One Website, Multiple locations, one phone number, multiple addresses: A problem.


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Hi All,

I'm new to the exciting field of SEO and thought I had a problem that maybe the more seasoned members of this community might be able to assist me with.

I've been browsing the forum and frantically googling to try and find a solution. I am working with a medical practice that has a single website and multiple locations--nine in total. All the addresses to each location are on a single page (practice locations), and each currently links to either a bing or google map.

Phone number(s):there is a single phone number that they suggest clients use to make an appointment. However, there is also another general number that they use that clients can in turn select to be forwarded to other offices. We already checked to see if there were actually separate numbers for each location, but it turns out there aren't.

The big question: From what I've learned, NAP consistency seems to be extremely important. Thus, when I go through a site like getlisted.org, and then eventually through whitespark, how should I proceed to complete the fields that request a phone number and the website? If I use a single phone number for multiple addresses, won't that cause problems? Also, does naming become an issue? Should I include a geo term in each title to distinguish the location in each getlist.org listing? For the website section on these forms, I was thinking of linking to the "practice locations" since the client doesn't have a page for each individual location.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi there and welcome!

Sorry short on time. Getting ready to do my Local SEO training where I actually teach a lot about this issue - so need to run.

But a couple quick things. Don't do ANYTHING yet. You really need to study this before proceeding because changing names and phone # and getting NAP right is CRITICAL and Google is very unforgiving if you do it wrong or have to change later.

1) NEVER add a geo term to the name. That's the #1 reason listings get suspended. Can't add keywords either. The name field needs to just be the name.

2) Can't use same phone # on all the listings. It can contribute to a merge and then all the listings get mixed up and only one shows.

See below this post for related posts with other tips. Then use the search box and enter Multiple locations and you'll find lots more.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Welcome!

What Linda said +:

The best strategy for local seo would be to have a separate page for each location on the website. This way you can point your G+ Local pages to the specific page with the corresponding NAP.
 
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thanks for the quick replies, I really appreciate it.

We are creating a new website for them, so I will advocate that those changes be included. Also per google guidelines, it is acceptable for each doctor to have his own page, correct?

Individual practitioners may be listed individually as long as those practitioners are public-facing within their parent organization. Common examples of such practitioners are doctors, dentists, lawyers, and real estate agents. The practitioner should be directly contactable at the verified location during stated hours. A practitioner should not have multiple listings to cover all of his or her specializations.
However, in addition to G+, my other concern was for the listings on getlisted.org

Does anyone have any suggestions about how to work with one phone number and the multiple office locations?

Again, thanks for the help. As a newbie I really appreciate the openness of the SEO community and the time everyone takes to provide accurate information.
 
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thanks for the quick replies, I really appreciate it.

We are creating a new website for them, so I will advocate that those changes be included. Also per google guidelines, it is acceptable for each doctor to have his own page, correct?

However, in addition to G+, my other concern was for the listings on getlisted.org

Does anyone have any suggestions about how to work with one phone number and the multiple office locations?
Each doctor would get their own G+ page. I'd suggest setting them up without the business/practice name and just the doctors name. "John D Doe, DMD" and use a URL from the practice website that is only for that doctor and you could include the main phone line for that doctor's office, but if you include the business name and don't have a specific URL there's a good chance it will merge with the main locations or the other doctors.

It seems odd that a practice with separate office locations doesn't have a phone number for each location.
 

Keenan Glass

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I suggest not messing with practitioner listing at all. For the life of me, I cannot understand why Google allows this. If Google creates them, you can claim them.

I would threaten under penalty of death any doctor who claims their own listing or any employee that claims any Places listing in any account.

Each location should have it's own page on the website to link to. It's not something I would suggest, but require.

Each location should have a totally unique local phone number, they can figure out how to route the calls.

Ideally, everything should be in separate Google accounts with email log ins such as places1@ company-domain.com, not your account and never gmail.

Setting this up correctly is critical for the long-term. If they won't do what you tell them to, fire them.
 
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I suggest not messing with practitioner listing at all. For the life of me, I cannot understand why Google allows this. If Google creates them, you can claim them.

I would threaten under penalty of death any doctor who claims their own listing or any employee that claims any Places listing in any account.
Seems a bit harsh. :rolleyes:

Also, only the doctors (or someone with their permission) should be claiming their own listings as the practice or anyone else doing so would be violating the Places Guidelines and the TOS for Google. Practitioner listings are great for people who want to find a specific doctor or lawyer, etc. instead of having to weed through the web searching for the person to find out which office they work out of. Search the doctor's name in Maps and off you go!
 

Keenan Glass

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Maybe. But first my point was really about getting the location listings set up correctly first.

What I see over and over is one professional or employee goes rogue and claims a listing in their personal account instead of a shared log-in.

Then when something goes wrong or somebody leaves, it's a mess trying to figure out who's claimed what and in what account.

But I wasn't suggesting he claim the doctor listings without their permission. I assume they've hired him to help set up their local listings, so he would be able to do this.
 
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Maybe. But first my point was really about getting the location listings set up correctly first.

What I see over and over is one professional or employee goes rogue and claims a listing in their personal account instead of a shared log-in.

Then when something goes wrong or somebody leaves, it's a mess trying to figure out who's claimed what and in what account.
keenan, I completely agree about doing the practice location first before worrying about practitioners as it wouldn't make much sense if there was no location for those people to work at. The professional listing is theirs to claim (doesn't belong to the business) which is why they are allowed. It allows a doctor to move from practice to practice and not be held hostage by the corporate SEO or other people involved with managing such features. Not sure what you would find inappropriate about doctors claiming their own professional listing?
 
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Definitely the practice should not be claiming it. When the doctor moves on, he needs to be able to log into his account that has his listing claimed and change the address, as per the current G+ Local policy. This will automatically close his listing, open a new one at the new location, and create the link on the old one that points to the new one.

The business claiming it is against the TOS, and also unethical. Don't forget, most businesses that have professional listings are also ones where they are members of a professional organization and must follow a code of ethics, often with it being a condition of licensing. Firing someone for not handing over control, or even just threatening consequences, would be good grounds for them to be brought up before their ethics committee.

Best case scenario that might work for a business; offer to have their SEO company manage it for the professional for now. If the professional agrees, SEO company sets up a new account to claim the listing, with the professional knowing the login and password, and with the account recovery information all set to the professionals cell phone number and personal email. When the doctor moves on, he can immediately log in and change the password so that he now has sole control.
 

Keenan Glass

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You're suggesting that the doctor listings be managed independently of the service provided by the OP. I don't think that's a good idea.

I see lots of professionals do a lot dumb things. Then their professional listing gets merged with the company listing and it's a mess.

This is probably not a good place to discuss, as it doesn't really help the OP.

But in general, I don't see why XYZ Mortgage Company gets 20 listings on the Map, when XYZ AC & Cooling only gets one, even though he has 20 sales people. They're all professionals. In fact, all of the employees are professionals, so they should all get to create listings on the Map.

It's called Google Places for Business not Google Places for People.

But really, it's no big deal, just a pet peeve of mine.

---------- Post Merged at 07:53 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 07:43 PM ----------

Yes Gregg, that's what I would suggest.

But setting this up initially, it sounds like the OP might have his hands full just getting the business locations set up correctly. Adding in the practitioner listings only complicates an already complicated matter. So, my advice was not to worry about them.

Doctors can be extremely difficult to work with. As with all clients, if you don't lay down some ground rules they can make your life miserable.
 
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You're suggesting that the doctor listings be managed independently of the service provided by the OP. I don't think that's a good idea.
It's not so much a suggestion, as a requirement. The business has no right to claim the listing; it's for the professional, not them.

But in general, I don't see why XYZ Mortgage Company gets 20 listings on the Map, when XYZ AC & Cooling only gets one, even though he has 20 sales people. They're all professionals. In fact, all of the employees are professionals, so they should all get to create listings on the Map.
There's a big difference. I cannot tell you the name of the clinic my doctor is at nor my dentist. When I go to look them up, I use their names. When I go to recommend them; I recommend the person, not the clinic. That's reality, and Google is in the business of indexing reality and presenting it to the end user how the end user would find it to be most comfortable/useful.

But I also have no idea who the name of the technician was who fixed our HVAC, that is done based on company reputation, not the person.

The end user wants to be able to look up Dr. John Smith after co-worker said he's great. Google is providing that. You're in the business of helping the clinic, but Google is not; so you're seeing it differently.
 

Linda Buquet

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We are creating a new website for them, so I will advocate that those changes be included. Also per google guidelines, it is acceptable for each doctor to have his own page, correct?
Yes it is allowed. BUT it can kill the main practice ranking.

Complicated to explain. Here are 2 long posts that explain it all.

Google Places DUPLICATES – Have Doctor, Dentist or Lawyer DUPES? You NEED to Read This - Google Places Optimization Blog

Overcoming New Google Places Duplicate Listing Problems for Dentists, Doctors, Attorneys - Google Places Optimization Blog

However, in addition to G+, my other concern was for the listings on getlisted.org

Does anyone have any suggestions about how to work with one phone number and the multiple office locations?
Sorry, we didn't answer the GetListed Q because it's a moot point because as we explained you can't use the same # for all the locations. They each need to use their main local #.
 

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