Sometimes, I hear from clients who just don’t seem to be making any progress with search engine optimization on Google, even in light of the recent algorithm changes that made it easier to for local businesses to come up in search results.
More often than not, my recommendation comes down to one thing: pay more attention to NAPS.
Unfortunately, I’m not advising you to sleep more in the middle of the day for online marketing purposes – although there’s a chance that could help some of us to be a bit less cranky. Instead, I’m talking about Names, Addresses, and Phone Numbers. If these aren’t accurate, consistent, and up-to-date across the web, it could cause problems for you.
To give you a little more insight as to why NAPS can make or break your local marketing, here’s what you need to know…
Google Uses NAPS to Offer Local Options
When Google crawls the web, it isn’t just looking for keywords and links. It’s also categorizing your website by location, using addresses, ZIP Codes, area codes, and even references to landmarks to determine where you are. Then, that data gets used to match you with local buyers in your area who need vendors or products. Given that nearly a quarter of Google’s 2 billion daily search requests are for something local, earning a share of that traffic should be a high priority.
It Helps to Have Several Sources of NAPS Info
Although Google will draw location data primarily from your website, it will also look for corroborating evidence elsewhere online. That’s where local business directories and industry guides (like Yelp, CitySearch, TripAdvisor, and so on) come into play. If all of them agree on your business name, address, and phone number, then Google can display that information prominently because there is a high probability of giving a searcher exactly what they are looking for.
Outdated NAPS Can Cause Problems
Of course, if corroborating data points are a good thing, then missing or conflicting pieces of information are going to hurt your search visibility. After all, if Google can’t be sure who you are, where you operate, or how customers should contact you, then how can they send traffic to your website without frustrating buyers? For that reason, skipping NAPS and leaving entries blank or with the wrong contact info can be a real problem.
It’s easier than you might think to let your contact details get jumbled. When we moved offices this summer, we discovered just how many entries there were for our business online, both in Peoria and beyond. And naturally, we have more time and attention to devote to online marketing the most of our clients do.
But if the thought of managing dozens of profiles sounds overwhelming, I’ve got some good news: our company is now offering a convenient, low-cost service to ensure your business is listed in all relevant directories, and that your entries stay up-to-date. That’s an easy way to boost your local search visibility, and to ensure that customers who are looking for you can find you easily on the web.
The right NAPS can help your online marketing stay fresh and alert, especially for buyers in your area. Why not call us today at 309-699-2849 to see how easy and affordable it is to get started with our directory listing services?