If you have a location-based business, a consistent NAP is important for local SEO (search engine optimization) and should be your best friend, and here’s why…
When you’re out running errands and you want to grab a bite to eat, what do you do? If you’re exceptionally familiar with the area and you know exactly what you want, you might just drive there. However, if you’re like a lot of us, instead of making a snap decision like that, you probably pull out your phone to see what’s available in your area. And chances are really good that you’re going to make your lunchtime decision based on one of the search results you find, right?
Important for Local SEO
This is a perfect example of local search and why it is important for local SEO is important. Google bases its search results for “restaurants near me” and other local searches on mobile devices on a number of factors. A business’ information is one of the most important of those factors, specifically the name, address, and phone number, referred to as NAP.
Basically, Google and other search engines strive to give users the most accurate and helpful search results. To do that with a local search for a business, product, or service, the search engines need to be sure that the businesses in their results are real and that they are actually located at the addresses where they’re listed.
In other words, your business may not show up in a local search if it has recently moved and has conflicting online listings. If your website says you’re at one location, and other listings, citations, and reviews have it at a different location, it’s not going to show up in the top results for the area – even if it’s a perfect match for the search keywords and it’s right next door.
So how can you make sure that your information is consistent? And how can you fix it if it’s not?
Always Use the Same NAP
Google identifies businesses by their NAP or NAP+W (name, address, phone number and website). When listing your business information anywhere online, always use the exact same info and wording. For your business’ name, don’t use abbreviations, and don’t add taglines. When listing your address, make sure that it’s your exact location and that you don’t use a PO box or an intersection. And always use the same local phone number, as it will help validate your business and is important for local SEO. Likewise, always list your homepage, not your social media profiles, landing pages, or any other sites.
If you aren’t sure that your NAP+W info is correctly listed across directories and other locations online, you can check and correct it. We recommend starting with Google My Business, the Better Business Bureau, social media sites, and review sites like Yelp and Yellowpages.com.
Correcting your online information can go a long way toward getting your business to show up in local searches, but it’s not all that you can do to improve your search rankings. Talk to us at Your Cyber Partner today, and let us help you get to the top in all of your customers’ local searches.