Importance of NAP Directory Submissions
If you want to get your local business noticed, you need to have a local search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. Your customers are Googling businesses just like yours, and if you are not up there are at the top of the list, they will be going to your competitor instead.
As we get most of our information these days from a Google search, it is crucial, therefore, that your company has the appropriate business information listed in the right places in order to get yourself to the top of the search pile.
And, when you Google a business these days, you’ll have noticed the Google Local Pack. This set of information that comes above the rest of the search results will include a map pinpointing your location, your business’ name, your phone number, and your opening hours. This information makes it so much easier for your customers to find you, and you need to be doing everything that you can to feature in this section.
Directory Submissions And SEO
Local SEO is heavily reliant on NAP (Name, address, phone number) directory submissions. This is also sometimes called NAPW to include a business’ website URL.
Your business needs to have its NAP details registered on as many online directories as possible. You’ll need to create a strategy that builds citations for your local business.
There are many different sites on which you should get your company listed as soon as possible. These include:
- Google My Business
- Trip Advisor
- Apple Maps
The more information that you can get online about your business, the better.
Structured Vs Unstructured Citations
The NAP information about your business can be formatted in a structured or an unstructured way.
For a structured citation, you will see the information is laid out in a logical manner. With name, address, and phone number all laid out to match a specific format that the other listings on the site are found in.
An unstructured citation will see the information laid out in an informal manner. This may be more like in the form of a blog post, where the companies contact details form part of the call to action at the end of the piece. This type of citation is still of great value to your local SEO strategy, it just takes a little bit more effort for the search engine to scrape this information and return it as a result.
Why Use Citations for Your NAP?
Getting your companies valuable details listed on as many listings as possible is vital, as Google and other search engine trust the validity of the information that is provided on them.
But, if your company has its own website, link building is a strategy that you will employ within your general SEO. The idea behind link building is, that having your website linked to from a reputable site gives in the leg up that it needs. This recommendation from a friend in a higher place helps search engines determine who is a reliable source. And, having your company listed on as many of these business listings sites along with a link to your website will help your link building strategy immensely.
Many listings sites offer the opportunity for customer reviews. Nothing validates a business more than the real experiences of a customer. Of course, you will need to maintain an excellent customer service record in order to attract lots of favourable reviews. However, the most positive reviews you get online, the better the position that this will put you in.
Keeping Your NAP Directory Submissions Up to Date
The information about your business that is found online should be kept up to date. Keep tabs on the information that is out there and where it is listed. If anything changes, such as the business name, your address, phone number, website URL, or even your opening hours, be sure and update all of the relevant citations as soon as possible.
You are in control of your business information, and having incorrect information out there in the public domain will ultimately damage your business. Customers will mistrust your business if the information that you have listed is not correct.
Getting your local business noticed and standing out above your competitors means that you need to invest some time and effort into getting your company registered with all of the relevant business listing sites. This is something that you should take responsibility for doing, as overall it will make a long-lasting impact on your business.