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:
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!
Matt Hagens says
Thanks Phil, very helpful.
Hey Matt, thanks for saying so.
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.
I’m with you 100%, Zachary.
How would you recommend dealing with 25+ zip code locations? I’m doing a site for a appliance repair company who drives to their locations and has several techs the live more in the general regions. Would you recommend using more than 1 G+ page? I tend to think it best to use a single G+ page but of course have “landing” pages for each location while keeping the content as fresh as possible.
As it stands, I’ve just listed out the service areas in the single G+ profile and I figure using a single NAP is best as well. They do have an actual office that’s somewhat central to their service area.
You can only have as many Google Places/Plus pages as you have showrooms or offices. Assuming you only have one location and one Google page, there’s only one NAP blob you can put on your pages.
Also, this may help:
This is a great basic explanation for NAP – What are your thoughts about using a website like http://www.whatsmygps.com and running your address in order to tag your pages with GPS references?
GPS gives you more flexibility because you can tag the EXIF GPS properties of your static images with it and for businesses whose target customers are frequently on mobile devices, having them able to say “Find a Volkswagen Service Center near me” is optimized because the search tool can compare the mobile device’s GPS position with your GPS tags and present your site with how far away it is.
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?
If you didn’t rename your Google+ Local page, I wouldn’t be concerned. It sounds like one of Google’s rewrites of the title tag.
You’re a regular scholar sir!
As an amateur, I really appreciate your down to earth and accessible approach to SEO.
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!
Good question, but a bit off-topic for this post.
I don’t believe Verizon feeds SuperPages, so that offer to your client doesn’t sound right to me. I can’t give advice on this confidently without getting down into the weeds of your client’s situation. But I would suggest taking a close look at David Mihm’s Local Search Ecosystem graphic:
Thank you Phil – appreciate the suggestion; I’ll check it out-
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?
Hey Pete, please see my reply to Vadim’s question (above).
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!
Yeah, I’d probably remove it.
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!
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.
Kathleen Rhodes says
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.
Thanks, Kathleen. Peanut’s the boss around here 🙂
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.”
Sounds about right. Thanks for weighing in.
Marc Poulin says
I like to include a sitemap.xml with my sites because Google webmaster tools tells me how many of the files in the sitemap are in the index. It either validates that the indexing works well or that there may be a problem.
Vadim Mialik says
Please clarify the reasoning behind: “Don’t include links to pages on your website”
Other wise solid advice thanks!
It’s yet another way to overdo the internal linking and keywords in anchor text.
Vadim Mialik says
Ohh okay! Thanks Phil
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:
Here is a link to a nice tool to experiment with your Title, URL, and snippets:
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.
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.
For paid materials I’d suggest the Local U Forum (https://localu.org/forums/) and Nyagoslav’s citations guide (https://www.ngsmarketing.com/citation-building-guide/).
As for whom to follow: just the people I mention often on this site and in my free guide.
Jason Stovall says
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
Thanks, Jason. That’s a little off-topic, but I’ll take a quick crack at it:
1) Whitespark.ca or BrightLocal.com. Or do it in-house. Note: some citations mom or pop will have to do personally, because they require owner-verification.
2) Refer to the citations section in my 7-step guide. Ideally also refer to Nyagoslav Zhekov’s citation-building guide and to this post I did:
Jason Stovall says
Now i know why your called a GURU! 🙂 thanks a million Phil.
Thanks, Jason. But I ain’t no guru 🙂
Matt Fluger says
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.
Very true, Matt.
Jason Stovall says
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.
Yes, try to get rid of those other 2 listings.
As for minor edits that aren’t sticking, don’t worry about it. SuperPages is a finicky site. Having an ampersand (&) instead of “and” makes no difference.
Jason Stovall says
Thanks a million 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 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?).
I haven’t found those variations matter.
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.
Hey Justin. It’s hard to say for sure, but I doubt that leaving off the street number would matter.
Great information for any local small business. Thanks for taking the time to prepare the information.
Very interesting guideline Phil!
However, I have a small guestion. If I have only one company address should I put it on the homepage or contact subpage? Does it matter?
Simon, in that case, I’d put the NAP info on all the pages.
John P Schutz says
Hi Phil. Do you count having the NAP in the footer as having the NAP on *all* pages?
Thanks for having a great website!!
I sure do!
is it okay to have the NAP block as “display: none” via css? I have the pertinent information elsewhere on the page, but I am including a fully schema’d NAP block in the footer for seo
I don’t believe that’s OK, Jim:
In general, Google doesn’t want you to hide anything.
I didn’t think so, but I was hoping. Stylistically it is not great having the full address on every page, in a single block (for this page), but I was hoping they were only using it for adding the link-able information in the search results
It doesn’t need to be a block. It can be a line, too.
Great article and thanks!
For a business run out of my home, (video editing, web design, etc.) would it be better to list my P.O. Box or JUST the city, state, zip?
Definitely NOT a fly-by-night business as I’ve lived here my whole life, but don’t want to give people my home address for safety reasons. I wish that saftey reason was respected when becoming an LLC as well!
I’d list the phone number and your city, state, and ZIP on every page.
Cool, thanks, no P.O. Box it is then!
I wouldn’t suggest using a PO Box at all. What I was commenting on was the question of whether to show your home address on your site.
Came to know the importance of the NAP , but my concern is : Can we use a Toll free number OR Should arrange a local number for this Purpose? Can a toll free number help in the local visibility in the same manner a local number can.
Try to get a local number. It won’t make a difference for rankings. It looks better to would-be customers.
Phil I’ve been working on my company’s web presence for about a month now and recently noticed that our google+ page shows the address as 3320 JFK Blvd (I spelled out John F. Kennedy when filling in the information but it translated that to JFK). My question is do I need to use “JFK” everywhere else or is google “smart enough” to know that they’re the same thing? I know you said minor formatting issues aren’t a big deal (ave vs avenue) but I’m not sure if this falls into the category of a minor formatting issue. Thanks for all the insight you provide, it’s been an invaluable resource for me!
That’s a tough one, and I’d have to dig deeper (into more specifics) to say with more confidence, but I wouldn’t consider that a “minor” formatting issue. Even Google may not be able to recognize those two spellings of the address as referring to the same place.
Thanks for the quick response Phil. I just checked the google+ business page in question and now it’s displaying the full address spelling. Not really sure what made it change but after reading your response I’m glad that it did. I look forward to reading more of your articles!
Regarding point #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.”
If we do list multiple locations on the homepage how would we apply Schema markup? Include all the locations listed?
Thanks for your help!
Any advise on formatting the address on site with a Pipe for example:
Street Address | City, State, Zip | Phone Number
We are displaying out address vertically and find that this just looks cleaner, however I’m concerned that the pipe may mess with the NAP and google may not read it as an address? Any thoughts?
That should be fine. Google is good at recognizing addresses and other standard business info.
What about putting the NAP in the top right of the header like I have done on this website? http://www.edmontonroofingpros.com I understand you like the footer but wasn’t there some study done that visitors eyes are looking in the top right corner for the NAP? I like to put it here for usability reasons so that visitors can quickly and easily find the contant information.
That’s totally fine.
my question is if you have 2 location, what name in the NAP should you use?
in my instance my business name is Amo spa
my each of my location have somehow a different name which are:
Amo Spa- petitenget
Amo Spa – seminiak
so when i create citation should i use Amo spa as the same name for all and just a different address or should i put a different name for each location.
knowing many site like Facebook; google+; and trip advisor, i have only one name, amo spa.
thank you for your answer, really appreciate !
Generally I’d go with “Amo Spa” for both locations.
Hi Phil, I saw an article ages ago, can’t find it now. But it gave the code to point to the address for google e.g. item prop address, will this make it easier for google to pick up or not?
Jon Rayner says
I’ve got a tricky citation query I am really struggling to find the answer to, I really hope someone can help? I want to create correct and consistent citations for this business http://www.singlewellcarsales.co.uk/
However theres a twist, the website is called ‘Singlewell Car Sales’ but they also have a service centre called ‘Singlewell Service Centre’ so in theory two business names under one website with the same address. We want to treat them as two separate businesses. So I want to create 2 Google pages and add both names to local directories. Both divisions share the same website, and address but include a unique business name and telephone number.
I want to use Schema mark up on the website to reference both business names so that Google can make a link between the name and various local citations NAP.
My main questions is, can you use Schema to mark up two business names under one website with the same address? or will Google get confused and regard it as duplicate or inconsistent citations?
Help on this would be much appreciated, I have tried MOZ forums and still cant get an answer.
I have the same question! Wanted to share the same Address and Phone number for 2different brands with different websites, but not sure if it is good for local citation. Been searching on google without a solid answer.
Bipper Media says
Hi Phil – just read your email on Schema! Great information and tips, as always. Since that wasn’t a post, but just an email, I figured I’d comment here…
I wanted to add one additional tip to your email, and that is leveraging the business category specific Schema URL. For example, the code you shared uses https://schema.org/LocalBusiness.
There are more granular level category URL’s that can be used to add more relevance. For example:
Attorneys / Law Firms: https://schema.org/Attorney
and so on…
These Schema category URL’s would replace the https://schema.org/LocalBusiness reference in your code.
Thanks again for the great email Phil!
I wrote about that in June 2014:
Bipper Media says
oh cool… I didn’t see that article! You are on it my man…
Seth Partridge says
Thanks for the post!
Does a NAP on multiple pages of a website count as multiple citations?
Nope. Even if it did, there’s no inherent benefit in upping the number of citations you’ve got.
Guy Willett says
Point 10 is an interesting one. I recently came across a prospect who had purposefully chosen not to include their unit number and street address (even though not a home address) but had included all of the city and postcode details. Google had in its wisdom placed the poor company on the eastern seaboard of the United States!
Anthony Donataccio says
Thanks Phil for the great info. I’d like to tap into your Genius with reference to point #7.
Here’s my scenario:
If say a dental business has only ever had one location and all citations point to the branded home page which also displayed NAP and has good metrics around authority and trust. They now want to scale the business into other city locations using inner web pages for each city.
How would you approach this?
I understand creating the new inner (new city) pages will be straight forward, new citations etc, however, if the home page has all the power and existing citations are pointing to that branded home page URL how would you approach the inner page for that locale that is already established?
If I go and change all the existing citations specific to that city location to the new city inner page the home page will lose a heap of power and it will be like starting from scratch.
Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide.