Any company, regardless of size, but especially local and multi-location brands, should conduct a citation audit. These kinds of companies depend on precise name, address, and phone number (NAP) information so that clients can find them both online and offline. In the past, customers would look up a local business in the phone book, rely on word-of-mouth, then drive or stroll around. If you own an online business, consider looking into a citation audit and cleanup for your business’s online presence. This article will present the importance of the citation audit and cleanup and how it can improve your online ranking.
What exactly is a wrong NAP?
So what exactly is a wrong NAP? In a nutshell, Google and other search engines really would like to recognize you for having your company name, address, and phone number published on other credible websites. Related to a link in organic SEO, it functions as a confirmation of trust for you.
Keep in mind your NAP is formatted correctly in your Google My Business listing so that it can be seen online. You could not be taking recognition for any of this data if it differs from what is stated in Google My Business.
How Accurate Must These Citations Be?
We were quite clear about the things we modified from the right example, as you can see from the samples before. Despite the fact that Google has gotten better at spotting small variations, you should constantly strive to be the least flawed. Making it simpler for Google to group the appropriate listings together for your business is the main reason we are correcting these in the first place. Small distinctions like Street and St. shouldn’t cause any problems. False, redundant, or inaccurate information is strongly discouraged.
In general, there are three categories of citations that we are attempting to correct during this procedure. These comprise:
- Duplicate: Duplicate listings in the exact same directory.
- Mismatches: Listings of your company that contain the incorrect Business Name, Physical Address, or Phone Number. As we shall cover later in this essay, this can become particularly difficult for doctors and lawyers.
- Incomplete Citations: Once you’ve claimed the profiles, it’s critical that you finish filling them out. This involves including a photo and completing all of the fields that have options.
How & Why Do wrong citations Occur?
Even if you can’t recall making a mistaken listing, the local ecology may nonetheless contain inaccurate information. In fact, the following list includes just a few of the frequent causes of erroneous NAP on the internet:
- Your company changed its physical address.
- You once utilized tracking phone numbers.
- To establish citations or get featured on web directories, you engaged an SEO.
- The data aggregators provide inaccurate data.
- Your old phone number was unreliable.
Why should you choose a citation audit and cleanup process?
One of the most important elements of the Google Search Engine Algorithm for local searches continues to be the NAP consistency and citation count. As a result, you should periodically conduct a citation audit since, like the other side of the coin, if your citations are inconsistent, you could suffer a severe blow to your credibility.
Even if you listed any phone number on your website, it wouldn’t be beneficial for your local ranking if Google discovered a different number on another website. Mismatches in the information mislead users, Google, and our credibility. Google avoids confusion at all costs. Therefore, be truthful and consistent in your citations.
The Ideal Approach To Citation Cleaning
Once you consider citations from the perspective of a search engine, their significance becomes clear. They serve as trustworthy sources of data about your company, specifically. And although though updating your citations can be a time-consuming procedure, it is worthwhile.
- Citations that are particular to your city and sector should be where you start. You can audit your citation first.
- Keep a record of the directories where you have updated the NAP in the past. You will be able to contact these directories more easily as a result. Auditing your citations later on will prove to be quite beneficial for you.
- Thirdly, be careful not to just add new citations. You must instead update the outdated ones.
- You cannot simply send an email or complete a contact form and move on. You must conduct follow-up. Don’t alter the row’s color until the live listings have been fixed. This will enable you to check and check again until these problems are resolved.
It is our hope that you will find this article beneficial and that you can immediately put some of the tactical advice in it to use. Your citations will be well on their way to being cleaned up if you use this approach. This will require processing time and cleanup, just like anything else in local search. Observe your local rankings increase as Google discovers and indexes these naturally over time. Please leave more citation-cleaning advice in the comments below if you have any.