Today’s internet marketing strategy: take a NAP.
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number – the “thumbprint” of your business online. This is absolutely crucial to have on your site, because it identifies yourself to both search engines and to users. You want buyers to be able to immediate call you and you want strong Local search results. Having a consistent and correct NAP is the best way to guarantee that.
(Not that we’re saying a nap couldn’t be useful too.)
Local search engines use NAP data as they crawl to judge the accuracy of the data in their own indexes. This information comes from your site and various data providers, like Yelp, Yellow Pages, or Google+ Local. The better their findings are, the better your rankings will be.
This is especially important for Local search results – without it, you can’t get a high ranking SERP, plain and simple. Local results are those “pins” you see when searching, like:
They are the newest and greatest thing in search engine optimization, and very, very good for your internet marketing. Here’s why:
1.) They provide instant access information to mobile searchers. With more than 50% of website traffic coming from a mobile device, you want your number and address to be immediately available to on-the-go buyers.
2.) These results appear very high on the page, disrupting the old organic SERP’s. It used to be if you had a #5 or #6 placement you were still in plain view, but Local results now push that past the view of users. Having a “pin” listing ensures you’ll be seen. It is possible (though difficult) to have both a Local and organic result on the page, like we’ve done for Fischer & Frichtel here:
3.) Because they are (relatively) new, market competition for some verticals is not yet fierce – you can beat out the competition with just a little more effort than they’re bothering to take.
So you want these search results, and they way they are manufactured has a lot to do with how consistent and correct your information is online. Check on that information with:
1.) Website NAP. Make sure you include your name, address, and phone number on your website. It is absolutely necessary to have it easily visible on at least one page, but we recommend adding it to as many pages as we can. (That’s why in our website designs we have it in your footer – now it’s on every page of your site.) You also need to make sure it is up-to-date and completely accurate. Triple check and then have a co-worker read it too.
2.) Citation Building. It’s not just your site that lists your NAP. From the well-known yellow pages, to industry specific directories, to weird little sites you’ve never heard of, your information is everywhere. And the more consistent and correct it is the better off you’ll be. Citation building is a major and time-consuming project, but the work pays off. (Having done this ourselves when we moved our office, we know how complicated it is – so we’re happy to help you with it too.)
For the best NAP and Local results, we recommend:
1.) Make sure your name, address, and phone number is accurate and highly visible on your site. It should be text, not a photo.
2.) Optimize your Google+ Local page. Check and add to the information, post photos, check what categories you’re listed under – you want it to be an accurate and interesting “micro site”.
3.) Clean up your name, address, phone number (and website link if applicable) on every reference to your company that you can dig up. Google Maps, Yelp, Yellow Pages, and other major directories are a good place to start, following up with industry specific sites and then anywhere else you can find. Minor variations like “St” or “Street” are okay, but little mistakes like 931 instead of 913 will come back to haunt you.
4.) Keep a record of these passwords, verification codes, and the information (bio, photo, fax number, ect) you’re adding. This makes it way easier to track stuff down later and, if you’re copy-pasting, you know you won’t make a bunch of typos.
5.) Get reviews from your happy homeowners – your Google+ page reviews being especially helpful.
It takes some time to build, and then to be indexed, but with focus on your Local efforts and NAP data you will have some very good results. If you want a high SERP (and who doesn’t) you absolutely can’t ignore Local SEO.
Want to know more? Contact us any time.