NAP (Name Address Phone). Citations are crucial components in the world of search engine optimization as it helps improve local search results. Also known as NAP, a citation works when there is mention of your business online. This can be a mix of contact details regarding your business such as company name, address, and phone number.
NAPs ensure great results for your business so the more you have it, the more your information gets recognized by Google. Moreover, the search engine will acknowledge that your business is accurate. Consequently, Google will trust the data about your business.
The Two Types of Citations
- Structured Citations. This is the most common type of citation since it usually appears when customers search for your specific business information. You can check out websites like Yelp or TripAdvisor as these use structured citations.
- Unstructured Citations. On the other hand, unstructured citations are the ones displayed on event listings, social media, and blogs. These data regarding your business can mention several things including your company name. However, they may also be in the form of a full-fledged write-up. Unstructured citations can appear on random websites as well.
In essence, the unstructured type of citation does not contain the NAP data of a business. However, these citations may or may not appear yet they still can affect your business’ local search ranking.
It is not necessary to link back to your business website in order to make your citation valuable. That’s because Google will easily recognize information regarding your business if it gets mentioned somewhere else. Moreover, this will make your business have more credibility.
However, take note that your links are still important and valuable, especially those that have links to your business. These citations should have links directing to your business website although citations without links should not be underestimated as well. You can improve your local search rankings with the help of accurate mention of your NAP and business details. Even with a smaller impact, citations are still valuable components that deserve your attention.
In line with the importance of accuracy, always make sure that you should have accurate citations of your business. Inaccurate details do not improve your Google credibility, consequently, your local rankings. High ranking on local searches highly depends on the accuracy of your business information online. Google, however, is fully equipped to understand some varieties and minor differences such as “Dr” instead of “Drive.” It assesses and recognizes businesses by evaluating two of your available NAP data points. These two key details should be consistent for Google to make the recognition and understand
Local Directories. Check out some websites and local directories for you to register your business in your specific area. All you have to do is look for “Business Directory + Town/City” or you can also search for .edu or .gov sites. For example, search “www.town.gov”, replacing your particular town in the URL. You may also look for competitor’s area-wise, and check out the specific search results. Niche & Industry-Related Websites Have your business include the largest industry-related directories as much as you can.
International Sites. The following are the most recommended popular international sites, which also serve as business sites or directories. You can enter your NAP citation to these directories for better exposure and ranking:
- Apple Maps
- Yellow Pages