More threads by Tim Colling

Tim Colling

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Sep 3, 2014
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Hi -

I've got a client with multiple locations and each one has its own Yelp listing (and also its own GMB listing).

Each location has its own phone number, which is what we use for their GMB listings, and their citations are mostly all built using those individual phone numbers.

The company also has a toll-free 800 number that they feature in their online marketing and on their home page. They want prospective new clients to call that 800 number because they have a client intake call center that the 800 number rings into.

For most of the Yelp listings, we currently use the location-specific phone numbers, but the client would prefer to feature the toll-free number for those listings instead. If we do that, the listings would all have the same 800 number.

I am hesitant to make this change from a citations management point of view because I'd like to keep the NAP info consistent and unique for each of the locations.

However, for the sake of providing the best new client intake call handling, i.e., viewing this through a more business-oriented lens, I have to say that I'm inclined to go with using the 800 number for the intake call center for all the Yelp listings.

What do y'all here think we should do?
Is transferring the callers to 800 number for new client intake an option?
Is transferring the callers to 800 number for new client intake an option?

Great question. Yes, they can do this during daytime business hours, but at night, they would have no way to do that, I think. They can't just forward the location landlines to the 800 number for the night, because they have to keep the local landline numbers available for clients or employees to call with any emergencies that might arise (this is a healthcare-related business).
Anyone else have any suggestions or advice about this question?
The only other thing I'd add that I haven't seen said yet... it's specifically suggested against using an 800 in Google's guidelines:

Use a local phone number instead of central, call center helpline number whenever possible.

even aside from the inherent duplicate penalty risks of having multiple locations with all one phone number (and potentially a similar business name too), having that number be an 800 number might as well be a red flag you're waving. I have no idea what a good solution would be, but I wouldn't want to be on the hook with the client for the results of a campaign with that as the foundation.

You could see about cost of getting a super simple switch setup for the local lines... something like 'press zero if you are a current customer and are calling for assistance with a client, otherwise stay on the line (and be transferred to the 800 number'. It's what I would probably start by investigating. Clients who know the phone system would be able to push zero right away then... adds an extra second or two, but hopefully wouldn't be too much of an annoyance, and I'd lean on the side of giving current customers a super quick 'get to a human' option, especially since you're wanting new customers to end up on an 800 number already anyway.
Thanks, those are good points. I have definitely *not* used the 800 number anywhere else, including the GMB listings for the locations. I only am thinking about this for the yelp listings because it's more likely that consumers would find the company on yelp than on most other directory sites.
Whoops, missed that that was you Tim that posted this question, should have known you'd already have known that. Getting in my habits of doing the rounds, but I might need to slow down a little before my fingers hit the keyboard. If you do decide to make a different number for Yelp than for everywhere else, I know I'd be really interested to hear what the fallout might be after that number's been out there for a while. I know Yelp and Google haven't been on the best of terms, but I'm sure NAP info is still something that's factored into the algorithm...
It's a basic tradeoff; local rankings or call center.

I'd tell my client - bad idea. Yelp is a power citation. I would sacrifice tracking those calls that happen directly from yelp and hope that the more Yelper clicks through to the website. Then set up dynamic number switching on site to track calls by channel.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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