Multiple Locations Using Same Call Center Phone


JoshuaMackens

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Sep 12, 2012
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This may have been answered already but I have a multi location business using the same phone for 3 of their locations.

They have 2 locations in the same city using the same phone and then 1 location just outside the city using that same phone.

Are there possible ranking issues to consider with this?
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2013
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I just saw a GMB forum post yesterday with someone doing that, one of their 4 locations had gotten shut down for spam. They also had some issues with keyword stuffing in their business name, plus other stuff (so obviously could have been other things than just the numbers) but... it's so easy and cheap getting call forwarding numbers, why would you ever settle for using the same number across the board? I certainly wouldn't want my reputation being on the line if it came back to bite me in the ass, even if it was something the client insisted on. Especially if they all have the same name, that sounds like an accident waiting to happen... but maybe someone else has had a different experience. Of course, if they've already had that one number associated with all 3 locations, you might have a NAP mess to clean up, so... disregard 'easy and cheap' up above.

Even if your client has a business where it makes sense for all the calls to go to the same location, you should still find a way to have different phone numbers on the public facing side, in my view at least.
 

Tim Colling

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Sep 3, 2014
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I have a client with a similar situation that I wrote about here with respect to Yelp listings a few days ago (see Choosing which number to use for Yelp listings).

In my client's case, they have an 800 number that they want new clients to call into for "intake" but they also have legitimate regular local phone numbers that they publish for existing clients, employees, vendors and others to call into during working hours for non-intake purposes.

It's a bit of a challenge sometimes to get all this stuff sorted out.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,652
I just saw a GMB forum post yesterday with someone doing that, one of their 4 locations had gotten shut down for spam. They also had some issues with keyword stuffing in their business name, plus other stuff (so obviously could have been other things than just the numbers) but... it's so easy and cheap getting call forwarding numbers, why would you ever settle for using the same number across the board? I certainly wouldn't want my reputation being on the line if it came back to bite me in the ass, even if it was something the client insisted on. Especially if they all have the same name, that sounds like an accident waiting to happen... but maybe someone else has had a different experience. Of course, if they've already had that one number associated with all 3 locations, you might have a NAP mess to clean up, so... disregard 'easy and cheap' up above.

Even if your client has a business where it makes sense for all the calls to go to the same location, you should still find a way to have different phone numbers on the public facing side, in my view at least.
While I absolutely agree with this as an ideal scenario, as is normal, it's not always so cut and dry with clients :)

I've adopted the model, especially for Local SEO, if it's not broke, don't fix it. Typically, coming in and making a lot of changes to a Local SEO ecosystem that has a history of being steady can result in undesired repercussions. So, before I make any changes, I like to know that the changes I intend to make will definitely improve our position because if not, why even take the chance?

In this case, if it's not hurting anything, I don't want to touch it. I've learned this lesson painfully a few different times before it finally stuck.

Also, there's the issue of client buy in. Before I try to move a rock (their history of using a call center phone number on public interfacing sites) I want to make sure it's going to make a difference.

If someone has had experience with this, left it alone, and it was fine, then I'd rather not force it for obvious reasons.

But your points are well taken and I agree with them completely.

Has anyone had any experience with this?
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
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Jul 18, 2012
Messages
2,478
Joshua,

I have a client in this scenario who is an allergist and he shares the same phone # with a few of his locations. I've advised him that it's not ideal but he is ranking just fine currently.

What I would probably suggest is phasing in a new phone number as a "secondary" line number that you start adding to some of the major places (Google, Yelp, Express Update etc) so that the phone number starts to gain some history. Then eventually (like a year from now) you might be okay to go back and remove the main number all together.

Or you could just leave it how it is. I just know the "risk factor" of someone screwing it up or accidentally deleting a listing thinking it's a duplicate etc is much higher when you share a phone number. I have seen plenty of those cases.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,652
Joshua,

I have a client in this scenario who is an allergist and he shares the same phone # with a few of his locations. I've advised him that it's not ideal but he is ranking just fine currently.

What I would probably suggest is phasing in a new phone number as a "secondary" line number that you start adding to some of the major places (Google, Yelp, Express Update etc) so that the phone number starts to gain some history. Then eventually (like a year from now) you might be okay to go back and remove the main number all together.

Or you could just leave it how it is. I just know the "risk factor" of someone screwing it up or accidentally deleting a listing thinking it's a duplicate etc is much higher when you share a phone number. I have seen plenty of those cases.
Thanks Joy!

Are the locations in the same city? If so, do they rank on top of each other? Like Maybe #1 for a keyword and another locations ranks #3 right below? Or is Google possibly suppressing the rankings of the other locations?

I guess I'm curious to see if they can dominate an area with multiple locations. If they use the same website you would think, citations being equal, they would rank right behind each other?
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,652
Joshua,

All of his locations are in different cities.
Got it.

This particular client has multiple locations in the city. I may just have to try it and see how it goes. I'll report back.

If anyone else has any experience with this I'd love to hear about it!
 

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