Improve Your Local Business Search Results by Controlling Your NAP Citation


Improve Your NAP Citation

Improve Your Local Business Search results by Controlling Your NAP Citation

Last week we discussed 5 tips to increase your business’s position in local search, more specifically getting into the top 3 of Google Maps. One of the tips that we shared was the importance your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP Citation) has on the overall ranking of your business.

NAP’s aren’t sexy so I was slightly surprised when a follow up question arrived asking:

“I have found an incorrect listing for my business, how do I go about correct this listing and checking for any others and also how do I know where to put listings for the best impact”

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Before we tackle that question for those who didn’t see last week’s post you can read it here.

Quick Recap

What is a Name Address and Phone Number (NAP) Citation?

A NAP Citation is a listing of your business online. Search engines crawl the internet to find NAP citations about your business, compare them with NAP information that is held by Data aggregators and use this to make a judgement on how accurate the data they have about your business is.

In short, the more consistent your NAP Citations are, the better for improved search results. To clarify this point, below are guidelines from the Google My Business Centre:

“Google improves search results by aggregating information about your business from all over the web. Make sure information about your business on third-party sites is accurate, and try to contact the respective site directly to correct any inaccurate information.”

Start with the correct NAP data.

Now we know what a NAP is and why it is important, the first thing to do is check that you have the correct NAP information. Go to your Google+ page and see what data is held for your business name address and phone number and check that is consistent with what is on your website.

correct nap

My NAP is different why is that?

There are many reasons why your business data could not be consistent across the web. Some of these include:

  • Business has relocated
  • The data aggregators have incorrect information
  • Different phone number
  • Different trade name or business name variations (llp, Ltd company)
  • Information was incorrectly submitted and scraped to other sites.

Inconsistent NAP data is a common occurrence because as stated above there are many reasons why the citations can be wrong and once they are live on the internet all it takes is for a Data aggregator to come along, take that data and distribute it across the internet increasing the problem.

Yes, it might be the case that it wasn’t even you that created the inconsistent data. It could have been a data aggregator. According to MOZ:

A data aggregator is a company that compiles data about businesses from multiple online and offline sources including phone bills, business registration records, chamber of commerce membership rosters, and many other sources.

How do I find where my business is listed?

There are several ways to find out where online your business is listed. You can use software, some better than others, or you can do it the good old fashioned way.

As an example, to find out where your site is listed, you would search Google for this:

“Your Business Name” AND “Your Postcode” -site:”your Website Address including http://” (show an image of this)

google search command to find NAP citation

This will bring up all results of your name, address and phone number NOT on your website. You can then look through the resulting search pages and check the citation on each page to see if it is correct.

You also need to check for the following:

Duplicate listings. Check to see if there is only one listing as two listings in the same directory can be a problem.

Inconsistent Citation: If any of the details are incorrect then you should attempt to contact the website owner and get them to make the changes that you require, as per Google’s recommendation above.

Incomplete citation: If there is the opportunity to add more information about your business, such as categories, descriptions, images then add what you can as this will improve the authority of the page with regards to your business.

What local directories should you be listed in to boost your authority?

First and foremost if you are not listed and verified with Google My Business then I would make that a priority. Then I would look to get your business listed in the following directories;

Business Listings to place your NAP

  1. Google+ local
  2. Bing local
  3. Yahoo Local
  4. ThompsonLocal
  5. Yelp
  6. Freeindex
  7. Yell

Remember the aim of all this is to rank higher in Google Maps, get more inbound leads, sales and have a consistent brand across the web.

Getting listed in these places is not going to result in the phone ringing off the hook, but it will increase your authority on the web – resulting in Google being more gracious as to how you are positioned in Google Maps.

The Yell Directory for example has been around in one form or another since 1883 and has a good authority with Google so it is that type of relationship that you are looking to leverage.

Where else should you get listed?

Think Niche Specific

Well that depends on your niche. If you are a lawyer then you being listed in a Gardening forum is not really relevant, however there are plenty of legal related websites and directories out there that are relevant to your business.

Think Location Specific

If you want to be seen as the prominent orthodontist in Bristol then being listed in one hundred local directories in Newcastle may not be the best way forward. Be smart about where you list your business.

On the internet quality beats out quantity 95% of the time.

Think Competitively

Who is your main competition? Who is top on the Google Map for search terms related to your business? Where are they listed?

Final Tips to leveraging local business directories to benefit your business

TIP 1: Make sure that you update the old incorrect citation first before adding new ones.

Tip 2: Set up an email address specifically for citations. Keeps everything in place and means your main inbox is not cluttered with offers to “upgrade”.

Tip 3: Keep a track of all changes and requests to websites so that if the job of managing citations is passed on to another team member everything is in place.

Tip 4: Keep on top of your citations. As discussed earlier, data aggregators distribute information about your business all the time. Spend 15-20 minutes each week checking your NAP citations to check that they are consistent.

Tip 5: Location, Location, Location. If you have more than one location and you want to be authoritative in each of those market places then you need to have authoritative citations for each location.

In local search terms a different location is a completely different proposition. Yes you have to repeat all of this work per location. This work can be very time consuming and tedious but don’t try to use short cuts, accuracy is everything.

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Controlling Bad Habits for a Successful Career


shutterstock_222708985Habits run our lives. Our behavior has a direct and profound effect on our attitude.

Anyone can manage the good times and can cultivate the habits that promote well-being and success. However, every now and again, we gain bad habits that cause fatigue, depression, and create a significant barrier to success.

When we act like the person we want to be, we eventually become that individual. Failure in the past to kill bad habits is no indication of future performance.

Habits can be changed, but only if we understand how they work and gain a comprehension of the most effective ways to combat undesirable actions. Above all else, it’s important to remember that bad habits are hard to break, but they are even harder to live with.

Below, you’ll find a comprehensive study of why habits form and how to break the cycle to achieve what you want.

Explaining Self-Discipline and Will Power

Willpower and self-discipline ultimately determine the quality of life we lead. Luckily, willpower is a learnable skill.

However, willpower alone is not a sufficient tool that will prevent us from engaging in the undesired behaviors. Whenever we plan a habit change, it’s easy to underestimate the level of desire or temptation we experience on a regular basis.

The problem with trying to rely on mental strength alone: it will not teach you how to act when when you’re overwhelmed by stress or mental exhaustion.

Your willpower is a muscle and as the day goes on, you become more and more prone to going back to your old habits.

Ego depletion refers to the idea that self-control and willpower draw upon a limited pool of mental resources that can be used up. When the energy for mental activity is low, self-control is typically impaired, which would be considered a state of ego depletion.

5 Simple Tips to Begin Behavior and Habit Transformation

Understand and identify the motivations for why you’re engaging in the undesirable habit. Our sales recruiting specialists stress to be honest with yourself. The more information you have about a habit, the easier it is to eliminate. Below are 5 exercises that should assist with furthering your knowledge and aiding in habit transformation.

1. Create small wins. The most efficient way to make a permanent change is to focus on daily, incremental improvements. Your aim is to wean yourself from the habit by setting target goals that consistently decrease the amount of time you spend doing the undesirable habit.

2. Take digital sabbaticals. Completely disconnect from the internet. Do so for a chunk of hours at a time.

3. Write down the reasons you want to make a change. Know why you want to make the change and what result you expect from this experience.

4. Know the feelings, actions and situations that trigger the undesirable habits. Is it nervousness, excitement, boredom, depression or another feeling that initiates the need to engage in the habit? Once you know, you can systematically save up your will power for when that feeling approaches.

5. Commit to one habit change at a time. It’s almost impossible to make multiple changes at once. Most individuals don’t have the willpower to manage multiple new routines. Depending on what source you believe, cementing a new habit can take as long as 2 months or as short as 3 weeks.

In the End

Over 40% of what you do on a daily basis is habitual. We perform every action for a specific reason. Habits emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort.

When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making. However, that can all be changed, it simply takes time, self-knowledge, belief and consistency.

Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career