Are you a local business owner? Do you know any local business owners? Well, local business owners should not take a nap while reading this post. You will want to make sure you know what a NAP is: Name, Address and Phone. And you will want citations of your NAP. You will also want to make sure those citations are consistent.
NAP on Your Site
If you own a local business, you will want to be sure to include your business name, business address and business phone on your website. Where can you include this? You can pick a prominent location on the right side of the header, on the sidebar, on a contact page and/or in the footer.
How should this be presented on your site? You can use straight HTML. For an extra bonus, put the name, address and phone in schema (learn more on schema.org – visit LocalBusiness).
NAP Citations on Other Sites – Be Consistent!
Citations are important to local businesses. A citation is a mention on a related website. It can be any combination of name, address or phone. However, it is important to make sure the citations listings are consistent. For example, if your business is on Raritan Avenue in Highland Park, be sure it is listed on each citation as Raritan Avenue. Don’t call it Route 27 in one place and Raritan Avenue in another. On the other hand, don’t drive yourself nuts. If one site says Avenue and another says Ave., don’t worry about this detail.
Want some ideas on where to get citations? If you are just started out with citations, I would first start with Google for Business.
For more, see below:
If you want, there are some great tools for local SEO (but they do cost $$$).
Another nice little trick is Google your competition. Where is your local business competitor being cited? Does the competition have name, address and phone on related sites?
Local Highland Park, New Jersey Examples of NAP
Because I love my little borough of Highland Park, New Jersey, here are some examples. First, let’s search in Google for our local public library:
“highland park public library 31 N 5th highland park nj”
The Highland Park Public Library is listed with its address on Google for Business (with reviews!), the Borough website calendar, the Highland Park Planet and the New Jersey Business Directory. There are more, but those are excellent examples.
For another example, let’s go with the restaurant Sushiana. Since Sushiana moved last year from Raritan Avenue to North 4th Avenue, I was curious to see if the listings reflect the new location. I typed into Google:
“sushiana 17 N 4th highland park nj”
And the address came up correct on many listings on the first page of Google (including Google for Business, yelp, Facebook, tripadvisor, happycow and even the neighboring Pino’s Shop website!).
I did notice one little issue: on the Pino’s website, Sushiana is spelled incorrectly. I am going to make a suggestion to have this corrected; I will make an update note if this does happen.
Further reading: this post was prompted in part by a link to a local SEO guide. The 2nd chapter is all about NAP.
Your Turn, Please
Pick a local business in your area. Google the name of the business with the address and/or phone. Is the information also on other websites? Is it on the local business website as well?