions include businesses heavily tied to their locations, like hotels, golf courses, or scenic attractions.
 

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

LocalU

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Google Product Exert


Top Bottom