Nicole Basham

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Hello:

Our agency manages local search for a multi-location, multi-service area business that has three separate owners. The core of the business is pest control, but the company also provides a long list of other services, based on location. For example, some branches offer HVAC (24/7), plumbing (24/7), landscaping, lawn services, appliance repair, handyman services and pool services--and many locations offer 10 or more services.

Local search is now one of the company's largest lead sources. GMB listings have been set up differently over the years, based on what seemed to be best for each location at the time. The client is now ready to start the process of opening a new listing at a new location, and we want to determine the best way to set this listing up to best position the company for local search leads (and go back and make necessary changes, if needed to bring all listings into a more uniform convention).

There seem to be three options:
  1. Open a "main" listing with the company name with a main category and 9 secondary categories. This allows the company to complete primarily on the primary category, although there will be some traffic for folks looking for other services. Using this approach, much smaller single-service companies outrank the company in many secondary categories.
  2. Open a "main" listing with the company name with a main category and 9 secondary categories and several secondary listings at the same address. Open other listings at the same address with different phone numbers and different hours (i.e. HVAC and plumbing). Using this approach, the company can capture some of that traffic for secondary service local search terms. However, it's unclear whether these listings compete (i.e. should we should list HVAC and plumbing on the main listing since it gets more traffic or focus on getting those local searches into these "secondary" listings?) Also, this limits the number of listings we could have at one location, since there are regular business hours and then 24/7 and not much in between.
  3. Open a "main" listing with the company name with a main category with departments nested underneath. Ask Google to nest all the secondary services within the main listing (i.e. main listing would be "Company Name" and these nested listings would be "Company Name - HVAC Department"). This seems to make the most sense from a local search standpoint to allow the company to compete with single-service businesses and capture as many listings as possible. There also seem to be some efficiencies with this model in terms of review management so that relevant reviews get funneled to relevant listings. However, in many talks with Google support, it is clear that without a separate door, this approach is really an edge case for GMBs. Why have a separate entrance for a service-based business, anyways? Also, without phone support, I can't imagine how long this would take to happen.
We've researched and looked at our data and acknowledged that unfortunately, Google has stacked the deck against this kind of business. Given what we have to work with and what you have seen for the businesses you manage, which option would you choose and why?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or insights.

Best, Nicole
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hi Nicole,

If it is a pure SAB (no brick and mortar location that customers go to), option 1 is the only one that would be compliant with Google. If you have physical locations that customers go to you could make option 2 or 3 work but it would require some heavy lifting from a business operations perspective (ordering signage for each department, unique phone number..etc)
 

Nicole Basham

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Hi Nicole,

If it is a pure SAB (no brick and mortar location that customers go to), option 1 is the only one that would be compliant with Google. If you have physical locations that customers go to you could make option 2 or 3 work but it would require some heavy lifting from a business operations perspective (ordering signage for each department, unique phone number..etc)

Thanks for the clarification. We've been doing a lot of heavy lifting to try to find ways to increase local search leads, but sounds like it's best to encourage the client to instead invest in physical locations spread across metros to help them show up in more local searches.
 
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