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Tagged: telephone number
March 1, 2014 at 6:23 pm #3124
We’re expanding our garden services business across a 40 mile radius.
In doing so, we’re registering websites on Google Places with part-time employees in the towns and cities we’re targeting. However, we want local telephone numbers that redirect to our secretary.
I understand Phone.com is popular. Can anyone recommend the best redirect service?
March 3, 2014 at 11:32 am #3151Mary BowlingKeymaster
- This topic was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by Nate Buckley.
I’m not sure where you’re going with this Nate. Are you saying you are creating fake Google listings using your part time employees’ home addresses? And you are looking for phone numbers that will “look” local but forward elsewhere?March 3, 2014 at 6:05 pm #3173
Apologies if the question wasn’t clear.
In short yes — For the sake of our Google listing I want a telephone number that looks local but forwards elsewhere.
It’s a practice I’ve seen adopted by rival companies.March 4, 2014 at 7:51 am #3174Mary BowlingKeymaster
Although there are many instances of businesses ranking well using this strategy, it is clearly against Google’s Business Listing Quality Guidelines:
Business Location: Use a precise, accurate address to describe your business location…
Do not create a listing or place your pin marker at a location where the business does not physically exist. P.O. Boxes are not considered accurate physical locations.Your business location should be staffed during its stated hours.
Businesses that operate in a service area should create one listing for the central office or location and designate service areas. If you wish to display your complete business address while setting your service area(s), your business location should be staffed and able to receive customers during its stated hours. Google will determine how best to display your business address based on your inputs as well as inputs from other sources. Learn how to add service areas to your listing….
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 a call center 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.
I would carefully consider the implications and possible consequences before going down that road.March 4, 2014 at 11:11 am #3178
Thanks for your response Mary.
I hadn’t considered the business listing as ‘fake’. Just another division of our business. Clearly, your response and Mike’s information on Google’s guidelines has made me reconsider this approach.
In reference to the guidelines you’ve pasted above, adding ‘service areas’ hasn’t lead to an increase in traffic. However, I’m basing that on a small sample of websites.
That’s why I’ve created multiple listings rather than developing 1 authority site. We’d struggle to expand without this approach. Although I’m open to other suggestions.March 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm #3179
It’s a business decision to create listings that are against Google’s guidelines. Usually it works for a while but then there is hell to pay.
Service area is unlikely to increase your reach within Google local.
Firstly, long haul, having a single, very powerful website is usually the best way to go. That way all of your marketing effort, every in bound link, every mention of your business on line accrues to that single digital entity. Its really hard to sustain a marketing effort across multiple websites.
Then I would explore creating pages on that site that serve these other markets. That would require unique, relevant content per that location. If properly constructed and linked to they can rank above the pack in those other markets.March 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm #3187
Our business is new and we’re exploring options.
The authority site is my ideal outcome. Unfortunately, my SEO efforts are very much hit and miss. Once I’ve established a handful of successful micro-sites I’ll return to the authority project. Hopefully I’ll learn enough via Local U to execute it properly.
In reference to address listings, I imagine a website representing a franchise would be in keeping with Google’s guidelines?
That aside, I think we can list a telephone number that adheres to the rules.
Thanks for all your advice thus far.March 6, 2014 at 4:08 pm #3190
I am suggesting that location pages, constructed properly on your main site will do better than micro sites.
They can do equally well in most conditions over the short haul but over the long haul will generally perform better.
Every link to every page benefits every other page.March 6, 2014 at 4:09 pm #3191
In reference to address listings, I imagine a website representing a franchise would be in keeping with Google’s guidelines?March 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm #3194
I’ve spent 12 months on a niche site. I’ve applied ‘White Hat’ techniques along the line. Every time I reach page 1, a new algorithm change arrive and I start afresh.
For those reasons I’m inclined to stick to a successful pattern, for now, and build micro-sites.March 6, 2014 at 6:22 pm #3196Will ScottKeymaster
I think Mary and Mike have covered the concerns regarding the business practice above.
We’ve recently gone through a process of reviewing local phone number services. The outcome of our review is here.March 6, 2014 at 6:41 pm #3197
My follow up question was in relation to a ‘franchise’.
In many respects a franchise is a separate business. Thus if our micro-sites, registered on Google Places, are franchises rather than ‘fake businesses’ does that breach Google guidelines?
By the way, thanks for the link.March 6, 2014 at 6:55 pm #3200
Google has one rule to rule them all: any activity that is expressly intended to manipulate search results is forbidden.
So the answer is that if they are real locations that provide real customer service then they are acceptable regardless if whether they are a franchise or a branch location.
I do have a question for you. What site side attribute do you think precipitated the site drop at Google? How long have you have had the site? What is the site and what is the search phrases that you were competing on?
March 7, 2014 at 3:51 am #3206Will ScottKeymaster
- This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by Mike Blumenthal.
What Mike said. Even if it’s Chuck in a truck from his home address, it would be acceptable. To reiterate, if it’s a real location with customer service then it passes the sniff test. And, if it’s not it may be a legitimate SAB and the number you use can come from any telco, as long as it’s consistent across the ecosystem.March 8, 2014 at 4:44 pm #3229
Thanks for covering my question. I’ll ensure these listings are legit.
Mike, I take on board your point about the authority site. After I monetize a few more local listings, I’ll spend time developing this. In answer to your question, I’ve followed various defunct SEO trends including the use of article directories and 2.0’s.
From here on out I’ll use the ‘belly-belly’ approach to link building.
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