What Is a NAP Clean-Up?

If you want to rank well in local searches on Google Maps, maintaining your NAP (name, address, phone number) is the most important step you can take. After all, Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant information available. So, if you want Google to promote your business, what could be more important than having relevant and up-to-date contact information online?

One of the primary services that LinkNow Media’s Local SEO team provides is the NAP clean-up. And since we tend to get a lot of questions about what NAP clean-ups are and how they improve rankings, we figured it was a good time to explain things!

Join us as we explore what a NAP clean-up is and why you need one to start ranking!

What Is a Citation?

In the old days, there was a book. A big book. A book that everyone read. A book that everyone recognized—whether it was sitting by the telephone or being used as a doorstop—by its yellow pages. It was a business directory aptly named: the Yellow Pages. And it was basically the only comprehensive business directory of its kind. Getting into (and advertising in) the Yellow Pages was a great way to generate leads in the local area.

The Yellow Pages still exists, but nowadays, it has (mostly) gone digital. Along with the Yellow Pages, there are now hundreds of other online business directories. Some of the biggest ones include:

  • Google My Business
  • yelp.com
  • facebook.com
  • manta.com
  • superpages.com
  • angieslist.com

In order to be useful to users, these business directories use bots to collect the contact information for all businesses listed on the internet. Their goal, like the Yellow Pages, is to be a comprehensive source of information for consumers.

We call these online business listings citations.

What Is a NAP Clean-Up?

Digital citations pose two problems for businesses:

  1. Even if you’ve never asked to be listed in a business directory, you’re likely to find yourself listed there.
  2. The contact information (NAP) listed for your business might be wrong, mixed up, or outdated.

Because businesses don’t have control over who lists their information, they have very little control over the accuracy of that information. It’s important to find out where your NAP is listed online and correct that information. It’s a lengthy, time-consuming process. In some cases, it’s necessary to resubmit the information over and over again until a given business directory accepts it.

We call the process of correcting online citations a NAP clean-up.

Why Do I Need a NAP Clean-Up?

Google is one big directory for all the information available online. That means it will use all your citations to make sure that the information listed on Google My Business (and Google Maps) is correct. If you have an incorrect or outdated NAP, Google will be less likely to rank your business in local searches higher than others who have a consistent NAP. Having lots of citations with the same NAP is the first and most important step of any local SEO strategy.

Let the Local SEO Pros at LinkNow Clean Up Your NAP

As you might imagine, NAP clean-ups are long-term projects. And although you could spend your time combing through obscure directories, submitting correct information, and then repeatedly resubmitting that same information when it is (inexplicably) rejected—you probably have better things to do.

Because a NAP clean-up is a continuous process of correction (as the bots discover and reuse outdated or incorrect information), it’s best to get the experts on your side. The Local SEO pros at LinkNow offer a wide range of citation solutions that will help you build and maintain your digital footprint.

Give us a call at 1-888-667-7186 or send an email to mylocalseo@linknowmedia.com. And if you have a comment or question, leave a reply below!


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