Local SEO and NAP (Name, Address and Phone)
Working on the SEO (Search engine optimization) of your website can be a daunting task, with hundreds if not thousands of guides plastered all over the internet. This post will not be an A to Z of local SEO but will cover one of the most important areas when looking to rank in local search results.
The difference between local SEO and plain old SEO is that you are looking to target keywords such as “hairdressers Margate” or “Plumbers Margate” rather then their counterparts ‘hairdressers’ or ‘plumbers’ which would bring search results for these services but most likely miles away from where you are located, thus being pretty useless. There is a useful tool which is free to use from Google giving you the ability to research keywords, finding which ones get enough searches to validate your time working on ranking for them. https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner
For the purposes of this post I am going to concentrate on what is known in the Local SEO world as NAP or Name, Address and Phone number. In short when Google is looking for local businesses to place within it’s search results it will scour the web looking for how many times ‘business x’ is found along with contact details. You will want to ensure that every social media page, business directory or listing of any kind relating to your business has the following information as a necessity: Name, Address and Contact numbers. There is no harm and quite possibly decent benefits to also include opening hours, payment types accepted, services provided and anything else you believe is related to the essential information relating to your business.
One of the most common mistakes when working on your NAP is submitting your business details across the web but using slightly different spellings of your business name, wrong or dated contact information, opening hours, payment types accepted etc. You want to ensure that you submit exactly the same information to each and every directory, social media page and so on. This keeps things universal, making it obvious to Google that each and every submission is about your business.
Over time this simple yet often overlooked element to local SEO will see your search placement improve.
SEO = Search engine optimization
Local SEO = SEO but on a localized level. An example would be hairdressers Thanet rather then just hairdressers.
NAP = Name, Address and Phone
Search Engine = A website which provides results when you search
Keyword = A word related to your business which you may or may not want to rank for in a search engine.
Rank or Ranking = Ranking refers to being listed in a search engine and potentially driving visitors to your website.