Hawaii markets are naturally based on local rankings. A major factor in determining how your business ranks is the quantity and quality of NAP citations and their consistency across different platforms.
What is NAP
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. It’s one of the most critical factors in local SEO and influences which business websites search engines show and rank as local intent search results.
These crucial pieces of information should be implemented on Google, Yelp, Bing, Trip Advisor, and any other online directories that your business is usually found on. All of these listings directly impact your website and its SEO ranks whether they link to your website or not.
NAP details are often overlooked when addressing a business’s search engine optimization strategy. If your business relocates, it is also essential that you update all NAP profile listings. Your search rankings will be negatively affected if your NAP differed across directories on the internet.
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.
Is the business name, address, phone number and website URL consistent and accurate across all references of your NAP data online?
Why is This Important?
Having to manually review business information for millions of companies, Google uses data points it can process via its algorithms 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 many other data points. Then it moves on to compare that information across data sources, including the major data providers and post office records, state business filings and telephone records.
Your local search rankings are heavily influenced by whether or not Google finds your company’s information on the web, from their data suppliers AND most importantly whether that information is consistent. This information needs to match that included on your Google My Business profile page and business website.
Some important facts about NAP
- Local businesses who rank in the top 10 positions in Google Local have an average 81 NAP citations
- Businesses ranked #1 in Google local rankings have an average 86 NAP citations.
- The most popular NAP citation sites across industries are: 1. Facebook, 2. Yelp, 3. Mapquest, 4. Yellow Pages, 5. Manta
There is a strong correlation between the number of NAP citations a business has, and how high it appears in Google’s search results.
Now that you understand what NAP is, you might be wondering how it influences local citations. Local SEO citations are a form of NAP SEO. A local citation can be on a website, review, phone app, social media platform and others.
A local citation helps internet users find businesses that are local to them and might include information such as:
- Address and maps location
- Hours of business operation
- Online reviews
- Contact information
- Important links such as social media
In a more practical scenario, consumers are also affected by local citations. If your NAP and local citations are incorrect, your customers may show up to the wrong location or not be able to contact your business. These issues could hurt both web traffic and foot traffic if not corrected.
Fixing NAP Citations
Fixing inconsistent NAP data 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. This means that inaccurate information spreads fast.
Once an incorrect listing is fixed, it’s not uncommon for it to pop right back up again later because there is no one single authority for this business data; that means if you make changes to a Yelp listing, for example, Yelp may see that listing still exists on Manta and re-create it automatically.
Cleaning up inaccurate NAP data is definitely not easy, but it’s also not impossible. It certainly takes longer to correct than if there was never a problem in the first place.
Basically, your business’ online citations should match the business filings with the state, the information the post office has, the information on your website and the information on Google My Business.
Now that you know all about NAP and how important it is for businesses here in Hawaii, it is time to get started. Addressing your SEO from NAP to local citations will help to increase your website’s local search rankings, but it takes time, effort, and energy to get it right. The higher your rankings the more organic search traffic your website will receive.