Claiming Your GMB & Dealing with Duplicates

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We recently discussed how important your GoogleMyBusiness listing is and why one listing per location is ideal for your online presence. Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to claim and verify your GMB, and also how to deal with duplicates if and when they come up....

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Does My Practice Have a GMB Listing?

The simplest way to check is to go to business.google.com and sign in. If you don’t have a Google account, you can easily create one. Enter in the name of your practice along with your address, and see what shows up.

If nothing shows up, and you don’t think you ever claimed your practice GMB, do a quick Google search for your business name, combined with the location. E.g. “20/20 Vision Care Springfield”. See what comes up.

Sometimes you will find it with specific keywords and searches. Make sure by searching for your address in Google Maps and scroll around, checking what comes up. Anything with your same address, with the exception of your doctor listing, is a potential duplicate, so don’t create a new one. Instead, you want to claim it.

Unless your practice is relatively new, in all likelihood a GMB listing for your practice/business address does exist. It may be under a different name, but if it is the same address, it is still a duplicate.

If you weren’t able to find anything, you can probably just go ahead and create one.
Go back to business.google.com and follow the instructions. Make sure to verify the listing. To do this, you will need to request a verification pin, which you can receive by either accepting an automated phone call to the office number or, alternatively, you may be required to have one mailed to your practice in the form of a Google postcard. Make absolutely sure that the name of your practice, the address, the phone number, and the website information EXACTLY match the way it appears on your website. This consistency directly affects your Google ranking!.

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Once you have identified a GMB listing, you can see if it’s claimed already. If it isn’t, the Knowledge Card showing up on a desktop search will look like the image shown here. If you see, “Own this Business?”, click on that and follow the instructions.

What if My GMB is Already Claimed?

If you see your business show up at business.google.com and it’s already claimed, you will see a few characters of the email address of the account it was claimed under.

If it’s already claimed, you can request access from the current owner of the listing. It was probably someone you know! If you get no response, you may need to do some sleuthing to figure out who claimed it. Maybe you forgot? Or you claimed it with a different Gmail address? Maybe it was a staff member? A marketing agency you work with? A previous owner of your practice?

In case you can't contact the owner of the GMB, Google provides a fall-back option in the form of a transfer request. If the current owner doesn't outright reject the request, and you follow up a week or so later with Google Support by replying to the email they send when you attempt to claim a claimed listing, you can usually have Google transfer the ownership to you, though it will often require re-verification. This is time-consuming and irritating for both you and the owner, so it’s best to get the current owner of the listing to invite you if you can.

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I Have Duplicate GMBs...
Now What?

The bad news is that this is probably hurting your SEO performance. The good news is that you are informed and can do something about it! You need to get access to both listings as the owner using the same email address. Once that is achieved, you can contact Google support and request to have them merged.

It Comes Down to...
Your Practice's Bottom Line

When it comes to your practice’s online presence and your bottom line, making sure that you have one accurate, verified, GMB listing per practice location is essential. And that’s just the start. If you really want to turbo-charge your GMB for top performance, make sure you keep those Google reviews coming in, post regularly, and put as much information on there as possible.

At EyeCarePro, optimizing GMBs, eliminating duplicates, and putting your practice on the map is all part of our marketing services.

Fill out the form on the right and schedule a FREE GMB Strategy Session.

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