What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
You might be wondering what Romeo and Juliet have to do with your business address and your website.
Not a lot, as it turns out – at least when it comes to local businesses.
Imagine your business is a rose. When you first set up your business, you called it Fred Nerk Pty Ltd, but sometimes you refer to it as Fred’s Flowers or sometimes as Fred Nerk Florist. While your business is still the same rose, it has three different names. To you, it still smells sweet.
But to the likes of the robots that run around the Internet, they’re typically not able to determine that your sweet-smelling business is indeed one in the same. To some bots, that’s three different businesses. Yes, even if they have the same address & phone number.
In web-geek terms, we refer to businesses name and address listings as NAPs (Name, Address, Phone). So if you want to make it absolutely clear to the bots that there is just one business they need to know about at this address, you need to make sure references to your business online all use the same NAP.
And if Google local is an important means of getting phone calls or feet in your shop (and it is to lots of local businesses), then your business NAP on your website must be the same as what’s on Google local. Here are five tips to make it more than just the same, they’re how to make it better than the same (better in the eyes of the bots).
- Make sure the address is “readable” – make sure the bots can crawl through the information. Images, for example, aren’t yet being read by the bots to harvest text on the images. So if you can “copy and paste” the address on your website and paste that text into notepad, you’re probably ok.
Don’t worry about tiny differences like “Street” vs “St” or “Avenue” vs “Ave” or “Ave.”, but do take action if it’s “Rd” and supposed to be “Street”, or “Ste” (suite) instead of “Street”.
- If you can, put it in Schema format. Plain HTML works, but schema is the preferred format for structured information by the major search engines. You can use this schema creator tool to create the coding which you can then copy and paste into your website.
- The NAP can be put anywhere on your site, the footer is ideal (if the footer is universal) and/or the contact page. The one exception to the footer rule is if you have multiple locations. In that instance, don’t put multiple addresses in the footer, just the contact page for each location.
- It’s okay to style address elements, including styling your street address as non-display if you’re a service area business and you want your address hidden.
- More is not better – keep it to one per page, two is okay if they don’t contradict each other.
- Don’t worry about putting it in the header or title tag. That’s precious screen real-estate – use it for helping with converting prospects.
- Don’t put links to other pages on your site