Question: I’m in the process of getting Google Places set up for my church. However, we have 5 separate locations in the Houston area. We have one in the Galleria Area, Cypress, Kingwood, Pearland and on the West-side of Houston. We have home pages for each campus. What is the best way to have the one Google account and still show 5 separate locations? It doesn’t look as though we’re able to set that up.
Answer: You can definitely add multiple locations to one single Google Places account. There are some tricks / issues, however. First and foremost, use a Google Gmail account to ‘claim’ any and all listings, and make SURE that this is a GMAIL account that your organization can control in perpetuity. There is NO PROVISION in Google Places to ‘transfer’ a listing from one owner to another (stupidly). So I recommend creating an organization Gmail just for this purpose.
Secondly, once you have created your gmail account, login and find your first Google Places account by doing a search on Google Maps. Then click at the top / business owner? link and claim. That’s if it exists. If not, you have to follow the instructions to start form zero.
Once you have claimed ONE, then log into http://www.google.com/places. At the top of the screen, click the link ADD ANOTHER BUSINESS. Then you go through the same procedures – you either FIND it (I.e., it ALREADY exists in Google Places) and CLAIM it. Or you CREATE it from scratch. You will then be prompted to verify by phone / post card.
Finally, there can be problems if each church as the SAME mailing address and/or the SAME phone number. If so, you have to split them up, because Google wants DIFFERENT physical addresses / different phone numbers. If you are still stumped, call me and we’ll set up a one-on-one and I’ll try to walk you through it.
It can’t just be easy and straightforward. It’s Google after all.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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