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Why NAP Is Important To SEO

A major factor in determining how you rank locally is the quantity and quality of citations and NAP consistency across your citations.

What does NAP stand for?

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. It’s a critical factor in local SEO and influences which companies Google and other search engines show for local intent searches.

People often refer to occurrences of NAP data around the web as citations. A citation is when your NAP data shows up on directory sites like Yelp or Angie’s List, newspaper articles, blogs posts, etc.

Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors report is an industry standard survey that describes the importance of ranking factors for local SEO.

Out of the top 6 “Foundational Ranking Factors,” 3 are related to citation quantity, quality, and consistency. In other words, is the business name, address, phone number, and website consistent and accurate across all references of your NAP data online?

Out of the top 13 “Competitive Difference Makers,” 6 have to do with citation quantity, quality, and consistency.

How business data is distributed

There are data companies that collect, verify, and distribute business data for companies all around the world. When a business is started, its information eventually finds its way into this business data ecosystem.

Many of those providers make money by selling this data as leads or as a data feed to other companies.

InfoGroup is one such company and you can actually buy business leads directly from them.

Companies like Google, Yelp, and others subscribe to the business data from these data providers. Additionally, they scour the web for business data and add it to their databases.

The result of all this is a business data ecosystem, where websites and data providers are feeding off each other’s information and that information gets spread around, both on and offline.

This business data ecosystem is why you get telemarketing calls, snail mail solicitations, etc, when you start a business. It’s also why your business data can usually be found on sites like Yelp, Google+, and YellowPages.com even if nobody in your company created a listing on those sites.

Why are citations such an important ranking factor?
In lieu of having to manually review business information for millions of companies, Google uses data points it can process programmatically to determine your rankings.

When determining how you rank in local results, Google scans the web for mentions of your business name, address, phone number, website URL, and several other data points. It then compares that information to other data sources, including the major data providers and possibly even post office records, state business filings, and telephone records.

Your local search rankings are heavily influenced by whether or not Google finds your business information on the web and from their data suppliers, and whether that information is consistent and matches that provided on your Google+ page and website.

Watch out for local SEO landing pages

There’s a common practice amongst local SEO companies that don’t really know what they’re doing (or don’t care) of creating local SEO mini sites with a tracking number attached, and then tying those sites to your Google+ page and building citations using the mini site URL and the tracking number instead of your real website URL and primary business landline.

 

local site SEO

 

They do this so they can track all calls / form submissions and report to their clients on how well they’re doing. I get that.

But, quite frankly, these companies should be sued out of business. It’s a HUGE problem, here’s why…

Business data moves around the data ecosystem like a virus – once it’s found in one location it multiplies and spreads.

If the information is accurate, then it’s a good thing and you benefit, usually with improved rankings.

If the information is inaccurate, it still spreads, but it damages your ability to rank locally and becomes extremely difficult to clean up.

In practice, what happens when you put a tracking number or mini-site URL on your Google+ page or other citations is that all those other business directories, data providers, etc, find that information, save it, and spread it around like a virus to all the other business directories and data providers.

This dramatically impacts your ability to rank locally.

How to fix the problem

Fixing the problem isn’t easy; the business data ecosystem is like a hierarchy, with the authoritative players at the top and everyone else below them. But all the players in the ecosystem “borrow” information from one another and so inaccurate information spreads fast.

 

local search eco system

 

Fixing the problem of inaccurate or inconsistent NAP data starts by fixing information on file with the authoritative players. That usually means the starting with the big data providers:

  • InfoGroup
  • Acxiom
  • Localeze
  • Factual

Then moving on to the authoritative directory sites:

  • Google+
  • Yelp
  • Yahoo
  • Bing
  • Etc…

And finally, cleaning up any remaining listings on the second and third tier directory sites like:

  • Yellowpages.com
  • CitySearch
  • Healthgrades.com
  • AngiesList
  • Etc…

…And the list goes on and on.

Fixing the problem is hard

Once you fix an incorrect listing, it’s not uncommon for it to pop right back up again later because there is no one single authority for business data; that means if you correct a Yahoo listing, for example, Yahoo may see that listing still exists on Yelp and re-create it automatically. It’s like whack-a-mole.

But the cleanup is necessary; if you don’t fix at least a large chunk of the problem, it’s unlikely you’ll ever rank locally for anything but non-competitive keywords.

The good news is citation cleanup is totally doable It’s certainly not easy, but it’s also not impossible. It certainly takes longer to clean up than if there was never a problem in the first place, but it can be cleaned up and it can usually be done in a way that is not cost-prohibitive.

In the end, your online citations should match the business filings with the state, the information the post office has, the information on your website, and should ideally use a landline as the phone number.

Why NAP Is Important To SEO

updated social media channel posting example infographic

Business Social Media Orange County

Social Media Orange County

Social media networks are fantastic resources for businesses of all sizes looking to promote their brands online. The platforms themselves are free to use, and they also have paid advertising options specifically for brands that want to reach even more new audiences. But just because your business should be on social media, that doesn’t mean your business should be on every network. It’s important that you choose and nurture the social platforms that work best for your business so that you don’t spread yourself too thin.

If you want to create a successful social strategy, you need to familiarize yourself with how each network runs, the kinds of audiences you can reach and how your business can best use each platform. We profiled the top social media platforms so you can learn more about them and market your business better. Here are some marketing strategies.

Facebook Social Media

Facebook is the biggest social network on the Web, both in terms of name recognition and the total number of users. With more than 1.55 billion active users, Facebook is a great medium for connecting people from all over the world with your business. And Facebook is not only the biggest network, but it’s arguably the most versatile one. In the 12 years since it launched, Facebook grew from a simple website where college students could keep in touch into a multifaceted Web and mobile social platform where anyone can connect with not just their friends and family, but also with celebrities, organizations, businesses and more, thanks to the Pages feature.

Considering that Facebook has a wealth of options for any type of organization, it’s a great starting point for your business, regardless of your industry. You can use it to share photos, videos, important company updates and more. Additionally, Facebook can be more low-maintenance than other social networks — whether you post several updates a day or only a few a week won’t make much of a difference in terms of what your fans will think of you. To find out more about Facebook for business, check out our guide and start to manage social media, instead of social media managing you!

Twitter

Twitter is another social network where you can post mostly anything. With Twitter, you can share short (140 or fewer characters) text updates, along with videos, images, links, polls and more. You can also easily interact with other users by mentioning their usernames in your posts, so Twitter is a great way to quickly connect with people all around the world. (The platform has more than 320 million active users worldwide and is one of the top 10 websites in the United States.) Because of its wide reach, Twitter is not only a great way to market your business but also an effective channel for handling customer service. For example, if you maintain an active Twitter presence, customers who are also active on the platform will seek you out to express concerns or share their praise.

If you have interesting content, Twitter is also a great tool for quickly spreading the word. Retweeting and sharing other users’ content is incredibly simple, hashtags help boost posts, and if a user with a lot of followers retweets you, your content has the potential to go viral. But with Twitter, it’s important to remember to find balance — don’t simply share your own links or media; make sure you are also sharing a lot of interesting, relevant content from other Twitter users and from around the Web so your audience doesn’t think you only care about what your business is doing. Check out our guide to learn more about using Twitter for business.

Pinterest

This platform consists of digital bulletin boards where users can save and display content they like in the form of pins. Users create and organize their boards by category. So, for example, as a personal user, one might have a board dedicated to food, where they pin recipes; another board dedicated to photography they find interesting; and so on. Pinterest is very visually oriented (every post has to be an image or video), and like Facebook, it is also fairly low-maintenance in terms of post frequency. However, keeping your boards organized and search-friendly can be time-consuming.

Pinterest is also more of a niche network than Facebook or Twitter, so it may not work for everyone. Pinterest’s users are primarily women, and popular categories on the site are DIY projects, fashion, exercise, beauty, photography and food. That’s not to say that businesses outside of these categories can’t succeed on the platform, but it does make it a great marketing tool for businesses that do work in those areas. If you can find ways to connect your content to Pinterest’s audience, then go for it. The platform also has a series of special types of pins called Rich Pins, which brands can use to add special information to their pins, like product details and even location maps. There are plenty of cool ways to use this platform to your advantage, and you can read more about them in our Pinterest for Business Guide.

social media orange county instagramInstagram

Instagram, like Pinterest, is a visual social media platform based entirely on photo and video posts. The network, which Facebook owns, has more than 400 million active users, many of whom post about food, art, travel, fashion and similar subjects. Instagram is distinguished by its unique filters and photo and video editing options. This platform, unlike the others, is almost entirely mobile (there is a Web version, but you can’t take photos or create new posts on it, and other functions are limited as well).

Instagram is another platform where more artistic niches excel, so again, it may not be the best fit for your business, depending on your industry. If you want to succeed with Instagram, it’s important that the person running your account has a good eye for detail and has at least basic photography skills, so that the photos and videos posted to your account are high-quality. And don’t be discouraged if your industry is underrepresented on Instagram; if you can find the right hashtags to latch onto and can post intriguing photos, you will most likely make it work. To find out more about using Instagram for business, read our guide.

tumblr Team Debello social media orange countyTumblr

Tumblr is arguably the most difficult social media platform to use as a business, but it’s also one of the most interesting networks. Tumblr allows several different post formats — including text posts, chat posts, quote posts, audio posts, photo posts and video posts — so you’re not limited as to what kind of content you can share. As with Twitter, reblogging (reposting other users’ content) is very quick and easy, so if a user with a lot of followers shares your content, it’s possible to go viral fairly quickly. However, what sets Tumblr apart more than anything is its audience, which is less like a pool of users and more like one big tight-knit community full of smaller subcommunities.

Tumblr currently hosts more than 200 million blogs, and the majority of these blogs are run by young people (half of Tumblr’s visitor base is under age 25). But this means that businesses that don’t cater to young people’s interests or aren’t relatable to young people in some way are not poised for success on the network. The good news is, there’s a subcommunity or fandom for almost every niche and interest you can think of, so a successful marketing campaign is possible if you use Tumblr correctly. You can learn more about the Tumblr community and how to use Tumblr for business in our guide.


Interested in Business Social Media? Make Your Appointment Today

digital marketing

What Is Small Business Digital Marketing

In simplistic terms, digital marketing is the promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. Digital marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it involves the use of channels and methods that enable an organization to analyze marketing campaigns and understand what is working and what isn’t – typically in real time.

Digital marketers monitor things like what is being viewed, how often and for how long, sales conversions, what content works and doesn’t work, etc. While the Internet is, perhaps, the channel most closely associated with digital marketing, others include wireless text messaging, mobile instant messaging, mobile apps, podcasts, electronic billboards, digital television and radio channels, etc.

debello digital marketing

digital marketing consultant why you need one

Expert analytics-driven digital strategy consulting by a digital marketing consultant Looking for practical recommendations you can trust to increase your commercial returns from digital marketing and Ecommerce? Well, we developed our sdervices to give you a package of simple consulting tactics and techniques that marketers can apply to their own business.

Debello can also help through mentoring provided by our own team of experienced consultants who will rapidly check the health of your online marketing and make practical recommendations to be implemented for better results.

social media home

Social Media For Business Why You Need It

Social media networks are fantastic resources for businesses of all sizes looking to promote their brands online. The platforms themselves are free to use, and they also have paid advertising options specifically for brands that want to reach even more new audiences. But just because your business should be on social media, that doesn’t mean your business should be on every network. It’s important that you choose and nurture the social platforms that work best for your business so that you don’t spread yourself too thin.

If you want to create a successful social strategy, you need to familiarize yourself with how each network runs, the kinds of audiences you can reach and how your business can best use each platform. We profiled the top social media platforms so you can learn more about them and market your business better.

Have A Question?
Ready For Answers?
Call Us 1-949-954-7769
eMail us at: wantmore@teamdebello.com

Have A Question?
Ready For Answers?
Call Us 1-949-954-7769
eMail us at: wantmore@teamdebello.com