How NAP Can Help You Improve Your Local SEO

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NAP is the short version for Name, Address, and Phone number.

What does NAP have to do with marketing, and why should any business owner care about it? Because something as simple as listing accurate contact details on your website can help you improve your ranking in search engines.

Why Local Searches Matter to Small Businesses

If you’re a small business and rely on local customers mostly, SEO has a different role than for large companies that sell globally. You don’t need to attract global traffic, as a large number of website visitors won’t necessarily have a significant influence on your bottom line. Instead, you should focus on a more targeted audience, made of website visitors from your region, who are more likely to buy from you.

The local audience is interested not only in web content, blog posts, and information about your products. They also need to know where you are.

Here’s where local SEO can be of help. For marketing purposes, you need to make it easy for potential clients to find contact information about your local business online. This way, they know where to find you when they need your product or service.

As much as 46% of Google searches are related to local information. Moreover, 72% of consumers that initiate a local query visit a brick-and-mortar store within five miles. As more people turn to their smartphones to find stores nearby, a regional SEO strategy can help you to attract consistent traffic not only to your website but also to your physical location.

How to Use NAP to Boost SEO and Local Search

When people make geo-targeted queries, the search engine will show only those businesses that have their physical address public. So, to rank high in local search results, you need to make sure Google knows where your store (or stores) are.

 

So, how do you tell Google where potential clients can find you? It’s super easy. NAP serves this specific purpose. You list your company’s name, address, and phone number to help search engines find you. Now, for better results, you should make this information available in multiple places on the internet.

First, make your contact information accessible on your website and your social media accounts. This way, all your site visitors and followers will have all the details they need when they need to arrive at your physical location.

Registering in Local Directories

The next step is having your store listed in one or more local directories–collections of websites that increase the online visibility of your business. Some of the most popular directories are Yelp, Yell, Hotfrog, Scoot, and Free Index.

When you register your business in these local directories, you gain a series of benefits. As you list your contact information, search engines associate your name to a physical location. When someone looks for your product online, you’re more likely to get listed in geo-targeted searches.

At the same time, these local directories work as search engines as well. Practically, you put your company in front of a vast audience, as most of these platforms have millions of visitors that use them to find information about local businesses.

What matters is that, while setting up your NAP, you follow a series of best practices:

  • Use the full name of your company every time you list it on a local directory. If you shorten it, people might have difficulties to associate your physical location with the info found online.
  • All contact details should be updated. You don’t want people to call you at a deactivated phone number or send an email to the wrong address.
  • Stay consistent. All websites should list the same detail, in the same formats. This way, search engines and potential buyers don’t get confused.

Enhance Your Online Presence with Google My Business

Besides listing your business on local platforms, you should also list it in THE most effective directory at the moment–Google My Business. Yes, Google has its own index and updating your information here helps your local rank.

All you need to do is fill in your data, select your category, and verify your location. Google will immediately list you on top of search results. Here, as well, you need to pay attention to all details to make sure you provide accurate information only.
Make sure you spell your company name correctly and that your phone number and address are correct. Moreover, you should add your website to help Google associate your identity with your online presence. If you wish to go the extra mile, you can also add a Business description and fill in the “Questions & Answers” section.

Google My Business is a mix between a local directory and a social network. Here, you can share your working hours, update special hours for holidays and events, publish images and notes, get reviews, and provide relevant information about your services.

On Google, social proof is a key element when looking to attract more customers to your business. So, encourage customers to leave honest feedback on your Google My Business page by creating and sharing a link for customers to write reviews. The more five-star rates you get, the higher your chances to convert new customers.

Last, but not least, make sure you remain an active user. Always update information on your page, add new photos, answer reviews, publish Google posts, and communicate with your potential clients regularly.

Do you know where you stand in the local search landscape?

Technology and an online presence can help you bring your brick-and-mortar store on the internet. By using both NAP and Google My Business, you make sure everyone can reach you directly from their smartphones. So, how do you know where you need to work on to enhance your local SEO?

Start with a local SEO audit to see whether people can actually find you online in seconds. Also, make sure you check what information is available about your business online. Are there any positive reviews that could convince potential customers to stop by your location? Can they quickly learn about your services and opening hours?

Something as simple as updating your contact details and sharing them in a couple of places online can change the way you communicate with potential buyers, with direct effects on your revenues. However, as in any other area of your marketing, how you do it differentiates your business from competitors.

Ready to know where you stand in the local search landscape? We can audit your online presence and help you update your contact information online. Give us a call, and let’s talk about how you can make your local business more appealing to search engines.`

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