What Are NAP Citations and How Do They Impact Local Visibility?
One of the more important components in an efficient local SEO campaign is quality citation building and optimization. Google's algorithm has multiple different ways to determine how trustworthy or reliable a company is; one of these factors is to examine what data sources have to say about the company itself. NAP or the data points that describe a local company, such as its name, address, and phone number, are imperative in providing credible citations for Google to use as verification of a company's legitimacy and rank it accordingly on its local SERPs.
Every day, thousands of companies are being cited online on platforms like Yelp, Facebook, BBB, YellowPages, and other local business directories. With such a high volume of business data being published online, it's important for every company to participate in optimizing and maintaining current data points to ensure their citations are properly set up with accurate details and consistent information.
Understanding NAP (name, address and phone number) Citations
NAP Citations are considered the most definitive way to gauge the actual identity of a company, and there is a direct correlation between a company's citations and their local visibility in search engine results. When Google sees that a company's information is available on major sites like Yelp or the BBB, it regards and treats these as valuable data sources that should be incorporated into the ranking algorithm of the local SERPs.
Google uses NAP citations as an indicator of a business's legitimacy and reputation as a reliable and trusted brand. In the case that a business claims to operate in a particular territory, they are more than likely going to have citations for that location, especially if these citations are found on a website that is local in nature, such as the business directories found at a city or state level or websites that have a local audience such as blogs or specific interest sites.
Further, businesses should also invest in creating and maintaining professionally crafted local landing pages with accurate and consistent information such as a complete NAP description, address, and phone number. Another possibility is to optimize and unify all of your citations for the same NAP information, which can enhance the overall association of keywords and search terms to your business.
Go Beyond Name, Address, and Phone Number
Though Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) citations are the core components of NAP, there are several other local factors that can affect your local business's rank. Components including hours of operation, social media handle, email address, type of business and service offered, and additional business information, like BBB rating, videos, images, taglines, customer reviews, etc. are just some of the valuable pieces of local metadata which can be included in your citations. The more information and specifics you can add to your local citations from each source, the more information Google can use in regards to supporting your local ranking in the SERPs.
How NAP Impact Local Visibility
NAP citations can have a direct impact on a local search ranking by increasing your local visibility and local search ranking authority, which can turn into higher quality leads and more new business generation. The more citations you have, the more local visibility you will gain, and the easier it will be to be found throughout your respective local marketplace. Google also uses local citations as a factor that can positively affect your local ranking factors as each citation is essentially a backlink to the business that will increase your business's local SEO authority.
Quality citation building and optimization can make a tremendous difference in your local visibility as it impacts your local ranking capabilities through a website's trustworthiness. NAP citations can bring tremendous results in local SEO campaigns for virtually any type of business. The more citations your business has, the higher the quality score you will receive from Google, which will then directly impact your local ranking in the SERPs. NAP citations can go a long way in helping you reach your local visibility and local SEO goals, and as a concerned business owner, it's imperative that you create a comprehensive strategy that targets these citations to provide your business with the most positive impact in your local SERPs.