When it comes to boosting your business's online presence, your Google Business Profile is a key player. But if there are other businesses at the same address, things can get a bit tricky. Duplicate listings, different phone numbers, and conflicting information can mess up your local search marketing strategy. So, how does Google handle and rank multiple businesses that share a location? And are there situations where this is acceptable? In this article, we'll dig deep into the nuances of Local Search Marketing and bring you the answers.
The Challenges of Sharing the Same Address
Google's algorithms are designed to prioritise businesses with the most local SEO potential. When multiple businesses share the same address, Google may focus on just one, leaving the others out of sight unless users zoom into the map which can significantly impact your visibility. In some cases, Google might even suspend businesses that are not distinct entities but are listed at the same location, leading to the removal of your listing and reviews.
Google's Criteria for Business Eligibility and Ownership
Google also looks for certain indicators to determine whether each business at an address is a distinct entity. These indicators include having separate entrances and exits for each business and having permanent signage or storefronts, both inside and outside the building.
For instance, if you're an accounting firm renting an office in a co-working space and list your business at the space’s address, Google might investigate and suspend both your listing and the co-working’s.
Scenarios Where Sharing an Address is Acceptable
Despite these challenges, there are two common scenarios where Google allows multiple businesses to share an address:
1. Businesses with Different Categories: This scenario typically involves separate businesses with distinct entrances offering different products or services under the same address. This situation is common for individual departments within larger businesses, institutions, or universities.
2. Individual Practitioners: This generally applies to professionals such as doctors, lawyers, or real estate agents who operate independently within a larger practice but manage their own clients.
Google Business Profile for Businesses Sharing an AddressIf your business shares an address with another unrelated business, you can still create a separate Google Business Profile. This is permissible as long as your business has a unique name, phone number, and website.
If, however, you are looking to create separate listings for different departments within your organisation, you need take into account additional guidelines:
- Each department must offer different services.
- The name of each department should be distinct from the main business and other departments.
- The business category for each department must not be the same as the main business.
What If My Business Has Different Services From the Same Location?
It's great that your business offers a variety of services from a single address, but this can sometimes create challenges when it comes to local search marketing. One specific issue that can arise is having duplicate listings, which means having multiple entries online that point to your business location but with slightly different information.
Duplicate listings can be a bit of a headache because they confuse search engines and potential customers. When search engines come across multiple listings for your business, it becomes tricky for them to figure out which one is the most accurate and relevant. This can have a negative impact on your search engine rankings and visibility, which we definitely want to avoid.
Fixing Duplicate Listings
Start by conducting a thorough review of all the online directories, review sites, and platforms where your business is listed. Look out for any duplicate entries and take the necessary steps to claim and merge them into one comprehensive listing.
When you're reviewing duplicate listings, make sure that all the information is consistent and accurate across all platforms. This includes details like your business name, address, phone number, website, and any other relevant information.
Try Out Automations
Local marketing automations like PinMeTo simplify the process of resolving duplicate listings by providing a centralised platform where businesses can easily identify and manage their online listings. By connecting to various directories and platforms, PinMeTo helps businesses discover, claim, and hide their duplicate listings.
Claiming involves combining the different listings into a single comprehensive entry, ensuring consistent and accurate information across all platforms. Hiding, on the other hand, allows businesses to remove duplicate listings that are not needed or outdated.
Managing Google Business Profile with multiple services under one location
In addition to managing duplicate listings, it's essential to optimise your Google Business Profile. Highlight each service you offer and provide as much information as possible about them. This allows potential customers to get a clear understanding of the range of services available at your location, helping them make informed decisions.
Using high-quality images of your physical location is a great way to visually showcase your services and attract customers.
It's also important to respond promptly and courteously to customer reviews, showing that you care about their feedback and satisfaction. Recent studies show that 76% of consumers “regularly” read online reviews when browsing for local businesses in 2023.
And of course, don't forget to keep your address and contact information up-to-date to avoid any confusion for customers trying to reach you.
To make the most out of your GBP and avoid common mistakes read through the Google Business Profile comprehensive guide.
To Sum Up
When multiple businesses share the same address, it can affect local search marketing. Managing duplicate listings and optimising the Google Business profile are important for maintaining visibility and attracting customers. Following Google's guidelines ensures a strong online presence and better search rankings.