In the world of online marketing for preschools, abundant local citations with accurate NAP information are critical. Your school needs to have listings in various directories, and all of those listings need to contain accurate information about your school or prospective local families may skip right over, or drive right past you.
So what are local Citations, and what is my schools NAP?
Local citations are created when any website shows your schools name, address and phone number (NAP) together on a page. These sites are often referred to as “online business directories”, or simply “directories”. Citation sites are the modern-day equivalent of the old Yellow Pages book, and they include listings like Google My Business/Google Maps, Yelp, Great Schools, and many others.
Why are these citations and correct NAP information important?
For preschools, there are three key reasons that citations with accurate NAP information are important:
- Google uses the abundance and consistency of citations as a factor in what position they will rank your schools website. If you want to rank higher in the organic search results in your local area, claiming and optimizing citations/online business directories with accurate NAP information is a necessity.
- Online directories and citation sites often show up on the first page of Google when a local family does a search for schools in your area (even when your website does not!). If you want to be found online by local families, you need to be in all of the most popular and high ranking online directories and citation sites.
- Recent Data suggests that 93% of local families will get frustrated by incorrect information found in online directories, 80% of them will lose trust in your school if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or school names listed, and 40% of families will give up looking for a school that they can’t find because the address was wrong in an online directory. If you want to keep local families happy, keep the trust factor high with them, have them be able to contact you easily, and simply be able to find your school when they want to drive on by, then your NAP needs to be correct everywhere that it’s listed online.
Common NAP issues for schools,
and the types of real world problems they cause…
- Wrong/Inconsistent School Name – When a school named “Little Wonders Preschool and Daycare, LLC” is listed as “Little Wonders Preschool” in one place, “Little Wonders Daycare” in another, and “Little Wonders, LLC” in a third place, they are losing trust with local families and Google.
- Wrong/Inconsistent School Address – When a schools address is listed the way “the GPS wants it” in some places, while other places have it listed the way it appears on their mail, 4 out of 10 families driving around looking at schools are giving up looking for that school and trying the next one on the list. Google is also getting mixed signals about where they are actually located, making them less likely to show that schools website to local families in search results.
- Wrong/Inconsistent School Phone Number – When some listings for the school have the directors cell phone number shown, while others have the schools main phone number showing, that schools is confusing local families about the best way to contact them, and hurting their websites ability to rank higher in search engines.
If your not sure about how your school is being represented by online directories and citation sites, then now is the time to take a look, because having the wrong NAP information on these sites can hurt your chances of being seen and found by families in your local area. If you find inconsistencies, or wrong NAP information on any of these sites, contact them with the correct information and ask that it be shown instead.
If you don’t have the time (or patience) to stay on top of your schools citations, consider having us professionally manage your citations for you. We love this stuff!