If you have a company with multiple locations, or you work on an account that has multiple locations, what is the best option to achieving the best results with your Google My Business Listings?
I’ve worked on an account in the past that had this exact same issue. It was a multi-location business, and they funneled all the calls via one main phone number. As a result when they originally setup their call system, all leads were to come into the main line. Each office location did have its own phone line, but just the one main number was pushed on the website and via social.
From a Business Owners point of view, this can be easier if they want to keep calls/leads centralized, and possibly save on hiring extra staff for the smaller locations. This is totally understandable from the business owner’s needs.
The potential for duplicate business listings to appear is very possible. Here in Canada, Yellow pages pulls the phone numbers from the telephone providers. So each location with the original phone number will show up in Canada’s YellowPages. YellowPages a few times per year will pull data from the local phone providers. So no matter what, your Canadian Yellow Pages listing will have your local office number and as a result, the location/number will start to get listed in other sites. So from the get go, there’s the potential for your citations being a tad bit messy.
Note: if you ever need to update your YellowPage.ca Business Address, while you can get YellowPages to update it, you will ultimately need to have your address/information updated via your telephone provider. Even when updating your Yellow Pages (Canada) listing, they will still pull the data from your telephone provider sooner or later and this could get updated. So having all of your NAP information right from the get go is essential.
If you are working with a situation such as each locations number automatically forwards to the main line, what exactly is the best option? If this is the case for you, you should look to have each Google My Business Listing to have the actual Office number. Google My Business is getting more competitive. The potential for traffic for your local region is very high so you need to take every (Google Approved) advantage to help your GMB listing and with your Citation Campaign.
If each locations phone number does not forward to the main line, realistically there should be someone there to answer the calls, so even in this situation, for the competitive citation advantage, leave it to the actual office phone number.
From an owners POV, I totally understand their point. They could have a number is easy to remember, it’s the one they push the most. On the website, for the main header or number that is pushed the most, this would be no problem having the one main number displayed. But still, each office location on the website should have the correct NAP information.
Mobile traffic is steadily increasing. If you check your Stats/Analytics over the past few months/years, you’ll notice that the mobile traffic has most likely been increasing overtime. So someone on their smart phone when searching for your product/service, will typically see the Call Button when the listing shows up in the Google Local results so they may not even see the phone number initially. On desktop they may see the phone number at times, for mobile you may just get a call button.
The ongoing battle, and it is a battle if you need to clean up the citations online, and try to have each location to have one phone number. The amount of work that is needed, to maintain and keep the other numbers out will almost never end.
Ultimately it’s your choice on how you decide to proceed with this. As a personal preference, I would advise to go with each Google My Business location having its own phone number.