Google led the way, but now pretty much all search engines have begun to use local listings as a means of measuring relevance. Not too long ago search engines learned that roughly 75% of all internet searches contained local intent, meaning they were searches for local products and businesses. This amazing statistic prompted search engines to start revamping their results to be focused on serving up relevant, local results to search engine users. If you are like most of the world, you use Google frequently, and you have most likely noticed that when you are on Google, Google tries to determine your location. By knowing your general location, Google is able to deliver local search results, even for broad search terms such as “cars for sale”.
A tool used by search engines that continues to gain increasing relevance is your online local business listing. Search engines will use your business’s online local listing to help them determine the relevance of your business to a searcher’s locally oriented search. If search engines need your local business listing to be optimized to help them deliver better results to users, when they are searching for your products and services, then it is a necessity that you have an optimized local business listing.
It’s All in the Business NAP
In SEO terms NAP stands for you business’s Name, Address, and Phone Number. Essentially, your NAP is your business’s contact information. Do not underestimate the importance of your business name, address, and phone number to both search engines and to people, who are searching for what you are selling. Make certain that your correct and complete business NAP is prominent on your website, your local business listing, and in all other instances online, where your business information is listed.
When your NAP is correct and consistent across all instances, where it is listed, then search engines can establish connections between the listings and know that they belong together and to your business. This connectivity will have a very positive effect on your local search engine results. If your business has multiple locations, the best strategy for establishing NAP connectivity and consistency for each location is to have a page on your website for every location. The location pages should be specific to the location they are promoting.
There is Power in a Fully Optimized Local Business Listing
A fully completed and optimized local business listing submitted to all of the major search engines will bring amazing benefit to your online marketing efforts. Use every form field, review tool, image uploader and video uploader to ensure that your local business listing is 100% complete. Completed local business listings will outrank partially completed listings. As a side note, all major search engines include a maps and directions tool. Including the correct business name, address, and phone number will allow search engines to accurately pinpoint your business on their maps and directions tools.
Business NAP and Locally Targeted Results
Search engines are now focusing their efforts on serving up locally targeted search results to users. The accurate and complete your local business listing is, including an accurate and consistent NAP, the better results you will have and the easier it will be for people in your area to find your business and become customers.
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