Local SEO: Start with NAP

If you’re into local SEO, you know that a NAP isn’t something you take on a lazy Sunday afternoon. NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone and it’s a critical part of making sure that people looking for your service or product, in your area, can find you. How can you boost yours?

Make It Right, Make It Tight

For starters, your website should include your NAP on every single page. Not only is this good for Google, as spam sites aren’t very likely to include real, physical addresses, but it’s also good for your visitors. Think about how many times you’ve Googled a local business just to find their phone number or address? Don’t make them work for that very basic business info.

Next up, make sure that other sites that have your NAP are displaying it correctly. There’s a belief that Google cross-references your NAP across a variety of sites and variations in the presentation can hurt you.

Let’s say you own Local Coffee Company. On your website you have your name as ‘Local Coffee Company’ but your Yelp listing has you as ‘Local Coffee Co.’, and Tripadvisor lists you as ‘The Local Coffee’. That’s a problem. Make sure that you’re consistent in all of your citations. This include your address as well. If you’re 123 Any Street, don’t use a mix of Street and St. Be obsessively consistent.

Google My Business Benefits

Claim Your Business

If you haven’t done so yet, claim your business with Google My Business and create a Google+ page. Having this account will allow you to control the NAP that Google displays for your business and will help people find you through Google Knowledge Panels – the info boxes that show up to the right of searches. You can also add photos, hours, reviews, and more information that will help you stand out from competitors.

Use Structured Data

Is your NAP using structured data? Structured data makes it easier for applications, like Google, to better understand what kind of information you’re presenting to them. On your business website, always be using schema.org/LocalBusiness for your NAP. You can check whether you’re using this already by using Google Search Console and looking under Search Appearance / Structured Data. If you’re not, ask your web developer to set it up for you. Or if you want to DIY it, there are some schema generators available online.

Review Local Citations

It’s worth your time to list your business on any reputable directory you can – especially local and/or industry specific directories. Think Yelp, Yellow Pages, TripAdvisor, local chambers of commerce, the BBB, Citysearch.com, FourSquare, etc. The more places Google can find you, the better you’ll rank locally. Even if you already have listings on these sites, it’s good to review them regularly to ensure that your NAP is consistent.

Note: a citation is just an occurance of your business information online.

If you’ve changed offices, you’ve got some work to do beyond ordering new business cards. Create a list of all location citations and then start updating them with your new NAP. Our recommendation is that you start with your Google My Business account and Google+ business page.

These are just four things to check on regarding one aspect of local SEO, but getting them right can already improve your results.

If you’d like to talk more about how you can improve your visibility for local searches, give us a shout.

One thought on “Local SEO: Start with NAP

  1. Really an informative post. I have a question regarding NAP.

    Is it OK to have same address with two abbreviations of street, State or Country listed on different listing sites?

    like:

    XXX st, XXXX West, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

    or

    XXX st, XXXX Wt, Chennai, TN, USA

    although both are same address but still appear differently.

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