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deezn

Changing main phone number

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I run a B&M professional services company. I've used one main number since 2009 or so. It's everywhere, although I haven't really done much on citations and stuff, it's still out there. I want to run all my calls through an answering service, but I get a ton of calls I don't really care to answer and perfectly happy with them going to voicemail.

For local rankings, is it a pain in the butt to change the main number? I'll use my old number still, with the people I really don't care to answer, but on my website and citations i want to use a new number.

Is that too much to handle?

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I'm no expert in this field, in fact I'd be hard pressed to qualify as a novice, but I think that by updating the number on your online site(s), after the SE's index the new number that'll be the one that people call in the future.

As for offline references, is it possible for you to have calls to the old number diverted automatically to the new one? 

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You can use a service like Yext. Yext is directly connected to a lot of local directories. You basically have one dashboard. You make changes and they push them out to all of those directories and data aggregators. The downside is, you have to stay with them year after year or the rumor is they will revert back to their old data. I have not tested that though myself.

 

 

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6 hours ago, deezn said:

I am most worried about the hit to local rankings. Having my old number out there with my new one.

I don't think you will take a hit for that to be honest. The business name and address will still match for the citations. 

There are a lot of businesses with multiple phone numbers, but their listings in directories are inconsistent. Some have both numbers. Some have one number. I see it a lot with local restaurants that have more than one phone number for busier times to call in takeout and delivery orders. 

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On 9/19/2017 at 6:24 AM, Mike Friedman said:

I don't think you will take a hit for that to be honest. The business name and address will still match for the citations. 

There are a lot of businesses with multiple phone numbers, but their listings in directories are inconsistent. Some have both numbers. Some have one number. I see it a lot with local restaurants that have more than one phone number for busier times to call in takeout and delivery orders. 

I thought phone number was huge as well, on citations. NA(phone number)

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3 minutes ago, deezn said:

I thought phone number was huge as well, on citations. NA(phone number)

It is important and having it all be correct would be ideal, but I think if you have 2 of the 3 (Name, Address, Phone Number), you will be okay. 

I just have seen too much evidence of local businesses ranking well that have incorrect or inconsistent phone numbers. Like the restaurant example I mentioned where the business has 2-3 valid phone numbers. Some listings have one number. Some have another number, some have all three, but there is a lot of variety. Still ranking #1. 

I think Google's algorithm has evolved from a hardline stance on that. There was a time when people preached that you had to use the exact same address throughout all of your citations. If you used 'Avenue', then it had to be Avenue on everything. No Av or Ave. 

Google has gotten smarter than that.

If I had a choice, I would do what I could to make it uniform, but I wouldn't lose sleep over it or break my neck to make it happen.

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Just thinking out loud here....

The only time I 'look up' a number is if someone called me.  If you don't call people, then I am going to say, they're not looking you up by your phone number anyhow.  

I agree with Mike.  I have seen multiple numbers on sites and if one doesn't work or goes to voicemail, I normally call the second one.  People really like options, so I don't see a hurt, I see a benefit.  

You could, as Whatty said, and just forward, but if you're avoiding those particular calls in the first place, offering a new number, solely, will solve that for you.  

As far as ranking?  Again, I don't see it hurting, at all.  You could also add a 'post' of some sort that announces your new number in case someone does look up the older one.  ... ?  

~ Theresa

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