This topic contains 17 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Adam Steele Adam Steele 5 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #3124

    Nate Buckley
    Participant

    Hi All,

    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?

    • This topic was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Nate Buckley.
    #3151

    Mary Bowling
    Keymaster

    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?

    #3173

    Nate Buckley
    Participant

    Hi Mary,

    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.

    #3174

    Mary Bowling
    Keymaster

    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.

    #3178

    Nate Buckley
    Participant

    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.

    #3179

    Mike Blumenthal
    Keymaster

    Nate

    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.

    #3187

    Nate Buckley
    Participant

    Thanks Mike.

    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.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Nate Buckley.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Nate Buckley.
    #3190

    Mike Blumenthal
    Keymaster

    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.

    #3191

    Nate Buckley
    Participant

    In reference to address listings, I imagine a website representing a franchise would be in keeping with Google’s guidelines?

    #3194

    Nate Buckley
    Participant

    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.

    #3196

    Will Scott
    Keymaster

    Nate,

    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.

    #3197

    Nate Buckley
    Participant

    Will,

    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.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Nate Buckley.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Nate Buckley.
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