Nap Consistency is Local SEO
Shhhh… if you want the secret to high local search rankings, then look no further than your NAP. No, you aren’t sleeping on the job here. You’re actually about to expertly command a fleet of online citations to skyrocket your local search rank.
It’s not uncommon for local businesses to struggle as they try to figure out how to get themselves seen on Google Search results. While you likely understand concepts like link earning strategies and CTR-boosting title tags, meta descriptions, and that you absolutely must have relevant topical content on your website, one commonly overlooked factor is local citation NAP consistency. Ironically, it’s probably the most simplistic element of all local SEO strategies to deploy and maintain.
Now, don’t turn a deaf ear at the word simple. Consider this – Your message to your viewers is four. Simple, right? Two plus two is simple math that most any adult can easily add to equal four. However, if a two is mistook or miswritten as a one in some places, then your simple message of four and it’s delivery become completely skewed.
So, remember that simple doesn’t translate to unimportant. Failure to pay careful mind to citation consistency and accuracy can leave your local rankings in sad shape because it’s actually a top ranking factor in local.
What are citations, you ask? These are incidences where your business’s name, address, and phone (referred to as NAP) are mentioned online. Think of NAP mentions as your loyal personal army of on a mission to ensure your business is seen and search-linked appropriately.
Google’s algorithm focuses on the following three factors for local ranking:
1. Relevance to the search query.
2. Online prominence.
3. The user’s physical proximity or specified location in the query.
Visibility is a factor within your online presence that you can easily improve by simply improving your citation profile. In other words, you want to increase the amount and accuracy of citations
Keep Your Citations Healthy and Clean by Ensuring Consistency
The actual info represented is the most important part of NAP. When NAP is inconsistent or carrying the wrong data, citations can damage your online visibility, not help it. Food for thought, but it also means that potential clients are getting the wrong contact info for you. if you gain a few poor citations you may want to perform a local citation audit to clean up citations
In Star Wars, the Dark Force manipulates and brainwashes soldiers into serving the wrong cause.
Citations are no different; they’re serving you no useful purpose if they’re inconsistent. In fact, they could be serving your competition by moving you further down the search food chain and losing you business.
Ensure Citation Consistency
You’d be surprised at what can be considered inconsistency.
Perhaps you’ve moved, changed your phone number, or amended your company name from its beginnings? Did you go back and remove old citations? Are you building new citations with the most up to date, accurate information?
Another pitfall is in not using a local address and phone number relevant to your local ranking aspirations. This commonly occurs when a business uses a tracking number or toll free number on their website and landing pages vs a local number.
One costly error that can result in a number of SEO issues and citation inconsistencies is in hiring fly-by-night so called ‘citation specialists‘ to manage your online presence without actually vetting their experience and knowledge beforehand. Always check references and spot check the work of anyone you hire to manage your website or online business presence, including citations.
There you have it, By being vigilant in keeping all your local brand mentions and local SEO citations accurate, consistent, and available you’re well on your way to high local Google AdWords 3 pack and maps rankings.