So… you’re a growing business and you’ve just changed locations but Google maps still shows you’re located at your old business. Or… you’ve changed locations and you lost your awesome rankings. You’ve overlooked one crucial thing… your location business citations -you’re what?
Your local citations are what get you ranked in Google Maps. These are web properties strategically placed around the internet to get your business ranked or did your SEO specialist not tell you?
When you move updating your company name, address and phone number (NAP) on all these listings is a very important part of your local SEO strategy. Sadly, many businesses are very poor at updating their NAP and cleaning up their online presence. Some of the worst offenders are professionals like lawyers and dentists.
How do you find your NAP?
Finding your NAP takes some brainstorming. You may want to consider and previous names your company used, past locations, / addresses, old phone numbers etc. Using excel spreadsheets create a list as accurate as you can. You may want to recruit the help of individuals who have been at the company since its inception. Having these well documented records will help you or your SEO expert clean up these records.
Now that you have your records in place begin with what you know. Enter into your spreadsheet known web properties. Include your login information so you when it comes time you can move through the list efficiently. Once you have completed all the records you know beging scouring the Google for the different variations in your NAP. You may have to do a large amount of search queries. Add these web properties to your spreadsheet. You may discover a lot of listings just remember you are searching for your business names (past and present), addresses and phone numbers.
While searching we want to look for different variations. When building citations, we want to be consistent. If they are not consistent it may confuse Google so we will want to fix these properties as well. There are different varieties of words for example you may have, “123 Fake St.” and you may have “123 Fake Street”. While searching the internet you will want to type in just the phone number or just the address. This way your query will also pull up all the mentions that may not have your business name attached. This will help you find more variations than just searching your business name, address and phone number in the same search.
Why should businesses do a local citation clean up?
Google specifically mentions that consistent citations is one of the greatest ranking factors when it comes to getting your business listed. It is very easy to duplicate a listing when searching and finding web properties to clean up.
When you have inconsistent properties, this creates a ranking problem and affects your search engine rankings page. An incorrect listing is usually a listing that is duplicated, has an incorrect citation or both.
Incorrect listings can point your clients to the wrong location. Imagine looking for a business and you do a Google search. You use the navigation feature to take you there only to find out you’re in the completely other side of the city, or worse yet in another city!
Cleaning up your citations creates a new blank canvas allowing you to start fresh. Once you have cleaned up your citations you can begin creating helpful citations to get your potential client to you and not your competitor. When you search for your citations and you have a property that can be claimed – claim it and update it. This way you can make sure you are creating citations without duplicating your listing.
Cleaning up your NAP variations can take a lot of time. Hiring a professional citation clean up service [https://snapseo.ca/services/local-seo/citation-audit] will save you a lot of time. This is a very important step that is often missed by many businesses especially with professionals like law firms. If you are consistent in cleaning old citations and adding new ones you will grow your companies online presence and you will rank higher.
Author: Josh Shankowsky