What are business citations (NAP)?


So, let’s say that your about to travel to your digital marketing agency that’s based here in Cardiff South Wales.

The reason for your visit?

Well, you want to discuss how the agency will be able to improve your businesses local SEO here in the capital city of Wales.

So, for example, it doesn’t matter if you run a local pet shop that only employs one other person or you own a chain of car garages and you want your garage to appear number one in the Cardiff area.

What you require is “white hat local SEO”, that’s to say whether somebody is looking to buy a certain brand of luxury dog food locally, or they wish to have a new clutch fitted to their car, you will want to improve your local SEO so that you appear higher on Google’s organic listings or in the Google My Business results.

And how can a business here in Cardiff, appear higher on Google?

That’s the Google My Business results?

Or the Google Organic Results?

And you may hear your SEO consultant talk about “NAP” when your at the agency, and there talking about how they can improve your SEO, that’s to say, one of the first tasks that they might do, in order to improve your businesses local SEO, is to build high-quality “business citations” using your Cardiff companies NAP details.

So what does NAP even mean?

Does it mean that the SEO consultant is going to go for a bit of a break and asleep for a while? Well no is the answer.

NAP simply stands for “name of the business”, “address of the business” and also the “phone number of the business”.

NAP is therefore important for reinforcing information about your business such as its name, address and phone number.

Therefore, a good white hat SEO company will make sure that you have business citations, that all of these business citations all match, so that they are consistent, and they should also work to make sure that the information is kept that date, for example, if your primary phone number changes they should update this information on your company website, and also the business citations (NAP).

However, it’s important to note that business citations (NAP) are just one part of the local SEO process, in this article we are can discuss many more ways a business can improve its local SEO.


  • What is a Local Citation?
  • NAP consistency
  • What are the components of a local citation?


If your company is thinking of improving your businesses local or organic seo, then you may have asked a local marketing company like Adore, which is based in Cardiff, what services they can offer?

And the business may have said that they can build business citations (NAP) on a monthly basis or to make sure that your business has its NAP information written on your website such as in the footer on the contact us page.

Some agencies may have said that your business has a high number of outdated business citations, yet now they must work on making sure that the NAP information is consistent with your company’s new business citations- but what does this even mean?

For example, lets say that you run a business in Cardiff Bay, and you have say 40 business citations to a Cardiff Bay address, its just now the business moves to Roath, Cardiff, your marketing business must then update the old 40 business citations to the new address, for example in Roath, Cardiff, South Wales.

Business citations are an important part of the SEO process, but they should not be focused on in isolation

That’s to say your marketing agency should create a marketing strategy, and if your thinking about improving the businesses local seo, then the agency may wish to also think about improving:

·        Building high-quality backlinks in a white hat way

·        Building business citations

·        Rectifying conflicting business citations

·        Making sure that NAP information is consistent

·        Setting up a Google My Business account

·        Add quality content marketing

·        Making sure that each page has a meta title and meta description

·        Making sure that all the work is white hat

And these are just some of things your marketing agency should be working on, that’s because Google’s algorithm is thought to calculate the strength of over 200 ranking factors, that’s when working out how strong your businesses seo is.

That is why we say if your business is just focusing on building business citations, then this is likely to be a weak strategy. Instead often an agency is needed to build links, and write quality content marketing on a monthly basis.

What are business citations?

Business citations, sounds complicated doesn’t it?

Well, it shouldn’t.

That’s because business citations are just mere mentions of your businesses name, its address and phone number, nothing more and nothing less.

Yet, with that said, so many marketing company’s and businesses implementing SEO themselves get this wrong.

So here’s the thing, your business will need citations, but these must come from a quality business, plus all citations must be built in a white hat way.

So, what can happen is a marketing company builds business citations, they get the NAP information correct, yet then the business changes its address, yet the business citations still state the old address, this is what can cause conflicting business citations.

So not only should your marketing company be building citations, they should also be making sure that old business citations are kept updated.

Is NAP all that important?

When you call an SEO business to help improve your company’s seo, then those business then can then improve over 200 ranking signals, yet the work must be white hat.

And business citations, well they are well down the list of importance.

However, with that said, if done right they can help to improve a business’s seo. Your business may wish to focus on building backlinks, and writing quality content marketing first, as that’s often considered more important.

Why you shouldn’t confuse backlinks with business citations

A lot of businesses make the mistake of confusing business citations with backlinks, however it is often true that a business citation comes with a backlink.

However, the backlinks that often come with a business citations are often no-follow backlinks, or they are low value, so they will often not help to improve your businesses seo.

So what this means is that when an agency reviews your company’s backlink profile, often there will be a lot of business citations, however these are often not that important from an SEO perspective.

What are often needed are high-quality backlinks, backlinks from a website like The Times newspaper for example.

The real reason why most digital marketing companies build business citations is to improve a business’s NAP, which are mentions of your businesses name, address and phone number which can if completed in a white hat help to improve your businesses local seo.

How NAP works

It is widely thought that if your business has its NAP details, such as business name, address and phone number written in business citations, and this matches the NAP information on your website, then this can make the information more reliable.

For example, let’s say that wanted to purchase a new tennis racket, and you had a look for local businesses that sells tennis rackets locally.

Now, if one business had a website, and it said it was based in Cardiff’s city centre, yet the business citations said the business was in a different location, let’s say on Newport Road in Cardiff, and that’s because the business had moved, well you can see how the algorithm would be confused.

That’s to say where is the business, Newport Road, Cardiff or the city centre of Cardiff?

So, this business is likely to have weak seo.

However, a second business that sells tennis rackets has a shop on Albany Road, Cardiff, and its address on its website is correct, plus all of its business citations match, so you can see which business has better SEO.

How we can help:

If your business would like help to improve its seo, then why not call us?