10 Guidelines for Putting NAP Info on Your Site for Local SEO

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Peanut (our cat) - the nap expert.

Peanut (our cat) – the nap expert at work.

Putting your business’s NAP info – name, address, phone – on your site is a basic step you take if you want to rank well in the local results.

It’s also common sense if you’re trying to attract local customers.

Still, I get questions all the time – questions about all the details.  I’m hoping to answer them all in one breath.

Here are my 10 guidelines for putting NAP info on your site:

1.  Must be crawlable text – that is, “readable” by Google and other search engines.  That means it’s not OK to have it only as an image (for instance).  My rule of thumb is if you can copy and paste it, it’s readable by the search engines.

2.  Must match what’s on your Google Places page and citations – more or less.  Don’t worry about little formatting differences – like “Ave” versus “Avenue,” or whether there’s a period after “Ave.”

3.  Doesn’t have to be in Schema or in hCard, although there’s no reason not to mark up your NAP info that way.  Still, plain old HTML is fine.

4.  When in doubt about the formatting, refer to a Schema generator:

Schema-Creator.org

MicrodataGenerator.com

The one by TVS Internet Marketing

5.  The NAP info can go pretty much anywhere on your pages / in your code.  If you’re using WordPress or a similar platform, it can go in footer.php (my favorite), or in a sidebar widget.  It can go in the table your content is in, or in the footer area.  I wouldn’t suggest adding it to your title or description tags, though – usually a waste of space.

6.  Don’t include links to pages on your website – unless doing so helps usability, like if you have a “Our Locations” page where you list all your locations.

7.  If you have multiple locations, you can have all your NAPs on each page, or you can have just the NAP for Location A on the page for Location A, and so on.  I’ve never seen problems with using NAPs on the same landing page or site-wide.

8.  You can have the same NAP blob appear more than once on the page.  I wouldn’t have it appear 8 times on a page.  But 2 or even 3 times, sure.

9.  It’s OK to style it with CSS, or to have it on one line.

10.  If you run a home-based business and are extra-concerned about privacy, just leave off the street address – if you feel you must.  But you should still include your business name, city, ZIP, and phone number.

Any questions about NAP?  Tips?  Leave a comment!

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Comments

  1. avatar Matt Hagens says:

    Thanks Phil, very helpful.

  2. Definitely not a big deal if you have all NAP on one page. However, if you have multiple locations, having a specific profile page with unique NAP for that specific location makes it a little easier… Especially when providing a URL for different citations i.e. Google+ It has helped organize listings and avoid duplication issues with Google. IMHO.

  3. Funny coincidence I received your newsletter the same day Google decided to reswizzle the page title that shows in the search results for our small business (we own a franchise) which now makes it a bit different then what is in page citations. I would like to beg your opinion.

    Example, if name of franchise (Joe’s school of driving) and city is (Toronto)
    Old name — “Joe’s school of driving in Toronto”
    New name – “Toronto – Joe’s school of driving”

    In the end, they are both relatively accurate. However, all my citations show as the old name and my HTML page title reads as the old name including my Google+ page, but Google search shows the new name in the results listing.

    Is there reason to be concerned, do I need to change all my citations to reflect the new name?

  4. Hi Phil-

    Thank you for your helpful advice. I had a question – a client of mine has outdated and missing Verizon super pages info. It will cost him a few $100 for Verizon to get all listings corrected/added. Client is balking. I know it is crucial to have accurate listings in the physical and online phone directories but I could use help convincing him. Do you know what online directories get their data from super pages and/or do you have any other bullet points or reasons I could share with him? Thanks!

  5. I promise I am not slow but I am struggling a little with “6. Don’t include links to pages on your website – unless doing so helps usability, like if you have a “Our Locations” page where you list all your locations.”

    Would you mind clarifying that a bit because I can’t imagine linking from a NAP to any page???? What am I missing?

    • Some people actually do include a link in the NAP info they put on every page. My advice is simply not to do that.

      • I completely agree with you when it comes to not linking the NAP unless for usability reasons, but I am curious as to your reasoning why else not to do this. Do you recommend not to do this solely for usability?

      • What’s strange is when I use the Schema Creator linked above, and then insert that into my footer of my client, the company name is a hyperlink to the domain. Should I remove that link it created? Thanks Phil!

  6. Hi Phil,

    Thanks for this article. Helpful hints to keep in mind, for sure. One question: do you see any incremental value / advantage of any kind in placing the NAP in header.php rather than footer.php (if aesthetically possible, etc)? It’s the old “put it where the spiders will see it first” argument. Do you think that thought has merit relative to NAP placement when dealing with local service oriented sites?

    Thanks for the article!

    David

    • Good question. I’m not sure you can put the NAP in header.php without messing anything up. But I don’t think there would be any incremental benefit in having it higher-up in the code. Just my hunch, obviously.

  7. Thanks Phil, very helpful as usual. This post has a big bonus though – getting to see your nap expert, Peanut. Maybe I need someone like that on my team.

  8. I’m going through and finally adding schema data to all of the sites I manage. This has been on my to-do list for like 3 years. I’m a little embarrassed, but finally getting it done.

    My question is about KML and sitemaps – from what I understand, these are also quite important to have on local business sites… is this still true?

    • Meh. I wouldn’t call KML files important. Can’t hurt. It’s just another area where you can dot your i and cross your t, in my opinion. I wouldn’t even say XML sitemaps are necessary, unless you’ve got a big site with lots of pages, or if it doesn’t seem to be crawled often. Again, I consider them a “why not.”

  9. Please clarify the reasoning behind: “Don’t include links to pages on your website”

    Other wise solid advice thanks!

  10. Great article, as usual! And thanks for the links to the Schema / Microdata creators.

    One point that might need clarification is the last sentence in Guideline #5:
    “I wouldn’t suggest adding it to your title or description tags, though – usually a waste of space.”

    You illustrated this in the “title” link but I think some people might confuse your point about NAP and how it differs from Title Tags / Snippets. Although not an NAP, the Title and Description tags serve a similar function as far as contributing to SERP rankings (and increase click-thru rates).

    I would suggest:
    1) Include the city, state & business name in the Title Tag as follows:

    Plumbing Services | Chicago, Illinois | Jake’s Plumbing Repair

    2) Include service, city, state, business name, phone in the snippet (meta description) as follows:

    Jake’s Plumbing Repair provides plumbing services in the Chicago, IL metro region. (555) 867-5309

    Otherwise, Google might rewrite your Title and Snippet for “plumbing services in chicago”.

    3) Consider adding the city & state to your URL:

    http://www.JakesPlumbing.com/IL/Chicago/Plumbing Services/

    Here is a link to a nice tool to experiment with your Title, URL, and snippets:

    http://www.seomofo.com/snippet-optimizer.html

    Thanks again!
    Vernon

    • I think I see your point, Vernon. Thanks. But I’d submit that there are usually better ways to craft click-worthy title/description tags than by including the NAP info.

  11. Hi Phil
    Do you have any paid publications I could buy to get further into Local SEO or failing that can you recommend any? Any other people you would suggest I could follow via twitter / facebook / stumble etc..

    Thank you for all the great help , and documents you provide they are a goldmine.

    Thank you
    Regards
    Hayden

  12. BOOM! You nailed Phil.

    We do local reviews and offer basic online advice periodically to local business owners. Have several Q’s.

    1) Who should we recommend to enter directory citations (NAP), that is cost effective for small mom and pops operation?

    2) Pending on the answer above, Is there a online DIYS work sheet for small businesses to download to follow step by step how to do their citations (NAP) correctly and which directories to start with?

    Thanks a Million

  13. I remember when websites did not often include the NAP. Now people expect to find that information or the site appears to be a scam. Posting your NAP gives your site greater credibility.

  14. NAP on Superpages

    We helped a friends restaurant by claiming his NAP on all the major directories for this area, including SuperPages. When you look at his listing on Superpages now it gives three listings and has string of strange characters at the end of the business name, see below, suppose to have the word “and” but you see this instead
    &
    Should we try to eliminate the other two of listings? We have tried to correct the listing but Superpages has not rendered the process as of yet. Any ideas how to correct this? Yes we have full admin rights to make the changes. Thanks a Million for any insights or suggestions.

  15. Hey Phil

    What is your thinking on small variations in the actual business name? Say for instance the business is called Bob’s Bananas and it is a limited company. So, the firm tends to refer to it purely as ‘Bob’s Bananas’ but other listings may include the Limited or Ltd abbreviation.

    Bob’s Bananas
    Bob’s Bananas Ltd
    Bob’s Bananas Limited

    Does that fall under the same category as small address variations like street & st or would this be a larger issue in your mind (experience?).

    Cheers
    Marcus

  16. Hey Phil, great info. I’m trying to find out more info on your point no. 10 point. Do you think that by leaving off the street number and street name for the address in citations will effect rankings. I am a local business with a service area (rather than a specific address) on google local? I want to gain authority by having citations but do not want to have my home address, where I work out of, to be displayed for privacy reasons. Any thoughts? Thanks.

Trackbacks

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