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,, 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 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!

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