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    Question Multiple locations for brick and mortar, plus service business

    I have a new client with 3 laundry mat locations (spread across 15 miles) and a mobile service for laundry pickup - 4 businesses total. Each laundry mat has it's own name, but the service consists of one name.

    Should I suggest to my client to create a Google+ local page for each physical location for both the laundry mats and the delivery service? The delivery service has an single 800#, but I think he should create a unique delivery service Google voice phone number (for listing purposes) for each location and forward to the 800#. Then the delivery service can use these 3 locations.

    Or should he just list the delivery service without an address and show the 15 mile delivery radius?
    Last edited by Linda Buquet; 12-01-2012 at 08:14 AM. Reason: (Moved from intro forum since not an intro, to help section.)

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    Re: Multiple locations for brick and mortar, plus service business

    Hi foxxr and welcome.

    Is the delivery service address AT one of the 3 laundry mats? If so that one should not be a separate listing. So that one would be a single listing for both the laundry mat and delivery service with address showing for the laundry mat and then in cats and description could indicate the delivery service as well. (That's my initial take on it anyway, maybe others have different ideas?)

    800#s don't fly well on G+L and each location needs a direct local # to avoid merges. I've seen problems with G voice #s too. They don't have a phone #? Aren't they listed in the yellow pages? What phone is used there?
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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    Re: Multiple locations for brick and mortar, plus service business

    Hi Linda,

    Wow. I already love this forum. That was fast!

    The laundry mats each have separate names and the delivery service (LCE) has one name. So we are talking about 4 brands total - 4 separate businesses under one owner.

    My take on using the laundry mat addresses is that even though customer can request a pickup, they could also drop off and arrange delivery from (LCE) back to their home or business (the delivery service is free). The (LCE) delivery business is registering at multiple the locations already but it's pretty spotty.

    I use a Google Voice number for my listing and haven't seen any problems as of yet. Additionally, I was thinking that is not unusual to have a few business under one address since businesses often sublet to other tenants. Just so long as the name and phone number are different. You take?

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    Re: Multiple locations for brick and mortar, plus service business

    Quote Originally Posted by foxxr View Post
    Hi Linda,

    Wow. I already love this forum. That was fast!
    Glad you like it. TONS of info here, dig around and you'll like it even more!

    Quote Originally Posted by foxxr View Post
    The laundry mats each have separate names and the delivery service (LCE) has one name. So we are talking about 4 brands total - 4 separate businesses under one owner.

    I was thinking that is not unusual to have a few business under one address since businesses often sublet to other tenants. Just so long as the name and phone number are different. You take?
    Well this situation is a little gray and Google does not handle gray unique business situations well.

    But the guidelines are one listing per business location. (Not per name or phone.) And the way I 'think' the algo would see this at the one location that is also the delivery location is... different division - same company.

    If Google allowed it just due to diff name then we would have TONS of problems with for instance:
    One auto repair shop getting 3 DBAs and setting up 3 listings for Joe's Brake Repair, Joe's Transmission Service, Joe's Lube Job. Really one location, same business, just different services.

    Gvoice MAY be OK, I'm just saying in past I've seen problems reported at the G forum. But here is the other prob, I guess this would be the same as for a brand new business. But when you set up a listing, Google scours the Internet looking for PROOF the business exists. Almost any REAL local business is listed in the yellow pages with a local phone #. Then that info gets propagated out to hundreds/thousands of directories. That gives G proof. So if it's a brand new phone # and G voice # to boot that is not going to give G much local trust right? But then again I would not think this industry is that competitive.

    Also G does not like phone #s that forward to a call center any more than she likes sites that redirect to a diff site. But I'm not sure how she'd find out. I would just be sure the client knows you'd be building everything on a shaky foundation. Slight chance you could do all the work and then since not built on a solid foundation it could all crumble.

    Anyone else have thoughts about any of these issues?
    Having 2 of the businesses with sep listings at same location, or Gvoice?
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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    Re: Multiple locations for brick and mortar, plus service business

    Quote Originally Posted by foxxr View Post
    I have a new client with 3 laundry mat locations (spread across 15 miles) and a mobile service for laundry pickup - 4 businesses total. Each laundry mat has it's own name, but the service consists of one name.

    Should I suggest to my client to create a Google+ local page for each physical location for both the laundry mats and the delivery service? The delivery service has an single 800#, but I think he should create a unique delivery service Google voice phone number (for listing purposes) for each location and forward to the 800#. Then the delivery service can use these 3 locations.

    Or should he just list the delivery service without an address and show the 15 mile delivery radius?
    Quote Originally Posted by foxxr View Post
    Hi Linda,

    Wow. I already love this forum. That was fast!

    The laundry mats each have separate names and the delivery service (LCE) has one name. So we are talking about 4 brands total - 4 separate businesses under one owner.

    My take on using the laundry mat addresses is that even though customer can request a pickup, they could also drop off and arrange delivery from (LCE) back to their home or business (the delivery service is free). The (LCE) delivery business is registering at multiple the locations already but it's pretty spotty.
    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet View Post
    Glad you like it. TONS of info here, dig around and you'll like it even more!

    Well this situation is a little gray and Google does not handle gray unique business situations well.

    But the guidelines are one listing per business location. (Not per name or phone.) And the way I 'think' the algo would see this at the one location that is also the delivery location is... different division - same company.

    Also G does not like phone #s that forward to a call center any more than she likes sites that redirect to a diff site.

    Anyone else have thoughts about any of these issues?
    Having 2 of the businesses with sep listings at same location, or Gvoice?
    I am going to start off by echoing Linda's concerns. The delivery service is essentially an extension from the physical locations and therefore isn't a separate business; functionally they're the same but the form makes them appear different.

    Your situation would be akin to Jack's Pizza (a three store franchise) each having a storefront and Deliver Za Quick (Jack's Pizza delivery service) as a separate one. Essentially Deliver Za Quick is just Jack's Pizza. The only thing your getting from Deliver Za Quick is delivery, you're still using Jack's Pizza.

    Someone on the Spam Team at Google would likely take out your delivery business feature as it inextricably linked to the stores. Or vice versa. Having the same phone number would increase the chance of Google manually/automatically interfering with your features. Also, branding three different stores separately is going to look hinky and I suspect Google would make sure that any benefit to game Search Ranking (if any) would be neutralized.

    If I were setting up the business using the criteria you laid out, I'd do the following:
    • The Official/Legal name for example would be Speedy Clean Clothes, LLC
    • The Primary name would be Speedy Clean Clothes
    • Delivery feature would be part of the laundry mat business

    To summarize it would be best to have the 3 physical features and delivery service all have the same name since they're all laundry-mats and have delivery services. Now I realize the owner could have bought the laundry mats separately, but having a separate name for delivery than any of the laundrymats is confusing and Google may see the arraignment as shady (even if its perfectly legit). If I were in your shoes I'd suggest the owner re-brand into 1 name for all 4 entities.

    The Google Voice number should be labeled as a Mobile phone number.
    Last edited by Andrew Sawyer; 12-01-2012 at 03:12 PM. Reason: formatting

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    Re: Multiple locations for brick and mortar, plus service business

    Andrew,

    Thank you very much for your insight. I'll run this by the owner. You are right, from a branding perspective, it would make sense to have his existing three laundrymats under a single name with the delivery feature as part of their service. That makes good marketing sense.

    The snag here is that he is launching into a new market where he is going to broker out the actual cleaning to other laundrymat owners rather than open up new physical locations. This means that he won't be able to claim a physical location. My theory of sharing a location (with the permission of the owner he is brokering the cleaning to) by creating a Google voice number seems a bit to grey. Linda is right. It wouldn't make sense to do all of the work with local listings only to have it shot down by Google, Yahoo and Bing. I am going to do some more research on other similar business models.

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    Re: Multiple locations for brick and mortar, plus service business

    Quote Originally Posted by foxxr View Post
    Andrew,

    Thank you very much for your insight. I'll run this by the owner. You are right, from a branding perspective, it would make sense to have his existing three laundrymats under a single name with the delivery feature as part of their service. That makes good marketing sense.

    The snag here is that he is launching into a new market where he is going to broker out the actual cleaning to other laundrymat owners rather than open up new physical locations. This means that he won't be able to claim a physical location. My theory of sharing a location (with the permission of the owner he is brokering the cleaning to) by creating a Google voice number seems a bit to grey. Linda is right. It wouldn't make sense to do all of the work with local listings only to have it shot down by Google, Yahoo and Bing. I am going to do some more research on other similar business models.
    Foxxr, when you say he's branching out, does that mean he will be cleaning clothes for other laundrymats as a contract operation? If so he can just run that concurrent with my suggested '1 brandname fits all' approach. Beer breweries contract brew for other beer companies, the same would likely be the case in my understanding of the bosses new venture. He wouldn't be able to use their address for his business, but if they linked/promoted his business then he'll become more valuable as a brand.

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    Re: Multiple locations for brick and mortar, plus service business

    Hi foxxr,

    Sorry that I am too late to be here. As its seems that now it has been answered. But still I would like to put my views here.
    I have worked with a client who has 4 locations for the same business and same service. But as all the locations have unique address and unique local phone number, I have listed the business with all four locations.

    So as Linda has already suggested you to use a local # I would also suggest you should go with local # only for each location. Also for the delivery option you can choose service area while putting listing for the business. Keeping same name helps in branding too.

    Hope it helps you to work with your client.

    Thanks
    Pankaj Kumar

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    Re: Multiple locations for brick and mortar, plus service business

    Quote Originally Posted by foxxr View Post
    Andrew,

    Thank you very much for your insight. I'll run this by the owner. You are right, from a branding perspective, it would make sense to have his existing three laundrymats under a single name with the delivery feature as part of their service. That makes good marketing sense.

    The snag here is that he is launching into a new market where he is going to broker out the actual cleaning to other laundrymat owners rather than open up new physical locations. This means that he won't be able to claim a physical location. My theory of sharing a location (with the permission of the owner he is brokering the cleaning to) by creating a Google voice number seems a bit to grey. Linda is right. It wouldn't make sense to do all of the work with local listings only to have it shot down by Google, Yahoo and Bing. I am going to do some more research on other similar business models.
    Hey Foxxr, we're neighbors in Santa Cruz County. We should meet up sometime and talk Local smack!

    With regard to this question... outsourcing business to various other businesses to do the actual work wouldn't lend itself to being able to claim those locations too. He shouldn't do that, it would hurt him in the short-run.

    I agree that the delivery aspect of his business should get listed as part of one of the three locations of his, not of any other outsourced business. I wouldn't list it on its own, that's just asking for trouble.

    If all three businesses are actually named/DBA differently, with their own address, phone and location, then they could be listed individually. If they all have the same business name and share phone info, then I would only list one on Local. Google doesn't handle multiple locations too well yet. I see a lot of dups when businesses do that.

    My Google phone experiences have all been fine, knock-on-wood, no issues.
    Best wishes,
    Bobbie
    Bobbie Grennier
    Google + Local Reputation Marketing - Google Local Pro
    Catalyst Local Search Pro

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    Re: Multiple locations for brick and mortar, plus service business

    I'm sure this has all been decided by now, but I'll throw something into the pot anyway because these posts live on and on here.

    Let's all keep in mind here that this business will be brokering pick up and delivery to other laundromats which will retain their own brands.

    Now here is my take.

    If you query laundromat, you get local results. And it's obvious why. Location is key. Google is smart enough to know that.

    But query "laundry pick up and deliver" which is what I'd query if I don't want to do my own laundry, and you don't get local results.

    We already established you don't want to have separate listings for the laundromats and the delivery service anyway, but from what I see, Brian's question about whether or not he should create a local listing in each city for the pick up and delivery service is unnecessary given the type of results we see. I'd focus on organic SEO for the keywords "pick up" +delivery +laundry plus individual location landing pages on its website. And then I'd give each laundromat their own G+ page.

    If this client starts to expand to other areas, such as into the Silicon Valley, it may become more challenging. He may have to open up an office so that he is at least in the general region, but it really only depends on the competition. A location page on his corporate site may be all that's necessary.

    That said, you can't forget that there are other queries that you want to get found for, and some do return local results, such as "laundry service." In a low competition market, a well optimized local landing page for those keywords may rank above the local listings. In fact, given the market, I'd say there is a good chance of it.

    THERE IS ONE OTHER CHALLENGE THOUGH...

    You can't forget about Yelp and other local directories where results are all local and many, many people are looking for local services like this. How does this delivery service with an office in Santa Cruz come up in Aptos instead of just Santa Cruz? Right now, no problem. But what if it expands to the Silicon Valley, but it's office is in Santa Cruz, what happens then? It becomes a national local delivery service, and along with that, all its specific challenges. On-site optimization and local landing pages in a low competition field should be enough for those organic result queries in Google. But in Yelp, well that's a different story.

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