One Is the Loneliest Number...
...and That’s the Way Google Likes it
We’ve had what to say about your practice’s GoogleMyBusiness listing (GMB) as an essential billboard for your practice, given that 90% of online searches are on Google.
It’s also essential to your online presence to have only one GMB that is claimed and verified. One and not more. This brings us to one of the most common problems we deal with at EyeCarePro on behalf of our clients—duplicate GMB listings.
It's Essential to Have One, and Only One GMB
Having multiple GMBs for the same business name and address is a big problem. And you may not even be aware that there are multiple GMBs floating out there. At EyeCarePro, we have years of experience claiming and verifying GMB listings, and dealing with duplicates that do occasionally pop up. We hope this information helps you achieve better online performance for your practice, bringing more new patients through the door!
How Do Duplicate GMBs Occur?
There are a few ways that you can end up with duplicate listings. Here are some of the most common ways it can happen:
- You created one GMB, and then you created another. Maybe you forgot about the first one, or forgot your password?
- It can happen automatically. More often than not, Google pulls data from other business listings sites (such as Yellow Pages) to generate listings on Google maps, and then you go ahead and create one instead of claiming the existing one. Sometimes, even when you claim a GMB, Google will create another one;
- Or, someone suggested an edit to a pre-existing GMB and now you have two…
Your Practice GMB needs to be claimed and verified, without duplication, to achieve maximal results.
Two’s a Crowd:
Why Duplicate GMBs are a Problem
The Google algorithm is about providing authoritative, consistent information. If Google has two sources of contradictory information, it detracts authority from both profiles.
Duplicate GMBs Hurt the Rankings of Both Listings
At the same time, you have two listings competing for the same spot in the search rankings. Duplicate listings can also hurt the rankings of both listings, meaning that neither will rank well because there are two. Plus, Google may very well trigger the wrong one on searches, meaning people are not seeing your optimized and up-to-date information.
It Confuses Patients & Splits Reviews
To confuse potential patients further, Google Maps could be pulling from one GMB, while the search results are pulling another. Giving potential patients an obsolete phone number, an incorrect address, or inaccurate hours of operation is not exactly going to drive new patients in droves. Have lots of great Google reviews? That doesn't do much for you if searches are bringing up the wrong GMB showing a disgruntled review from 2012… What’s more, you might be splitting the reviews you are currently generating into multiple listings, which will greatly water down the impressive impact they have on new patients too.
You want to control what Google says about your business
This means maintaining ONE accurate, verified, and up-to-date GMB per practice location. You certainly don’t want to appear sloppy, unorganized, or apathetic to that potential new patient!
What About My Practitioner GMB?
Lots of people search for specific eye doctors so many ODs choose to keep a separate GMB listing for themselves, in addition, to the GMB for the practice. These are not necessarily a problem for SEO. The name of the practitioner, though, should appear as Dr. Oli Optometrist, O.D. with the location entered in exactly the same way as the practice GMB (and the website). In situations where there is only one office, the format we recommend is “Business Name: Practitioner Name”. If you have multiple locations, we recommend only one practitioner listing with just the name, and that you use the strongest or primary office as the address on your doctor GMB listing.
While Google does specifically allow for practitioner listings in addition to the practice GMB, that goes for the doctor only.
Office staff should NOT have their own GMBs, as this may compromise your local search results. Also, practitioner listings are NOT recommended for practices that have only one doctor working there. At the end of the day, if your goal is brand exposure and online presence—and we’re pretty sure that it is—then a single point of contact in the form of your GMB listing is the best way to control the way your practice appears on a Google search. A single claimed, verified, and accurate GMB will go along way to showing up more prominently and bringing more new patients into your lane.
Click HERE to learn how to claim and verify your practice GMB, and also what to do when you have a duplicate GMB to deal with.
EyeCarePro Knows GMBs
At EyeCarePro, we optimize GMBs as a matter of course for all our marketing clients. Want a FREE GMB Strategy Session?
Fill out the form on the right and schedule your GMB Strategy Session today!