This is an update of a prior post.
One of the common problems I see local businesses run into that tends to confuse them or cost them a lot of money, are messy NAP’s. NAP’s are Name, Address, and Phone number listings on the internet. Because some businesses take bad advice from ill-informed or simply unethical SEO consultants, they sometimes create many different names or addresses for their listings to try to manipulate the search rankings, thinking to have more or jamming them with keywords will help. Or, in some cases, your NAP’s become a mess because of an honest name change or an office move, and suddenly you find your company disappearing in local search.
This post is meant to help you with some of the DIY aspects of getting your listings cleaned up. The consistency of your business name, address, and phone number across the internet is a big factor in making sure you can show up in search engines. If the search engines aren’t sure who you are and where you are, they aren’t going to have confidence in ranking you highly. If you just moved or changed names and aren’t sure what to do, this is how you get started. This is tedious work, but it is important. The more incorrect listings you have out there, the more it is pulling you down from your desired rankings.
Correct Your Listing on Google and Yelp Right Away
Make sure you go in and manually claim and correct your listing on Google and Yelp. If you don’t already “own” your listing, search for your business name and phone on Google and then when you find the local listing, you can claim it by clicking a link at the bottom of the listing. Google will force you to prove ownership via a postcard to the address or a pin number over the phone. Get used to this, because many listings have different methods to prove ownership, though some will simply let you change them right on the site. It is probably a good idea to grab your Facebook page as well.
Google Your Incorrect Business Name, Address, and Phone
Go right to Google and search for those incorrect listings. The best way to do this is to put your name, the core part of your address, and your phone number in quotes with a + between them in Google search. This will search out those exact matches in Google so you can find all the spots where it was listed incorrectly. For example, “Business Name”+”Street address”+”XXX-XXXX” with your phone number.
Correct As Many Incorrect Listings As You Can
The search results will not only show the incorrect listings, but they will show them in order of ranking strength, so you already have a prioritized list for you. However, you should correct as many as you possibly can. Simply click on the link that shows up, go to the listing and figure out how to edit or claim it. They will all be a little different so you will have to be a bit of a sleuth here. Look for things like “Claim your listing”, “Edit Listing”, “Verify Listing”, “Correct Listing”, etc. on the listing, or in the footer or header of the page. Sometimes you will have to create accounts to make corrections. It is better to correct the current listing than to create a new listing and leave the old one there. As I mentioned, this is tedious work, but important work. Have all of your information ready to go and fill your listing with as much information as you can, such as pictures, hours, etc. That all helps. Make absolutely sure that you use the same exact name, address, and phone number on every listing. Little things like “The” and “LLC” can cause issues if they aren’t in every listing. With the expanding options of your Google My Business listing, fill in as much information on that page as you possibly can, including service descriptions, posting, and Q&A’s.
The above method is the free and tedious way to do it, but if you want help having it done professionally and your correct information being distributed to the most important online locations for your business, please give us a call. We have been doing it for years and know which listings are important and why.