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How Does Google My Business Handle Solo Practitioner Listings?

In our April LocalU event, I covered Shades Of Grey: Controversial Local SEO Tactics that Drive Results. I covered tactics ranging from keyword stuffing to review snippets in the organic search results. There were several tactics that didn’t make the final cut. One of those tactics was if solo practitioners should have two listings on Google My Business.

Google recommends that solo practitioners have 1 listing that combines the name of the practice with the name of the practitioner.  For example, “Allstate Insurance: Bob Smith”.  However, it’s not actually a violation of the guidelines for solo practitioners to have a separate listing for themself as well as a separate one for their practice.

Why Would a Solo Practitioner Want a Second Google My Business (GMB) Profile?

A scenario where you might want to consider having 2 listings is if there are multiple categories that apply to your business type. We see more and more solo practitioners taking advantage of this when their business operates across multiple categories. In the example below, a solo practitioner law firm that specializes in both personal injury and social security disability cases took advantage of this strategy.  They had their main GMB primary category set to personal injury, and they created a practitioner GMB to target the niche area of social security disability. The main GMB listing ranks for personal injury keywords and the practitioner profile ranks for the specific social security attorney keywords.

practitioner GMB profile

gmb insights solo practitioner

Here are the phone calls that came into the law firm, from the practitioner GMB profile that we created.

calls from gmb listing

So What?

If you are a solo practitioner that covers multiple GMB categories, this is one way that you can compete across more than one category. To learn more, head over to the Local Search Forum where we get questions about solo practitioners all the time. Just search for solo practitioner.

gmb practitioner profiles lsf

Are you creating listings for solo practitioners? What has your experience been?

You can also check out our article and get advice on SEO for dentists.



Want more local SEO tips?
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Colan Nielsen

Colan started in the local SEO world back in 2010 and is also deemed a product expert by Google as a Top Contributor on the Google My Business Forum. He is a contributor to Moz’s famous Local Search Ranking Factors survey and is a former Google MapMaker Regional Lead. Read Colan's full bio here.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing another shade of grey. Just to confirm, when you say “… it’s not actually a violation of the guidelines for solo practitioners to have a separate listing for themself as well as a separate one for their practice,” is your point simply that it’s only Google’s recommendation not to do this? The verbiage in the guidelines says “it’s best for the practitioner to share a Business Profile with the organization.” So is the idea that if it was a policy, they might use stronger language like “should / should not do this” instead of “it’s best…”?

    1. Hey Kerry, we know this from various threads we have escalated on the GMB forum where someone reported one and Google wouldn’t remove it.

  2. You show what happened to phone calls from the Practitioner GMB profile, but did it at all cannibalize phone calls from the main GMB profile? Was overall phone calls from the two listings higher?

    1. Hi Trent, good question! It did not cannibalize calls from the main listing. The reason is that it is using a different primary category and ranking for different queries.

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