The Most Important Part of Local Search


You might think something else, something more “online”, would be the key factor on getting found online to local customers. But just like our friendly Realtors tell us … it is Location, Location, Location!

Something known as your NAP. What is your NAP? Your Name, Address, and Phone.

Being specific as you can with your business name, address, and phone number is very important to search engines when you want to appear on the map. Take a look at this for a search for barber shop pittsburgh:


Note that the top seven results for local search contain a properly formatted NAP. While other ranking factors contribute to the rankings, your NAP ranks right at the top of the list. It is one of the key signals Google looks for when determining to place your business on the map and where it will place — 1 through 7.

However important your NAP is to Google, consistency in your NAP is just as important. Does your NAP match EXACTLY wherever your business is listed on the internet? Is it the same on your Google My Business page, your website, what about Yelp, and other directories? And I mean EXACT. Same spelling, cap[capitalization, and punctuation? You and I may see LLC and Llc as the same, search robots do not.

Here are some things to check when taking a hard look at your NAP.


  • Use the name you actually do business with (your DBA) in your dealings with customers.
  • Don’t try and cram keywords into your name in hopes of fooling the search engines. You won’t. Don’t put barber, barbershop, AND barbers in your name field.


  • Use the actual address and don’t provide directions in the address field. “Next to Wine and Spirits Shoppe” is not your address.
  • This is your business, not Facebook — use Post Office Standards and make sure you capitalize. Use 1105 Grant St., Suite 100 not 1100 grant st, ste 2.
  • Use your real address, not a PO Box. If you have a home-based business, there is an option to hide your home address. Go ahead and use it.
  • Don’t use a nearby “big” city for your location if your business isn’t physically in that city. Don’t use Pittsburgh if you are Coraopolis in an attempt to attract more customers, it won’t work.
  • Use your five digit zip code, not your nine digit zip code.


  • Use your real LOCAL phone number. Your area code, street address, and zip code are checked to see if they match. In other words, no toll-free numbers as primary contact.
  • Vanity numbers are great, but not for your NAP. If your number is (412) 222-7237 use it, not (412) ABARBER.
  • Search engines do not see things the way a human does. Keep your phone number out of images. We can see them, search engines just see a picture. Phone numbers look great in images, but on your website they really need to be in a text format.

These are just some of the things that can be changed to help you rank higher on local search results. Being on the map helps your business get the attention of potential customers, so don’t discount how important this information is to your business.

If you do not want to begin checking all this information and implementing the changes, contact us at (412) 904-3489 or send us an email.