The process of search engine optimization (SEO) is often overwhelming for beginners. Many simply do not know where to begin and struggle to grasp the minutiae of how to achieve search engine ranking success. At ChoiceLocal, we utilize a number of key best practices to ensure local search domination for our clients. Today we’d like to share one of our most essential best practices: consistent name, address and phone numbers (NAP!)
One of the first and most important things to remember about SEO in the age of Google is consistency, consistency, consistency. When you begin your initial SEO efforts it is critical that you make sure you consistently name your business across the internet, including all local listings, social media outlets and websites. This may seem trivial, but in doing this you will almost without fail experience a surge in organic and Google maps rankings.
We recommend utilizing a standardized naming convention. “Your Business Name in Town, ST” typically works well, but you can play around with this and come up with something that suits your brand, your location and your needs. Just make sure that this name is represented accurately and consistently across your website’s home page, Google+ page and all other local listings.
It is particularly critical to note that your Google+ page and its association with your company’s website play a major role in rankings in and of themselves. Be sure you have claimed and verified your Google+ page and linked it to your website. We recommend updating the page to include as much information about your business as possible, including a link to your website, the specific name you’ve chosen, the correct street address and the business phone number. (If you have more than one business phone number, pick one for consistency’s sake.) Once this is done, focus on a variety of other local listings sources, making sure that the information you provide across each outlet is the same.
Some of the local listings we recommend updating include:
- Yahoo Local
- Bing Places For Business
- Angie’s List
Some sites like YellowPages, Yelp and Bing may already have some of your business’s information in their database. It is important, however, that you claim them and update the information to your own consistent specifications, as they can vary from site to site. While this process may seem time consuming and (occasionally) frustrating, it can pay immediate dividends in terms of search engine ranking results and ultimately lead generation.
Remember, consistency across the web is a critical success factor when it comes to Google rankings. Stay tuned for future best practice tips to achieve local, SEO dominance.