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  1. #1
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    Multi - location advice: call center and phone number

    Hi,

    I have a client that has 8 locations and I need to get them verified. Their trick is, they are a bank and they want everyone to call the call center, and not the branch phone number. The branch does have a phone, they just don't want people to call it.

    So:

    when I claim them do I use the branch phone number, and then switch it to the alternate after I get it claimed?

    When I submit it to the databases, how do I handle the alternate number?

    THe ideal solution would be for them to have a phone number for each branch that is routed to the call center. . . but, assuming this is not possible, what is the next best solution?

  2. #2
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    Re: Multi - location advice: call center and phone number

    Sorry, don't have an answer and need to run out for an appt.

    But moved this to the multi-location forum for you.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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  3. #3
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    Re: Multi - location advice: call center and phone number

    Google prefers a local phone number instead of a call center. If a call center is the only option that's fine too. But if you have the option to use a unique local number, do that.

    Here's a snippet from the Guidelines:

    Website & Phone
    Provide a phone number that connects to your individual business location as directly as possible, and provide one website that represents your individual business location.

    Use a local phone number instead of central, call center helpline number whenever possible.
    Do not provide phone numbers or URLs that redirect or "refer" users to landing pages or phone numbers other than those of the actual business, including pages created on social media sites.
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
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  4. #4
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    Re: Multi - location advice: call center and phone number

    If your client opts for a single number for all locations - local rankings will drop. Period.

    Local numbers for each location is the only way to go in my opinion. I don't belive any business can afford to operate long term without organic presence. Cost per lead/acquisition will be high. Organic growth and cpl have a direct correlation in my opinion.

    Also the financial industry has extensive regulations making content development very costly due to red tape for approval. This means blogging to achieve ranking is also hindered.

    Clean NAP for banking is the low hanging fruit. Followed by review strategy for those locations.

    Forwarding may be a consideration but those costs can add up as well.

    Choosing a call tracking number that is local for forwarding purposes works well when launching a new location. However changing a seasoned local number to a call tracking number or any new number for that matter will disrupt rankings everytime.

    In summary does the bank want to rank organically or have a call center? Afraid you can't have your cake and eat it too.

  5. #5
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    Re: Multi - location advice: call center and phone number

    Another idea, if you control all the bank's marketing (i.e. you control their website, etc..) you could just invent phone numbers for the purpose of their online presence. Get everything verified, citations etc.. and once it is all setup, forward those local numbers wherever the bank wants, call center, local branch, etc.. The risk here is if they already have citations out there, and online marketing with other numbers, it won't work and will just cause more problems. But if it is a small bank where you have control over these risk factors, could work.

  6. #6
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    Re: Multi - location advice: call center and phone number

    I think the answers above are great, and I'll add one time I worked with a situation like this. It was for dentist, not a bank who had a call routing system (not call center, but theory is similar) so this isn't apples to apples. What we needed to do was disable the call routing in their phone system, then verify the local number. Once the page was verified we put the routing system back up again.

    If they want local rankings, then it kind of seems like they need to set up a routing system or directory tree to send people who call the number to the appropriate department/call center. If you do that, you'd be able to keep the local number to help with your map presence, but also allow them to use a call center when necessary.

    Not sure if that's helpful or not. Just wanted to give you another scenario to consider.
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