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Gather NAPW Information
NAPW stands for (N)ame, (A)ddress, (P)hone and (W)ebsite.
Before getting started on a citation audit, you will need to know if the client has ever changed business names, changed their business address, phone number or website address.
You can create a citation questionnaire or make a copy of mine.
If they have changed any of these, you will want to include those previous business names and / or locations in the citation audit.
The goal of the audit is to find and document any business names and locations that the client has ever had.
If the some of these fields are not up to date or are the same on multiple citations, you will want to fix them. Why?
Having consistent NAPW has been shown to help with SEO. On a small scale, this is hard to measure. However, when a large study was done it was discovered that “Enforcing citation consistency and removing duplicates produced a net 23% increase in pack presence.”
Create Citation Audit Google Sheet
Make a copy of this citation audit template. This template includes generic directories. If you’d like to audit and clean up directory listings based on niche, you can view this list here to see what directory sites to include.
On the “Audit” tab of the Google Sheet, you will see all the citations sites that we want to:
- Build new citations on
- Update existing citations on
On the “Business Info” tab, fill in as much business info as you can.
Are search engines smart enough to understand slight address variations such as Street vs St? The answer is yes. Review this list of acceptable address variations here: https://whitespark.ca/acceptable-google-maps-nap-abbreviations-and-variations/
Before building a new citation, please double check that one does not already exist by taking all four of these steps.
- Use the search box on the citation site and search for the business name + location
- Example (don’t use quotes): Go to yelp.com and in the search bar type “Natural Green Lawn Spraying Pinellas Park, FL”
- Use the search box on the citation site and search for the business phone number
- Example (don’t use quotes): Go to yelp.com and in the search bar type “727-527-8800”
- Do a site: search on Google for the business name + location.
- Example (don’t use quotes): “site:yelp.com Natural Green Lawn Spraying Pinellas Park, FL”
- Do a site: search on Google for the business phone number.
- Example (don’t use quotes): “site:yelp.com 727-111-1234”
Update Google Sheet
Update the Google Sheet with the data that you find on each citation site:
- Status: Choose from Good, Missing, Errors, Duplicate or Other
- Action Needed: Note down what needs to be done such as add listing, update phone, remove duplicate listing, update website address, etc.
- Citation URL: Paste a link to the live citation here so anyone using the Google Sheet can view the citation you are referring to
- Notes: Put any notes on what you did to fix the citation or what action you took. This is very important if anyone else is going to pick up where you left off.
- Login: If an account was created on the citation site, include the login name here
- Password: If an account was created on the citation site, include the password here