Labor day has come and gone and it has been almost a year since we wrote about the importance of your NAP - not a 3PM siesta each day after lunch, but the Name, Address, and Phone Number you use for your business both on your website and around the web. We thought it was time to refresh your memory about why this information is so critical to success in local search and what you can do to ensure you rank as highly as possible.
A Little Refresher
The key way to think about your NAP is this; it is your company’s fingerprint around the web. When Google goes and tries to assess how authoritative and relevant your website is for a search term (“energy audit cleveland OH” for example) it uses your NAP to find other references to your company. The idea is that websites and businesses with more 3rd party references or “citations” as we call them are inherently more authoritative than those that have less or none at all. And the best way to check if a citation matches a given company is to check it against the name, address, and phone listed on that company’s website.
Checking for Accuracy
In order to be sure that all of your citations are being accurately credited to your website you need to ensure your NAP is consistent across all of them. An easy way to check for this is to take one of the elements and search for it on Google. Ideally you should see your website and then all the other places it is listed on the web. You can go to each of those citations and make sure that everything else is consistent like your business name & address. If anything doesn’t match you can log in or create an account and get everything setup correctly. You can then repeat the process using the other two elements as well - you’ll probably be surprised how many citations your business already has without any action on your part.
What to do Next
- Step 1 - make sure your company’s NAP is listed perfectly on your website. It can be in your footer, on your contact page, on your home page, or even all three.
- Step 2 - test each element to find all of your website’s current citations and make a list.
- Step 3 - correct any citations that don’t list your business correctly. Maybe they have an LLC in the name, or the phone number is formatted differently, or it uses an old address.
- Step 4 - be patient & repeat in the future as necessary. New citations and directories will pop up and may not get your NAP correct on the first try.