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phone number local seo vancouverIt’s the easiest of steps: a phone number is typed across a page, meant to provide consumers with direct access to your business. You format it as you always have, with a series of parentheses and extension dashes; and you then move on to more pressing matters, thinking this task is complete.

It may not be.

Formatting phone numbers is problematic. Special characters often prove difficult for engines to understand, and improper spacing can cause reader discomfort. It can be a challenge to choose the right style - one that will be pleasing to the eye and optimized for local searches.

Webstager offers advice on what to avoid.

Don’t Use Periods

Occasionally phone numbers will be written in a period format: 123.456.7890. This provides less space between the numerals and makes them harder for guests to read. It's also disastrous for engines, with crawlers unable to catalogue the area code. This reduces the local search value.

Be Sparing With Parentheses

The parenthetical format is the most common: (123) 456 - 7890. Avoid adding too many parentheses, however, since these are considered special characters and may confuse search engines and readers like.

Only surround the area code. Do not enclose the extension: (12) (123)-456-7890.

Stay Away From Spelling

Often businesses will choose numbers that spell out a particular phrase or slogan: 1-800-EXA-MPLE. Avoid this format. Search engines will not recognize it and will, therefore, refuse to index it within local directories. 

A phone number should be simply displayed and easy to find. This is the only way to ensure local SEO success.

To learn more about the formatting process contact Webstager.