Creativedge

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We have a client who is opening a brand-new dental practice that will be opening toward the end of the year. As this is completely new, there are no existing citations, so we'll be doing all of the business listings from scratch.

We have the business name, future address, and the phone line is working (people who call will just get a recording, however). We have tentative hours of operation, but they may change.

What's the best way to handle the citations in this case? I see that Google My Business allows you to set an opening date in the future (hopefully this marks it as "coming soon"), but this doesn't seem to be the case elsewhere.

Any recommendations/best practices?
 

JeffClevelandTN

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We have a client who is opening a brand-new dental practice that will be opening toward the end of the year. As this is completely new, there are no existing citations, so we'll be doing all of the business listings from scratch.

We have the business name, future address, and the phone line is working (people who call will just get a recording, however). We have tentative hours of operation, but they may change.

What's the best way to handle the citations in this case? I see that Google My Business allows you to set an opening date in the future (hopefully this marks it as "coming soon"), but this doesn't seem to be the case elsewhere.

Any recommendations/best practices?
Hi @Creativedge, we manage several clients with multi-location offices, one with 16 (and counting) medical offices across two states. I'm not necessarily speaking from any authority, meaning I don't have any studies to back up what I'm about to say, just more of our overall practice in our SEO.

We often know months in advance when our client is planning on opening a new office/location. It is definitely very tempting at times to consider citation building before the actual open date, especially when the office is opening in a larger city with a very competitive market. Just like everyone else, our largest client wants to see immediate Page 1 ranking, and even though we have worked with them for several years and have told them over and over, not to expect overnight organic ranking for new locations, they seem to have short-term memory :).

Anyways, we feel the risk is too great in creating citations before open date because of the potential blowback. If we start creating citations and those citations rank before open date and customers call or possibly drive to the new unopened office, they could leave a negative review and/or report the listing as closed, or simply never come back out of frustration. Similarly, a competitor's agency may discover the new citations and report the location as closed. Also those citations might wind up being scraped by another website or one of the aggregators and if those get reported as closed or have incorrect hours you've got the potential mess of, at a minimum, doubling your citation effort trying to get the closed listings reactivated and having to correct the operating hours for the previous citations. Also, we try to have great photos to go with our citations (if permitted by the site), but at least for our clients, construction/landscaping continues to the last minute preventing photography. We don't want to create citations and go back and add photography and/or correct operating hours later, too much additional work.

We typically use the time prior to the new office opening doing thorough competitor analysis to develop and create better content than the competitors, examine the competitor's citations/backlinks, and be prepared on Day 1 to hit the ground running. As stated above, I can't back up anything I'm saying from someone like John Mueller but at best I feel that creating citations before the location is open is at best "grey hat". It would be great if @JoyHawkins would provide some feedback on this, she always has great insight and has authored numerous articles about similar subjects.

I hope some of this helps!
 

JoyHawkins

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If we start creating citations and those citations rank before open date and customers call or possibly drive to the new unopened office, they could leave a negative review and/or report the listing as closed, or simply never come back out of frustration.

I completely agree Jeff. I would suggest waiting until the business actually opens.
 

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