Local Search Engine Optimization and NAP.
Search engine optimization in any form can be a tricky concept. However, when you reduce your scope down from broad SEO to local optimization, the issue becomes even more complex. Not only do you have to do all of the customary SEO management that you have gotten used to over the past few months, but you also have to add an extra layer to your work. Today, many technologically savvy business owners have a good grasp of what SEO means, but diving in at a deeper level can be overwhelming for even the most experienced.
Managing your Online Listings
Perhaps the most crucial component of dealing with local SEO is understanding the trinity of information better known as NAP. This acronym stands for the name, address, and phone number of your company. Some people add a +W onto the end to stand for the website portion of your marketing technique. Knowing this information doesn’t seem too complicated on the surface, however, things become a little trickier when it comes to keeping the information consistent and accurate. A survey conducted by Constant Contact discovered that although 85% of small businesses recognize the importance of being found on local directories and search applications, only half of them update their online listings. So why is this important?
Most local search engines utilize NAP as a way of measuring the accuracy of business. In order for a directory or local search engine to appropriately validate the presence of your business, it needs every aspect of data to line up neatly. For example, if your business name is “Billy’s Banjos” and you accidentally type “Billys’ Banjo’s” you could end up with an inaccurately registered business.
This may seem like a particularly sensitive way of dealing with things at first, but if you think about it, there are millions of different companies all running at the same line, with thousands of similar stores in the same industry all competing for attention. In order for a business to be classed as legitimate, the name address and phone number entered throughout every directory in the local landscape have to match up.
Once you’ve got a handle on the accuracy, the next issue you will need to keep in mind is consistency. If information is not consistent across all citations, mentions, directories, and listings, then your company is going to suffer as a result.
What this means is the information that you list on Yelp must match perfectly to the information on Google+, LinkedIn, and so on. This is probably one of the most challenging tasks for a company trying to improve their local search engine rank because of information about your business changes on a very regular basis. One day, your company might change its name slightly, or decide to work on a different contact number or address. Keeping all of this information updated in every single directory you appear in can be difficult, and often leads to mistakes.