3 Tips for Enhancing Your Local SEO Efforts

Whether you own a small business or one with multiple locations, local SEO can provide a massive assist in boosting sales.

For those not quite sure what local SEO entails, simply think about your standard search engine optimization tactics. Yet instead of targeting a general topic, it is more specific to your local area. Take an automobile repair shop located in Chicago as an example. Rather than aiming for the general term of “automobile repair shop”, local SEO will go with “automobile repair shop in Chicago”. 

Although local SEO reduces your overall reach, it increases the possibility of your business being found by people that matter: local customers. Did you know that, out of all Google searches in the world, 46% of them are from consumers searching for information about local businesses?

Due to this, your company needs a strong plan in place for local SEO. To help you along the way, consider the following three tips for enhancing your local SEO efforts:

1. Find the right local SEO keywords

First of all, you should identify the local SEO keywords which will bring maximum visibility for your company. Thankfully, this is a simple task. While you can do this with Google Keyword Planner, you also have the option of taking a closer look at your competition and see what keywords they are targeting.

When deciding on local SEO keywords, here are a few other pointers:

  • Don’t forget to do variations on keywords. For instance, “Dallas electricians”, “electricians in Dallas”, “Dallas’s best electricians”. 
  • Google, in most cases, will already know where a potential customer is located. As a result, they will search for “electricians near me” rather than specifying their local area. Keep in mind to also use “…near me” keyword variations. 
  • Long tail search terms are easy to ignore, but they can produce high conversion rates. If you rank first for, say, “Dallas electricians who install solar panels”, this will generate a concentrated customer base.

2. Optimize landing pages

Linking to the aforementioned point about keywords, you should create landing pages that are optimized for a specific topic. This could be for a location, service, feature, or ad campaign. 

When you utilize local landing page optimization, you have a greater chance of targeted customers visiting your website. You can truly highlight a certain topic and improve its local search authority in the process.

Once you have the customer on the landing page, you need to sell them on your business. To do this, you can: 

  • Provide a clear, informative description of what you are offering.
  • Use customer reviews as social proof. 
  • Utilize visual content such as videos and images.

3. Google My Business

This point is short and sweet: sign-up and get your business listed on Google My Business. 

If your business is verified on Google My Business, the rewards can be lucrative. If someone does a local search on Google, for example, your company might end up with a coveted place on their sidebar space. Although even having your location, opening times, reviews, etc. just a quick search away will help customers find the information they desire in a convenient manner.

Doing a NAPW Cleanup


What is NAPW Data?

NAPW stands for Name, Address, Phone Number, and Website. The ultimate goal of local SEO is to ensure that every online directory listing (or citation), such as Google+, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc., contains the same NAPW data.

An example of 3PRIME's NAPW data on Yelp

An example of 3PRIME’s NAPW data on Yelp. Click for a larger image.

What is a NAPW Cleanup?

A NAPW cleanup (also called a citation cleanup) involves fixing or deleting 3 types of listings:

  • Duplicate citations in the same directory
  • Citations with incorrect NAPW information
  • Incomplete listings, especially those missing your number or website

NAPW cleanups are wise choice for companies that have changed their name, address, phone number, or website in the past. NAPW cleanups are especially recommended for companies that have moved recently.

The Purpose of a NAPW Cleanup

For People:

Let’s say I’m searching for a pizza delivery restaurant in my town (Hamden, CT). I find a Yelp listing for a restaurant called XYZ Pizza in Hamden. Unbeknownst to me, XYZ Pizza recently moved to another town and changed their name, address, number, and website. However, they’ve made none of these changes to their Yelp listing. I call the restaurant and no one answers. I assume that they are closed and go call another restaurant. This confusion (and subsequent loss of business) could have easily been avoided with a NAPW cleanup.

For Search Engines:

When you create citations for your business, you are repeatedly assuring search engines that your business is indeed called by its name and is located at the correct address with the right contact information. The more correct citations you have, the more a search engine trusts your website and rewards you with higher rankings.

Having too many inconsistent citations lowers a search engine’s trust in your website and lowers your rankings. This is especially disastrous if it causes you to end up anywhere besides the first page of Google because 90% of people never advance past itAccording to Moz, “citations and external location signals are the 3rd most important ranking factor according to the Moz local search ranking factors survey. This is why it’s essential that you have your correct NAP listed across the major citation sources”. Thus, a NAPW cleanup is an integral part of any local SEO strategy. 

How to Do a NAPW Cleanup?

Data Aggregators First

Before you actually start a NAPW cleanup, you need to fix your company’s information in the data aggregators. A lot of directories get their listing information from these aggregators and incorrect information there results in incorrect listings. To learn how to claim and correct your company information in data aggregators, read my post.

Compile a List of Citations

If you are working for a client, be sure to ask them for all previous addresses and phone numbers, along with different variations of their company’s name. Let’s say I’m doing a NAPW cleanup for this company called Al’s Store. This is their correct NAPW data:

  • NAME: Al’s Store LLC
  • ADDRESS: 123 Fake Street, New Haven, CT 06511
  • PHONE: 203.555.1234

My goal is to make sure that all the company’s listings should have this information. From the owner, I’ve gotten the following information:

  • PREVIOUS PHONE NUMBER: 203.555.4321
  • PREVIOUS ADDRESS: 123 Main Street, Hamden, CT 06518

Basically, I need to find any listings for Al’s Store that’s associated with the old phone number and address. I first start out by Googling the following queries:

  1. “Al’s Store” “203.555.4321”
  2. “Al’s Store” “123 Main”
  3. “Al’s Store” “Hamden”
  4. “Al’s Store” “06518”

I try to keep my queries as basic as possible. For #2, I left out “Street” so I don’t miss any citations that use abbreviations like “St” or “Str”. I also avoid “LLC” in all my queries because many directories consider legal entities in a business’s names to be negligible. In addition, I also left out the website. This is because directories often write the link different (for example, www versus no www) or have the company’s name (or something else like “Visit our website”) as anchor text.

I gather all the URLs from my search results and put them in a spreadsheet. This will help organize outreach efforts to webmasters. To stay organized, I alphabetize the links and delete the duplicates.

Gathering Contact Information

For each URL , you want to find the right contact information for the webmaster. The first things to look for are an email address on the website or a contact form. If you cannot find either of these, you should do a Whois lookup for the domain to see if you can find an email address. I use’s Whois lookup service. If you don’t find an email address from a Whois lookup (or from the website), you will need to do further research to find alternate ways to contact the webmaster.

Doing a Whois lookup for

Doing a Whois lookup for


Contacting Webmasters

I recommend first contacting webmasters through the contact form or email addresses that you found on the website. If these two things don’t work or go unanswered, try the email found in the Whois lookup.

When sending out emails, be sure to be as straight forward and simple as possible. Many webmasters are from other countries so English might not be their first language. If you are doing a NAPW cleanup for a client, having an email address from the client’s domain gives you more credibility. If this isn’t possible, be sure to provide your client’s contact information (see sample emails below).

I recommend doing 3-4 rounds of contacting webmasters. After each round, be sure to note which listings have been changed or deleted so you don’t waste time unnecessarily contacting them again.

Sample Emails

These are emails that I would send out on behalf of a client:

Single Listing:

Dear Sir/Ma’am:


I represent Al’s Store LLC. The above listing contains outdated information about the business.

The following is the current and correct information for the business:

  • Name: Al’s Store LLC
  • Address: 123 Fake Street, New Haven, CT 06511
  • Phone Number: 203.555.1234
  • Website:

Can you please make these changes? If not, can you please delete the listing? Please contact me if you have any questions.  

If you need any further verification that I am working on behalf of Al’s Store, please contact Al Smith (203.555.1234 or and he will verify that I (Zubin Doshi from 3PRIME LLC) am indeed working for them.

Two or More Listings:

Dear Sir/Ma’am:


I represent Al’s Store LLC. On the above pages, I found listings for this business with incorrect names, address, and phone numbers. The following is the correct information for the business:

  • Name: Al’s Store LLC
  • Address: 123 Fake Street, New Haven, CT 06511
  • Phone Number: 203.555.1234
  • Website:

Can you please merge these listings into one with the correct information? If not, can you please delete them entirely? Please contact me if you have any questions.

If you need any further verification that I am working on behalf of Al’s Store, please contact Al Smith (203.555.1234 or and he will verify that I (Zubin Doshi from 3PRIME LLC) am indeed working for them.

Evaluating Results

Whenever I’ve done NAPW cleanups, I notice that I get the majority of listings changed or deleted after the first round of contacting webmasters. Each subsequent round results in diminishing returns but is worth it, especially if a listing is on a highly trafficked website.

For listings that I have no success with, it usually comes down to one of the following factors:

  • Scraper websites that won’t change their data, no matter how many times you ask.
  • Websites based in other countries with webmasters unable to understand English.
  • Websites that have pretty much been abandoned with no one to maintain them.
  • Websites with no available contact information (even with a Whois lookup) or incorrect contact information that results in a response from  Mailer-Daemon.

Additional Information

Moz Local: This tool helps you find your listings on major directories and data aggregators. It also helps you pinpoint variations in your NAPW data that could be useful when compiling a list of citations.

Selecting Local Search Keywords

Here is an example of how you would go about selecting keywords for your industry and business. For this example, let’s say you’re a dry cleaner based in Shelton, CT and you are focusing on 3 cities and 2 keywords, for a total of 6 city keyword phrases.

Your first keyword will be broad, most likely it will be Dry Cleaning. The most important phrase for your business will be the one your business is based in. Therefore, your primary city keyword phrase should be “Shelton CT dry cleaning

It’d also be a good idea to achieve a good ranking in neighboring cities like Stratford and Milford. This means the first set of Google Map local keywords would be as follows:

  • Shelton CT dry cleaning
  • Stratford CT dry cleaning
  • Milford CT dry cleaning

Your second keyword will likely be a variation of the first one you choose, for example, “dry cleaners”. If that proves to be a good selection, which is determine through our initial consultation and review, then your second keyword phrase set would be:

  • Shelton CT dry cleaners
  • Stratford CT dry cleaners
  • Milford CT dry cleaners

These keywords are just an example of the process. If you’re not sure of the keywords that would be the most profitable for your business to go after then feel free to contact us. We’ll be able to determine a keyword’s strength as well as how difficult it would be to earn a worthwhile ranking in local as well as general searches

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