dotgal

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Hi - I have a somewhat complicated clinic and practitioner situation for GMB listings that needs to be resolved. My client is a medical practice with several doctors that have different specialities. The clinic is branded under 3 different names (3 different websites) and have 2 locations in the same city. There’s only 1 phone number regardless of the location. Currently this is how the listing appears:

Clinic Name A: Doctor 1 (location 1)
Clinic Name A: Doctor 2 (location 1)

Clinic Name B: Doctor 1 (location 2)
Clinic Name B: Doctor 2 (location 2)

For the locations, there are slight variations in some have a suite # and others don’t.

For one of the doctors, when you google his name, a specific GMB listing appears in organic search (on the right hand side), which he no longer wants because he doesn’t provide those services, but most of his patients are submitting reviews to that GMB listing.

What should be my steps to clean up the GMB listings?

For the clinic - is it okay to have distinct GMB listings per brand? It’s the same clinic, doctors and staff operating the 2 different brands, but the client has 2 brands because the services are different.


If I have one GMB for each doctor, how do I handle that there are 2 locations? Should there be a GMB profile for each doctor per location? What if they open up another location in the future (in a different city)?

If we clean this up, how would ranking be affected? Should priority to have doctors GMB profiles rank higher than the general clinic? Should there be one general clinic GMB or we should stick to the individual GMB profiles for each of the doctors? Does this cause competition and cannibalization of our own efforts? What should be the priority? Clinic to rank above doctor listing? Or vice versa? Is it better to have reviews go to clinic or specific doctor listing?

Sorry for the long winded explanation and questions. I’ve read through the forum on handling practitioner issues, but it didn’t exactly cover this situation.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hey @dookie Welcome to the forum! That's a lot of questions to tackle. But that's ok! They are all really good questions.

I don't have time to answer them all at the moment but I will start with these two that are pretty important.

For the clinic - is it okay to have distinct GMB listings per brand? It’s the same clinic, doctors and staff operating the 2 different brands, but the client has 2 brands because the services are different.

This is allowed but only if the brands are legally separate brands with their own business licences.

If I have one GMB for each doctor, how do I handle that there are 2 locations? Should there be a GMB profile for each doctor per location? What if they open up another location in the future (in a different city)?

Yes the can have a GMB page for each location they work out of. The rule is that their business hours on the GMB page need to reflect when they are at each location.

Darren from Whitespark recently provided some great insight you should check out here - Doctor vs. Practice Listings - Local Search Forum

I'll try to circle back to answer more but you'll get more great insight from others in the meantime.
 

JoyHawkins

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For one of the doctors, when you google his name, a specific GMB listing appears in organic search (on the right hand side), which he no longer wants because he doesn’t provide those services, but most of his patients are submitting reviews to that GMB listing.
I'd need more info about the listing before I can advise. Why doesn't he want it? Is it the same address? If it's the same address, I'd ask GMB to merge it. If it's an old address that he no longer works at, I'd ask GMB to mark it as moved to the listing that reflects his current address.

If we clean this up, how would ranking be affected? Should priority to have doctors GMB profiles rank higher than the general clinic?

I have found that doctors often do rank higher but I think it's going to come down to categories. If the search query is "surgeons in NYC" and your doctor has the surgeon category as the primary, it will likely rank higher than a practice listing that has something like "urgent care" as the category.


Should there be one general clinic GMB or we should stick to the individual GMB profiles for each of the doctors? Does this cause competition and cannibalization of our own efforts? What should be the priority? Clinic to rank above doctor listing? Or vice versa? Is it better to have reviews go to clinic or specific doctor listing?

Just keep the categories different and nothing should be cannibalized.
 

dotgal

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Hi @Colan Nielsen, thanks so much for your insights about legal requirements and business hours.

Hi Joy, thanks so much for your answers. The doctor is ranking for a GMB profile which highlights services that he no longer offers. He doesn’t want to loose the reviews. So would a good solution to be remove the services he doesn’t offer, etc and then merge that with the other GMB profile so that there is only 1 listing? He works in 2 locations - but would having 2 location listings dilute rankings, make management more complex and dilute reviews?
 
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dotgal

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I'd need more info about the listing before I can advise. Why doesn't he want it? Is it the same address? If it's the same address, I'd ask GMB to merge it. If it's an old address that he no longer works at, I'd ask GMB to mark it as moved to the listing that reflects his current address.



I have found that doctors often do rank higher but I think it's going to come down to categories. If the search query is "surgeons in NYC" and your doctor has the surgeon category as the primary, it will likely rank higher than a practice listing that has something like "urgent care" as the category.




Just keep the categories different and nothing should be cannibalized.

Hi @JoyHawkins, I came across an older post that @Linda Buquet responded to regarding a practice having multiple GMB profiles - Google My Business for Multiple Doctors at One Practice - Local Search Forum - and she points to the disadvantages of of separate GMB pages for each doctor. Linda's answers are very insightful too. Are there any changes from 2017 to now in 2019 that has changed?

It seems that before deciding if a GMB page for a doctor is required, we should be asking what additional keyword/category the client wants to rank for? Then there's the question of how patients (current and prospective) research a doctor and many times they google the doctor's name specifically so wouldn't having a GMB page specific to the doctor be helpful?
 

JoyHawkins

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Then there's the question of how patients (current and prospective) research a doctor and many times they google the doctor's name specifically so wouldn't having a GMB page specific to the doctor be helpful?

I think this is definitely a factor that we don't consider enough as SEOs. I was searching for my optometrist the other day to make an appointment. I don't have a clue what the name of his company is, I just know his name. He doesn't have a listing and it took me a lot of effort to find his number because I wasn't sure which practice he worked for. I think if a doctor is well-known and has a lot of direct patients, I would see what pulls up for their name and also look in Search Console to see how many times their name is searched. If it's a high volume, I would create a listing but would optimize it for their name and use a generic category like "doctor".
 
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