It’s 2014 and there is suddenly talk online about using your business name, address, and phone number at the very top of your website. Soon, many people in the SEO world will be doing this, trying to squeeze a little more juice out of their site, or their client’s sites.
Well, does it work?
Yes, I believe it does. I feel like the cat is out of the bag now, so let me elaborate. I’ve never had a problem ranking a site in local search business with a commercial/retail location. Once I get my hands on it, it is only a matter of time. One of the first things I do is get the name, address, and phone number (NAP) information right at the top of the HTML document. I first started this around 1999 while examining other locally owned businesses in various cities hat ranked well in competitive niches. In 2001 when I owned my first local business I did this and outranked all of the competitors for any relevant term I targeted. Having a local address and local telephone number at the top has to make life easier for a search engine in their attempt to identify your site as a local business.
Note, the top of your site does not mean the top of the HTML document.
If you are using a site like WordPress or another platform which utilizes a content management system, take note that just because your NAP is visually displaying at the top of the page does not mean it is actually at the top of the document. Having used the Internet since the days of Lynx (a text based web browser), I am always very conscious of what a site looks like in HTML form (before the CSS rearranges it and makes it pretty). If you have no idea what I am talking about, take a look at your website via this site: www.seo-browser.com. Websites should always perform well in text form. A poor connection, people on dialup, and the visually impaired may use a text based version of your of website. I’ve said for years that you should always be building your website for the blind. Not only will blind people be able to use your site, it will likely be fairly crawable and “SEO friendly”. Always build your site for the user and the search engines will be happy. If you need a good example of what a site can look like in text, use seo-browser to look up craigslist.org.
Stay tuned for more local SEO tips. I will try to throw them on this blog from time to time.