Who doesn’t like a good NAP?
After it’s done, you feel better and your website’s SEO performance skyrockets.
Of course, when I say NAP, I’m talking about keeping a consistent Name, Address and Phone Number across your online citations.
(It’s entirely possible that the other kind of nap – where you fall asleep on the couch while watching reruns of “Game of Thrones” – might help your search engine rankings, but there haven’t been any studies to conclusively prove it yet.)
Why does it matter?
Google likes to give its users what they want. Google’s users want accurate, relevant data. So when Google goes crawling through their maze of data and find a tremendous variety of contradictory information about a business, that business loses credibility.
A citation is any listing of your business online. Websites like Yelp and YellowPages.ca offer a place where you can claim a listing. Often you can choose to pay for a preferred spot in the listings. A citation provides a backlink to your website, while also opening an avenue for some referral traffic to your website.
Where it gets tricky is if your business has been around for a while. Maybe the phone number has changed, or your physical location has moved. Suddenly, your Yelp listing says “Find us at 123 Fake Street” while YellowPages says “Visit us at 456 Pretend Road”.
Besides confused potential customers, you’re also telling Google that you’re not very organized. And Google says, “No problem. There are lots of competitors interested in that top spot”.
So you get bumped down the ladder.
So how do I fix it?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-click solution when it comes to citations. Claiming or fixing them requires carefully going to each website and updating your company profile.
Most sites require a username and password, so it’s a good idea to become good friends with Excel or some sort of password organization system.
Most importantly, make sure you stick to the same naming system for your Business Name, Phone Number and Address.
The good news is that after all that hard work, not only can you expect a favourable jump in the rankings … you’ll also truly have earned that nap.
Netflix and a giant bowl of popcorn awaits!