Now that you have set up your Google My Business page and have gotten it optimized correctly, it’s time to get those NAP citations.
Here is what NAP means:
NAP is short for Name, Address, and Phone Number. On your searches, you may have seen terms like NAPU, which Name, Address, Phone Number, and URL or NAPW, which stands for Name, Address, Phone Number, and Website.
Either way, you’ll need to get these NAP citations on directories that are relevant around the web. These are a few of those reasons why:
- According to the studies done by Moz, your citation signals will account for at least 13% of all your ranking signals.
- These directories are used by people in their searches for businesses. Keep in mind; not everyone uses Google all the time.
- These directories are also ranked for localized terms.
- As a bonus, you can create your listing to get a relevant link.
By now, you’ve noticed that NAP citations are essential for your rankings.
Consistency in Your Citations
Being inconsistent can cause you a lot of ranking issues.
This can affect you and other businesses due to a change of address or even a phone number. It is always good to do an audit to make sure all your information in your citations are correct and consistent.
How is this all-important?
Your citation is an online reference to your NAP. You don’t need it for any links directly to you. Google will, however, evaluate them as a local signal to see if it’s an online authority.
If your NAP is inconsistent and inaccurate, then your Local SEO will be significantly affected.
Protip: Your citation inconsistency to the #1 issue that will affect your Ranking in Local SEO.
If you have too many versions of your NAP around the web, this also includes outdated information; it can make it hard for Google and even valuable customers to trust any of your data. If Google feels tour information isn’t trustworthy, your local search ranking will be downgraded.
Here is how to check for citation consistency:
How to Optimize and Audit Your Citations
The best and most thorough way to do an audit on your citations is manually. This includes uncovering all listings and any variations in your NAP.
If you want to quicken things up a bit, using Moz Local will help,
If you do, enter your business name in the input bar and zip code to the right. After that, click my Business listing.
Moz Local will list all your similar listings that are related to your business website from the local indexing platforms. These are high authority listings that have the most impact on your rankings. Moz Local will also display an inconsistency that is found.
Once you see this list, make a record of them so you can contact the website owners to get NAP corrections made and keep your citations consistent.
Keep in mind that Moz Local is limited to only the top indexing platforms it has tagged. There is a chance that you could have other citations out there from other sources.
These citations from less authoritative and even structured sources may have less of an impact on your Ranking. Even so, it can still take some time to do an audit on each one. If you need, here is a more comprehensive citation audit and cleanup service that may work better.
If you need another citation audit service that is easier on your pocketbook, then try this one here.
Once you’ve done an audit on all your citations, you can move forward on building citations.
How to Build Your Local NAP Citations
Your business is different from everyone else’s. This means you will want to have custom citations based on the industry your business is in along with the area. Two great places to begin with when building and creating a citation are these lists:
Using these lists can help you find the top directories that’ll help you get listed based on your business and situation.
When you are building these listings, make sure you fill out the whole profile. This includes your business description, hours of business, and images, NAP, and everything else.
Citations are a bit of a pain and can take time to do these yourself. Coincidentally, we have created a service that will do all this work for you.
In the next section, we’ll look into optimizing your website!