Tag Archives: nap+w

Why You Should Update Your Local Business Listings for the Best Search Engine Results

image06-16If you run an online business, and aren’t seeing the local results you want, the problem could lie in something as simple as making sure all of your local business listings match up. Referred to as NAP+W, which stands for name, address phone number and website address, it’s one of the most critical aspects of making sure your business shows up in search results.

Why is NAP+W So Important?

When Google decides which businesses will show up on a local search, it first analyzes the data from all of the local business directories to make sure that your business is legitimate. It’s looking for consistency in your NAP+Ws, and if there are a lot of inconsistencies, it will negatively affect your ability to be seen in the results. This is a problem for a lot of business owners, yet they don’t realize that these inconsistences are what’s impeding their ability to show up in the results. But recent studies have shown that a full 43 percent of business listings contain incorrect or missing information on NAP+Ws. In order to best increase your chances of being seen, you should build as many correct and consistent local business listings as you can as part of your local marketing and advertising plan.

Where Do I List My Business?

There are many local business directories across the web, and in order to make the most of them, you should approach the task by first listing your business in the reputable local business directories that can help you the most. For instance, FindUsLocal.com, CitySearch, and Yelp are good places to start. From there, you should make sure your NAP+W’s are listed on your local Chamber of Commerce, your Better Business Bureau page, and any other local listings that target your specific area.

How Do I Make My Listings Consistent?

In addition to listing your business on as many local business directories as you can, you’ll also need to ensure that the places where your business is already listed are current and up to date. To find out, you should Google your business name and the city it’s located in, and use those search results to check each listing individually. First, you need to make sure that your business name is consistent on all of the results. For instance, if your business is shown as Bob’s Donuts on some listings, and Bob’s Donuts and More on others, it will hurt your search engine results. Decide on a name, and then correct all of the listings that don’t show the right one.

Next, you’ll need to do the same thing with your business address. Decide exactly how you want your street address to appear, and then go through the same process that you did with your name. Remember the addresses will need to appear exactly the same. If it shows up as Main Street on some listings, and Main St. on others, it will count against you in the rankings.

It helps to create a spreadsheet as you’re going through this process. The corrections you make may not show up for weeks, so the spreadsheet will allow you to keep track of the process. Remember, it’s your business, the importance of consistency in your local business listings is key, and by taking control of your NAP+W’s on the local business directories, you’ll help to increase your chances of being found by customers.

The Importance of Consistent Local Business Listings for Great Search Engine Results

imagesIf you run a local business, and aren’t seeing the results you want from your online advertising efforts, the problem could lie in something as simple as making sure all of your local business listings match. These local citations are referred to as NAP+W, which stands for name, address, phone number, and website address, it’s one of the most important aspects of making sure your local business shows up in search results when people try to find US local businesses like yours.

What Makes NAP+W so Important?

When Google decides which businesses will show up on a local search, its search engine spiders first analyzes the data from all of the credible local business directories to make sure that your business is legitimate. One of the things it looks for is for consistency in your NAP+W, and if there are a lot of inconsistencies, it will negatively affect your ability to be seen up high in the search engine results. This is a problem for a lot of business owners because they don’t understand how to properly set up their local business directory listings so they can easily be found online. They simply don’t understand that these inconsistencies are what is preventing their local business listing from showing up in the results when people are looking for US local businesses like theirs.. But recent studies have shown that a full 43 percent of business listings contain incorrect or missing information on NAP+W’s. In order to best increase your chances getting your local business seen, you’ll need to create as many correct and consistent local business listings as you can.

Where Do I List My Local Business?

There are many local business directories across the web, and in order to make the most of them you’ll need to begin by first identifying credible local business directories. Not all of them are considered credible by Google, Yelp, and other large search engines, and if you list your local business on a database full of listings with inconsistent NAP+Ws, you’ll hinder your ability to be seen. For example, FindUsLocal.com, Google, and Yelp are great places to start because they are all considered quality and credible local business directories. From there, you should make sure your NAP+W’s are listed on your local Chamber of Commerce, your Better Business Bureau page, and any other local listings that target your specific area.

How Do I Make My Listings Consistent?

In addition to listing your business on as many local business directories as you can, you’ll also need to ensure that the places where your business is already listed are current and up to date. To determine whether or not they are, you’ll need to Google your business name and the city it’s located in, and use those search results to check each listing individually. First, you need to make sure that your business name is consistent on all of the results. For instance, if your business shows up as Betty’s Designer Shoes on some listings, and Betty’s Designer Shoes and Bags on others, it will hurt your search engine results. Decide on a name, and then correct all of the listings that don’t show the right one.

Next, you’ll need to do the same thing with your business address. Decide exactly how you want your street address to appear, and then go through the same process that you did with your name. Remember the addresses will need to appear exactly the same. If it shows up as Main Street on some listings, and simply Main on others, it will count against you in the rankings and cause you to show up on pages that no one will ever see.

How to Track Your Results

This can all get a little confusing as you try to ensure that all of your local business listings are exactly the same, and one thing that many local business owners do is create a spreadsheet to help you keep track of your progress as you go through this process. But remember that the corrections you make on the various local business directories may not show up for weeks, so you’ll have to refer to it constantly and cross off the changes as they’re made. After a few weeks, you should have consistent NAP+W’s across the internet. Remember, it’s your business, and by taking control of your NAP+W on the local business directories with this simple online advertising method, you’ll help to increase your chances of being found by customers.

Have you created your first local business yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Head on over to FindUsLocal.com right now and create your first one. It only takes a few minutes, but the payoff in added customers and business will pay off quickly!

How Local Marketing can Save Your Business from the Retail Apocalypse

15568791699_b592042c6c_b-e1490302577464Have you heard the news? A record number of retail stores are closing their doors this year, in fact so many are closing it has been dubbed the Retail Apocalypse. If that sounds ominous, it’s for good reason. Experts say that the number of this year’s retail store closings has even exceeded the number of closings in the Great Recession.

And while the news in the retail marketplace isn’t great, there are some takeaways that local business owners should pay attention to. For starters, one recent study shows that a good number of consumers still want to shop at their local shops. In fact, over 70 percent of them say that if given the choice, they would buy locally every time. But the bad news is that they oftentimes don’t for the simple reason that they have such a difficult time finding the local shops they want to do business with.

Local Business Marketing has Changed—Are You Keeping Up?

On its face, it seems that not being able to find local businesses is a pretty weak excuse for not shopping locally, until you look at the way things have changed in the past few years. Not so long ago, local consumers would look in their local phone book or go through the newspaper every week to find the deals in their city or town. But today’s consumers bypass both of those things and go directly to the internet when they want to find a business or restaurant to visit. And that’s where the problem comes in. You see, the internet is a big place that tends to favor national chains and online businesses. In other words, the local business owner oftentimes gets lost in the sea of big chain results. And that’s why consumers have begun to shop online more and more—it’s simply too difficult to find local businesses on a major search engine.

That went on for a few years until some pretty smart people came up with the idea to create a search engine that only offered up local results. And so local business directories were born. These specialized business directories allow local shop owners to create local business listings that make it easier for consumers to find them.

Yes, the Retail Apocalypse is going on all around us, but savvy local business owners are taking steps to up their local marketing—and it’s paying off. If you’re losing customers to online stores, here are 3 important steps you can take to boost your sales.

Claim Your Local Business Listing

The first step to local marketing is positioning your business on a local business directories. Because consumers are using them more and more to find local businesses, being on one truly isn’t an option any more. To do it, log onto FindUsLocal.com and search for your business name. Then claim your listing and fill in the required details. Once you create your listing on a local business directory, the people from your area will be able to find you whenever they’re looking for a business just like yours.

Make Sure All Your Local Business Listings Match

One of the biggest local marketing mistakes people make is claiming their local business listings on a local business directory and not paying attention to how they’re set up. The search engine spiders are picky, and if you list your business as ABC Business on one local listing and ABC Business, Inc. on other, it could actually hurt your ranking. You need to make sure that you list your business name, address, phone number, and website the exact same way on all of your local business listings. In addition, it’s a good idea to type your business name into a large search engine and check any listings you have. If the information is wrong, be sure to go back and correct them. And remember, just because you didn’t put your business on a local business directory, that doesn’t mean it’s not listed.

Make Your Local Business Listings Work for You by Interacting with Your Customers

Finally, local marketing is more than just getting your business name out there—it’s also building relationships with the people in your community. Today’s consumers don’t want to do business with a faceless business entity—they want interaction and personal responses. Luckily, that’s now possible because FindUsLocal.com, a cutting edge local business directory, is changing the game by allowing business owners and consumers to interact on its website. The feature is called the Comments Section, and it’s changing the way local business owners interact with their community. To use, simply go to your local business listing on the site and scroll down to the bottom where you’ll find the Comments Section. There, you use the feature to announce sales, new products, say a word of thanks to special customers, or arrange for community events or meetups. It’s a gold mine for local business owners who want to interact with their community, but don’t have a big social media following.

Local business marketing has changed a lot in the past few years, and only those local business owners who keep up with the times will be able to avoid the Retail Apocalypse. If you haven’t already claim your business listings on a local business directory like FindUsLocal.com, you may be missing out on business. Why not stop what you’re doing right now and take this important step for your business?

 

How the Tiny Details Can Boost Your Local Business Listings Effectiveness

image06-16Local business owners across the nation are looking for ways to draw in the consumers who no longer use the old school methods of locating a local business. For example, in the past people would pull out the bulky phone book, look in the community newspaper, or use the coupons they get in the mail to decide which l local businesses and restaurants they would visit. But those methods have gone by the wayside and these days, people get most of their information about local businesses online.

But that’s a problem for local business owners who don’t have an online presence. After all, if you don’t have a website or some other presence on the internet, how will today’s internet savvy customers find you?

Local Business Directories Offer an Affordable Online Presence

The answer lies in local business directories like FindUsLocal.com and Yelp. These directories are giving consumers a way to find local businesses without having to look through all of the national and other irrelevant results, but there is an art to using them to drive traffic to your business.

The most important thing to remember when listing your business is to pay attention to the NAP+W’s, which stands for name, address, phone number, and website. Here’s a brief breakdown on how to enter each of the items in your local business listing so that it will boost your online presence.

Your Business Name

When you think of your business name, you probably don’t realize that there are different forms of it, but when you create your local business listing, you’ll need to decide which way you will list it each and every time. For example, if the name of your business is ABC Trinkets, Inc, you should decide whether or not to include the “Inc.” on your business listings. If you decide to keep it, be sure to use it on every listing you create. In other words, don’t input ABC Trinkets, Inc. on FindUsLocal.com, and use ABC Trinkets on Yelp. If you do that, the search engine spiders won’t attribute both business listings to your business and that will actually end up hurting your search engine results.

Your Business Address

You should treat your business address the same way. Let’s imagine that ABC Trinkets has a business address of 123 Town Street, Anytown, CA 78441. When you create your local business listing on sites like Yelp, you will need to decide whether or not to include the word “Street” in your listing, and if you do, you need to determine whether to spell it out or abbreviate it. And whatever form of your address you use on Yelp, you’ll need to carry over onto the other listings you create. The same holds true for the city  name, state name (abbreviated or spelled out), and zip code.

Your Business Phone Number

Who would have thought that something as simple as a business phone could make the difference between your local business listings helping or hurting your search engine rankings? But it can, and you’ll need to follow the same logic as you do for your business name and address. Decide whether or not to include your area code (we recommend it), and the make sure you use the exact same phone number for every listing you create. In other words, don’t include your cell phone number on some business listings and the office number on others. And remember, sites like FindUsLocal.com offer free business phone numbers to consumers so make sure it’s the one you want customers to call.

Your Website

While it’s true that not every local business owner has a website, but those that do need to follow the same guidelines when entering it into local business directories. Some people like to include the “http/” at the beginning of the website while others prefer to leave it off. And determine which page you will use for all your local business listings. Will you send people to your landing page, your products page, or some other page on your site? Just make sure you use the same URL every time you enter it into a local business directory.

NAP+W’s are the most important aspect of properly using local business listings to help boost your search engine rankings. If you use them correctly by following the above tips, you’ll go a long way in making sure today’s internet savvy customers can find you, but if you do it wrong, you may end up hurting your business’ search engine rankings.