Are business citations (NAP) still an important part of local SEO in 2023?

Are business citations (NAP) still an important part of local SEO in 2023?

November 22, 2023

Written by: Ryan Walsh

Date: 22/11/23

 

Local SEO

How important are local business citations in 2023?

Google’s algorithms, whether that’s the organic algorithm, or the algorithm that’s used for Google My Business results, these don’t stay the same for very long. Google is constantly fine turning its algorithms, which means, that different ranking factors, are worth more or less at any one time.

With that said, if you’ve ever read a blog post, with a title like “how to improve your local SEO in 10 easy steps”- well they are bound to mention business citations there within the advice somewhere.

However, if you go back to 2010 various seo agencies were recommending that a business builds business citations, but is the advice the same today?

 

In a nutshell, citations (NAP Signals) are still an important part of local SEO

So yes, business citations are still an important part of local seo, yet, we would say less so that they were in years gone by.
The reason we say that is, Google now has so many smartphones running Android operating system, so, if your location data is switched on, Google knows exactly where you are.

Then you couple this with the fact that Google knows where the most popular, most respected, businesses are with the best reviews. Because it will have a Google My Business account set up for the address, plus, Google, will know if its regularly visited by customers, because of number of smartphones going there, or leaving positive business reviews.

 

Focus on links

So, put yourself in Google’s shoes, how do you work out, from say over 100 different plumbing businesses, which ones should appear on the first page?

Well, there all going to say they offer the best customer service around, right?
So how do you differentiate a business that should rank on page 10 and one page one of Google?

Well, backlinks.

If a business has a lot of backlinks, from quality websites, so for a plumbing business, this might be from Gas Safe website, it could be from a boiler manufacturer, for example, these links, if they are good quality, could help to improve the businesses seo.

 

On-page SEO

Everything from semantic seo, page titles, right through to the quality of the content marketing and whether it follows

Google’s EEAT guidelines, needs to be considered here.

The on-page SEO is so important here, as you could have the strongest off-site SEO in your area, millions of do-follows and no-follow backlinks, but what is the point, if the on-site is really weak?

That’s right, all those backlinks will go to waste, if, the onsite seo is not strong.

 

Nap Citations

So, a business does need NAP citations, that’s for sure, yet pick out the higher quality websites, and preverbally from websites, which are to do with your business. So, for example, if you run a legal practice, gain backlinks from websites to do with law.

 

Add as much detail as you can to your Google My Business account

Its important to fill out as much detail as you can on your Google My Business account. Make sure the NAP information, matches with your business citations.

 

Proximity

So, if you’re thinking about renting / buying an office location, think about location. Sure, its often more expensive to rent in the city centre, however, you do also have to consider how Google’s algorithms work when choosing a business premises. Sure, you could save money by moving to a town outside of the city, where rents are often cheaper, but you do have to consider proximity.

Quite simply put, how Google’s algorithms work, is, if someone is using their phone, with location data switched on, and they say “find me a Greek restaurant near me” well, Google will know where they are located, and will find local businesses close to where they are, it might be that a restaurant is less that a 2-minute walk away, well, that’s the business that’s likely to appear Google My Business results.

So, when your considering office space, say a solicitors practice, sure, it will be much cheaper to rent say 7 miles away from the city centre, yet, with that said, you have to consider if you want to stand a better chance of your business appearing in more Google My Business results, if so, then often you will need to rent or buy office space in the city centre.

 

(Local Pack Ads)

Businesses often need a combination of Google Adwords, Organic SEO and Local SEO to gain more business.
Ever since the Google Possum update, the number of businesses which appear in the Google My Business results has massively reduced. Often from 7 businesses now down to 3.

So just think for a second how fiercely competed over those places are, a business often needs to have the following now

 

Just to appear in the Google My Business results:

– A lot of good reviews
– Good local SEO
– Good onsite SEO
– Good location
– An optimised Google My Business listing
– A lot of quality backlinks
– Be regularly making updates on the Google My Business listing, to keep the businesses customers better informed, for example, if your companies opening hours change over the Christmas holidays for example.

 

Would you like help with your digital marketing

We are one of Wales most established and well-known marketing agencies, if your business needs to generate more sales, by improving where your company ranks on Google, then why not call us?
 

 

 

Leave A Comment

Avada Programmer

Hello! We are a group of skilled developers and programmers.

Hello! We are a group of skilled developers and programmers.

We have experience in working with different platforms, systems, and devices to create products that are compatible and accessible.