Of the numerous elements that make up local search engine optimization, NAP is among the first that usually pops up during conversations surrounding local SEO.
Well, as a Fort Lauderdale SEO company, we can attest that NAP consistency is one of the most effective ways to show up and rank higher on Google’s local search, Google Maps, and Local Pack. This means prioritizing your NAP can help your website get easily discovered by people in your area who are searching online for businesses similar to yours.
In this post, you’ll learn four vital things: what NAP is, what NAP consistency is, why it matters to local SEO, and tips to improve NAP consistency across the web. Let’s get right to it!
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. These are the three pieces of information that people often look for when they want to contact or visit a store. Failing to include any of these foundational elements in your listing could mean losing opportunities to gain new customers.
The question is, where should you list your business? There are actually hundreds of options available online. Aside from Google Business Profile, local directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, Chamber of Commerce, and Bing Places are a great place to start. Check out this post for a comprehensive list.
Your NAP plays a significant role in local SEO.
It’s also worth noting that the search engine would fetch NAP data from your Google Business Profile to compare it with the other NAP details you’ve cited in other platforms. This is where NAP consistency enters the scene.
NAP consistency is the practice of keeping the name, address, and phone number of your business completely the same across all the online platforms you’re using – from your Google Business Profile and local directories to your web pages, social media profiles, and blog posts.
Maintaining a high level of consistency and accuracy in your NAP data is crucial to your local SEO efforts for a couple of reasons.
First, it makes it easier for Google and other search engines to connect the dots. If they notice any inconsistencies, they either wouldn’t know which information is correct, or that you’re referring to the same business. Think about it: if Google comes across five different versions of your address, which one will they show to searchers?
Another reason you want to ensure that your NAP citations are consistent throughout the internet is that consistency is a local search ranking factor. Since Google is all about providing the best and most relevant results to its users, it favors businesses with accurate listings by boosting their rankings in local search.
NAP information affects the user experience as well. Not only do consistent citations help users discover a local business quickly, but they also eliminate confusion and uncertainty. Imagine someone’s trying to reach you, only for them to realize that they’re using an incorrect phone number. Even worse, imagine them going to an address but finding no signs of your store. There goes your potential customer!
With all these points highlighted, we can all agree on two things about conflicting NAP details: they can cause you to lose prospective customers and erode Google’s trust in your business.
Now that you know why NAP consistency is essential, let’s discuss what you can do to avoid errors.
Make a quick search to see how your business information appears on multiple websites. Search for your name, address, and phone number, then compare the results. Once you find these listings and citations, organize them on a spreadsheet to identify which ones need to be fixed.
For a detailed audit, feel free to use the SE Ranking Website Audit. This tool allows you to find all the external links you have, as well as any possible issues your website is experiencing.
If your business is new and you have yet to officially register it, make sure that you check how its legal business name, address, and phone number were originally recorded before sending it out to authoritative institutions. Do the same if you’re ready to list it online.
Keep an eye on misspellings and wrong numbers. Ensure that there are no unfinished and unclaimed citations. It’s also important to remove duplicates if you find any! You can use Moz Check Listing to detect duplicates.
Every time there’s a change in your NAP details, update all citations across the web. Many businesses are guilty of neglecting this step, thus leading them to hurt their local SEO efforts and lose qualified leads.
One of the countless things we’ve learned as a Fort Lauderdale SEO agency is that business information that’s available in a human-readable and indexable format can positively impact local SEO. Meaning, everything in your company listing should be clear and easy to understand.
As mentioned previously, Google wants to provide users with nothing but the best results for any given search.
A surefire way to make this happen is by placing a Local Business schema markup on your site. Doing so enables search engines to understand your NAP details better, which in turn, can give you a more user-friendly display in local search results, otherwise known as rich snippets. As these snippets are more appealing and informative, they tend to get higher click-through rates and engagement.
Maintaining a consistent NAP can help put your business a step ahead in local search results. That said, that's just one of the many things you need to handle to ensure your website ranks well.
We at Digital Resource would love nothing more than to help you optimize your site for local search so that it ends up dominating Google and attracting more customers. We’ve made it possible for hundreds of small businesses across the US – we’re confident that you’ll meet the same fate too!
Book a free local SEO consultation with us today to learn how we can bring success to your business!