Miriam Ellis posted a fantastic blog over at Moz.
You can read the entire blog here but I'll highlight a few of the main takeaways and give quick notes as they relate to our South Bend area.
Just as there are practices that are really important to carry out when it comes to your SEO strategy, it's just as important to avoid carrying out the ill-advised practices.
Here are a few thoughts on what Miriam touched on.
1. Creating GMB Listings At Ineligible Addresses
GMB listings are Google My Business listings. In short, they are the information box you see when you Google, well, just about anything.
You need a physical address to have a GMB listing.
This isn't a PO box. It's not a virtual office. And no, it's not your home. You need a real, brick and mortar location.
You can try and skirt your way around it but it'll end up hurting, especially using the PO box or virtual office workaround. Spamming isn't a huge issue in our area but at the same time, there are more businesses than do not handle their GMB listings correctly than those that do.
If you do it the right way and use all the tools that Google gives you, you can be really ahead of the curve and enjoy the benefits that come with that.
2. Sharing Phone Number Between Multiple Entities
If you have two separate businesses, have two separate phone numbers.
You don't want the duplicate content and you don't want to confuse Google. Not only that, Google's guidelines specifically ban doing this. As mentioned in the blog over at Moz, Google has even done verification phone calls before.
3. Practitioner Listings
This is going to be quite a bit different than the issues mentioned in the Moz blog. Quite honestly, the issue they mention isn't a huge issue here.
But here's what is, practices getting confused by their practice listings and the practitioner listings. Seen below, the practice listing followed by a practitioner listing.
"What's the point?" We hear this a lot. Well, Google wants to do it so it'll be done. You need to verify, optimize and monitor ALL listings, including the practitioner listings. If you are wondering if you have a practitioner listings, do an exact keyword search.
For above, it would be 'sheena zent dds south bend in' - and there it is.
If you need assistance or would like to run a few questions by us, as always, consultations are free and you can schedule one here.