The Most Important Local SEO Tip We Can Give
NAP Consistency. No I’m not talking about a nice siesta. That won’t help with local SEO at all. What I am talking about is Name, Address, Phone Number (and to an extent Website)…so it can be referred to as NAP or NAPw.
In our business, we also refer to these as “citations”. Citations are simply defined as mentioned of your business name, address, phone number and website on other webpages, irregardless of whether there is a link back to your own website. So a citations maybe a listing in an online yellow pages directory, or a link on your local chamber of commerce, or perhaps an association you are a part of.
These citations are a BIG PART of the ranking system employed by major search engines like Google. With all other potential factors being equal, a business with a greater number of ACCURATE citations will rank higher than one with fewer or inconsistent citations. And when these citations come from well-established and reputable places (like Google+, Axciom, Superpages, Infogroup, or Neustar) the dramatically improve the degree of certainty a search engine has about your business’s contact information and how to categorize it. Search engines do not “manually” scour the internet looking for information, it’s all automated as the billions and billions of pages would be impossible to do by hand. So this system of “fact checking” a business is search engines way of confirming who you are.
These citations are immensely important as they validate that you are part of a community and not a fly-by-night operations, as it’s hard to “fake” a membership to a local chamber or be listed in a government business index.
So search engines basically feed off the data contained on all these many websites, and they use these data points to make their own systems closer to perfect and accurate…because after all, if Google doesn’t give good, accurate answers to peoples queries, who would use it? So the more places your NAPw is consistent across the web, and on more and more sites (especially the reputable ones) the more search engines think you are the real deal, and the higher in rankings you go!
So let’s say you are committed to fixing your NAPw on the internet. Is it an easy process? The answer is…no. To do it yourself, requires you to go to all the data aggregators and directories that you can find and create profiles, fill them out completely and submit. And you have to do this over and over again. But it gets worse because there’s no central source for business data…so let’s say you update and correct your data on Bing, but not on Yelp….Bing might cross reference the data with Yelp, see it’s incorrect and change it back, automatically! So all that work, for nothing.
But there’s good news for you, xclntDesign can help! Our Local SEO program, which using special software, updates and corrects this data for you, and we monitor it on an on-going basis…making sure it’s always correct and accurate! So don’t spend hours fixing this data, and subsequent hours checking and correcting it…let XD handle it all for you.