Most savvy business owners understand the importance of local search engine optimization (SEO). If you want to rank highly on local searches, including those on Google Maps, maintaining your NAP is one of the most important things you can do. NAP (name, address, phone number) provides a user with all the information they need to connect with your business. Because Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant and accurate information possible, it makes sense to check and ensure that you have the most accurate contact information available online, which is where a NAP cleanup comes in.
A NAP cleanup is a simple and effective way to improve your SEO. Here, we will discuss what a NAP cleanup is, why they are essential for your business, and why it’s important to seek help from a pro to conduct your own.
Your Business Citation
A collection of small actions, such as NAP cleanup, can have a substantial cumulative effect on your visibility, authority, and SEO. Your business citation is an excellent example of a small thing that can make a tremendous difference in your online presence.
Your business citation is composed of every mention of your business address and name on other websites on the web. Citations typically follow the name, address, phone number format, and there can be a link back to your site. For example, an online directory listing such as the Yellow Pages or Google My Business is a citation, but so is a mention on any other website.
Other examples of places generating business citations include:
- Super Pages
- Angie’s List
This is just a sampling of some of the largest directories available—there are also local directories and smaller national directories to consider, as well. These directories use bots to crawl other directories and generate contact information from businesses on the internet to provide useful information to users. The end goal is to provide comprehensive listings to users, which is good for your business. An issue can arise, however, when your information is not consistent across citations.
Location Sweeps and NAP Cleanups
Bots crawling for digital citations can lead to a couple of problems for businesses:
- Your business probably has information there for consumers to see, even if you have never been listed in a local or national directory.
- The digital citation or listing’s contact information can be out of date, mixed up, or inaccurate.
Businesses don’t have control over who sees or lists their business information, so it’s difficult to ensure the accuracy of all your citations over the internet. As such, it is essential to find where you have a NAP online and ensure that it is accurate and up to date over all platforms. In some cases, you may need to submit new information to a directory and wait for them to accept the change. The process of correcting all online citations is referred to as a NAP cleanup. As you can imagine, NAP cleanups can be time consuming, but they are well worth the effort.
Why Would I Benefit From a NAP Cleanup?
It makes sense that you would want all your citations to be consistent so that consumers can connect with your business. At the same time, NAPs also play a role in your search engine optimization process. For example, if you have an outdated or wrong NAP, Google will be less likely to rank you in local searches, compared to other businesses that have more consistent NAPs. The more citations you have with the same NAP, the better you will rank in a local search. Think of a NAP cleanup as an essential element of your regional SEO strategy.
How an Expert Can Help You With a NAP Cleanup
As a business owner, you likely already have a lot on your plate. NAP cleanups can be lengthy, time-consuming processes, because cleanup involves combing through local and national directories for mentions, checking information for consistency, and resubmitting all information for correction to directories (in addition to follow up when a submission gets rejected). When you are already contending with the daily task list of running a business, NAP cleanup may seem like it takes too much time and effort.
This is where a pro can step in, making the process easier. Outsourcing your NAP cleanup to a professional saves you:
- Unless you have a dedicated technology person, it can take hours upon hours to comb through those directories and submit new information yourself. As a business owner, you likely have better things to do. Thankfully, a pro can take the tedious task of making sure your entries are consistent off your hands.
- Your business visibility. Consistent listings across all the major directories can have a significant impact on your local SEO. This means that people who are looking for your product or service are more likely to find you on local queries. A professional who understands local SEO can help you improve your visibility through a NAP cleanup.
- Business owners sometimes fall into the trap of thinking they can save money by working through maintenance tasks such as these by themselves—or by neglecting this aspect of local SEO altogether. Though NAP cleanups require an upfront investment, they also provide significant returns by saving your business time and increasing your visibility, which can lead to more conversions and sales.
Finally, a NAP cleanup is good for your business reputation, as it helps create consistency across all citations online. Consider a location sweep and NAP cleanup as one of those little things that can make a big impact, especially over time.
Sites by Sara offers comprehensive NAP cleanup and location sweep services. To learn more about our process, contact us, or call/text us at (385) 355-5351.