NAP is one which we always hear, merely because it is such an essential part of the local search. NAP’s mere mention can cause chaos, as it sounds like something complex.
While the NAP concept is incredibly simple, some intricacies need to be analysed–primarily with SEO NAP consistency. It is worth having this right and paying attention to every detail because it is one of the critical components of achieving high-profile accessibility of local search.
NAP consistency is important not only for search ranking algorithms; it could also directly affect the perception of your company by customers and determine whether your brand has a positive or negative experience. While NAP is easy enough, there is a lot of stuff going below the skin to ensure that your local search activity is being well optimised and that your business is working well.
NAP in SEO Meaning
The NAP acronym stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number and relates to the details shown on any website that lists your company. So, if you want to rate your company organically high when someone is running a local search on Google or another search engine, it is essential to pay attention to NAP quality.
These three pelicans of data are essential facts in their very own right. They attach them around each other and can be the reason why a consumer walks in your shop–or the spark of them getting caught up, being disappointed, wasting their money or, planning to visit a rival.
NAP is an important ranking factor as we have seen, but you just might find that you will have many NAP listings, which you have not probably set out to develop. That is because NAP listings happen naturally, merely because you are dealing with your daily marketing exercise.
For example, if you open a business page on Facebook and fill in the required profile information, you have created a NAP citation.
You have unintentionally added another NAP quote to your list if you create an exhibition and post details of such an event online, maybe so that consumers can purchase tickets or for local people to participate at your place of work.
Similarly, if you are mentioned in a local website, journal or newspaper piece, or if you add your site to a sector directory to direct niche traffic to your business, you have accumulated more NAP references yet without trying.
Does NAP involve your website?
Now we have developed that NAP mentions can take many forms and appear in a whole multitude of different locations, from social media accounts to databases, journal articles to comments. Still, your website is also included in NAP consistency these days. This is a place where you will, of course, refer your business name, provide your phone number to clients or give your shop routes. Whether they are grouped in the same section of the page or broken up on this page, the detail still qualifies as a NAP quote.
With that being said, you will need to be careful about how you reference your name, address, and phone number on your site just as you do when making quotes or presenting this specific contact information elsewhere.
What is NAP consistency?
Because search engines concentrate on all the small things, consistent NAP data means not only having the same necessary information about your company but also coding and writing it in the same manner.
When search engines come upon contradictory details about your market, they will not be able to tell you exactly who you are and where you are geographically located. Therefore, they will stop believing the listing and instead recommend displaying a company that is more positive about the results of the local search. This, of course, hurts local rankings.
Search engines notice this whenever the accurate NAP data of your business is presented on a third-party website, such as a business listing database or a social networking page. They boost your integrity marginally by enhancing the odds of being naturally ranked for company-related queries. Even Google also claims the NAP is essential for the local SEO.
Moz is one of the internet’s most trusted sources for information related to search engine optimisation. Their Local tool offers an incredibly powerful free version too.
What we like about Moz’s Local tool is its ability to find hard links to any duplicate or incorrect listings across the entire internet. Your business will receive a score based on the accuracy of your listings as well as recommendations about how to improve the consistency of data.
Why does nap need to be consistent?
1. NAP is a ranking variable
The NAP information is a highest-ranking factor, according to the Local SEO Ranking Survey. It adds to on-page frequencies and citation signals, which both add to a strong local, pack presence.
It has also recognised that Google and other social media sites to collect information about a company use citations. Google also tries to collect as much data about an organisation as it can to recognise it. It means the number of papers this can find, the reliability and integrity of that data, and the nature of where that data is taken from all that allows the search engine to create a picture through Local SEO NAP.
If the accuracy of NAP is evident around the board, the data is taken as an indication to be correct–ensuring that Google will quickly provide the same information for users to search. A lack of NAP continuity, on the contrary, is a warning sign, gnawing away the confidence and hindering ratings.
2. Consistency of the NAP is important to consumer confidence
It is challenging to underplay how important consistency of the NAP is to consumer confidence. This should not come much of a surprise, particularly when you appear to be guided by high purpose when factoring in that local searches. Figures from local reports show that 88 per cent of consumers using their smartphone to do a local search will visit a local store within a week.
If NAP information is incompatible, or even worse, inaccurate, that customer will likely be considerably unconvinced with your business. They could be going to the wrong place. They might have a trash ride. They may need to do multiple searches to find the right NAP information–all of which leads to feelings of despair, and ultimately undermines confidence in your brand. Ensuring continuity of the NAP eliminates the risk.
3. NAP consistency sets the scene for the customer trip and path to purchase
Data from Google research concludes that 88 per cent of users turn to their Smartphones when they want to do something, with 87 per cent of those consumers making their first port of call a search engine. It makes the search results the very first move on what you would consider a road to purchase.
A user can consider a directory listing, a Google My Business profile, a favourable article or a social media connection just as likely as they are your website. All these are hubs of discovery, keeping your NAP reliable and up-to-date around the internet even more relevant, as a part of Local SEO NAP.
Just as providing SEO NAP consistency pushes the customer across the purchasing path, incorrect data will cause the consumers to slip off that route. Generally, customers place the burden on local business to correct inaccurate information, not the directory site showing the incorrect data.
4. Inconsistent NAP data might mean you’re losing customers you might not realise you’ve got
Eight in ten customers also say they are looking up a business’s web address before their first visit. As a company, you need continuity with the NAP to ensure that the information they find is right. If the customer discovers two different addresses or contradictions, such as different postcode, they will not know where to go. This could cause them to abandon their expected visit before they have even set off, losing you a sale that you never realised was in the balance.
Likewise, customers who are struggling to find a company when they arrive because of inaccurate or incomplete NAP data are more likely to give up and go elsewhere. Nearly half say they would quit trying and about a quarter say they would go to a rival. The potential income loss makes conflict with the NAP incredibly expensive. The more transparent your NAP is, the easier it is for customers, the more comfortable you appear.
5. NAP consistency leads in more and stronger referral traffic to the web
We saw that NAP data could be a big part of local SEO rankings. This allows Google to build a clear image of your business, to check what it thinks it knows about you, and to return your business information to local search users in trust within specific searches. That can only be achieved if your NAP is transparent. The more reliable you can be, the further sure your company is that the search engines can help.
Additionally, local customers tend to be a rather unforgiving bunch when it comes to finding faults–they expect the local business to get it right and fix errors when NAP is incorrect.
Instead, it implies there is another dimension to this. Whether the NAP appears in a blog post, a summary, a Facebook profile or in the Yellow Pages, it needs to be correct to gain search exposure and to direct the user along the road to purchase. That often means accessing your website. If your NAP is incoherent or inconsistent, you will limit your local ranking positions and put off visiting your site to local consumers.
6. Consistent NAP makes Maps apps far more accurate
Maps are all about NAP, of course. Ensuring that your NAP is correct ensures the user interface is more robust and can assist people when contemplating their journey to find their actual location. Also, this might mean an in-store guest or lead to a loss of a prospective customer in the event of incorrect information.
Together with other Google products, Google My Business information is being used to fill Maps, so it is well useful to check that the information you received is still right.
How NAP in SEO becomes inconsistent?
It is easy to slide into the habit of having of NAP as a carefully calculated thing you are doing when trying to build quotations. In fact, in a marketing practice such as writing articles or creates a new web page, it is something that sometimes happens very obviously.
For this reason, it is easy to be captured oblivious and make the mistake of ignoring NAP accuracy simply because you are more obsessed with the specific task in hand, not the NAP that you created at the time as a by-product of your attention.
One explanation the accuracy of NAP may be less than optimal is because not all NAP events follow the same structure. Because for a whole host of different reasons you can find yourself manually entering the NAP data in a variety of different ways in a myriad of different places, accuracy can be challenging to maintain. This is particularly true if you complete one minute of a profile on social media and buy a directory listing then next.
In a recent survey of 500+ local search consultants and SMB owners from BrightLocal’s webinar series, inconsistent citation and NAP (Name, Address, Phone) data was by far the most common issue, reported by 41%.
The problem is that most business owners have no clue where their business is listed online, let alone an accurate awareness of any inconsistencies that may be out there floating around.
What is equally important to keep consistent with the business?
Besides the accuracy of NAP, there are other business data elements to keep it accurate. Your website URL, along with your primary direct email address, is a simple one.
Data regarding products and services should also be relevant in your internet presence. Similarly, if a service or product you have mentioned is withdrawn, it should be removed as soon as possible from your internet presence to prevent confusion and mistrust from the customers.
Many customers switch to social media to find local community or business source information to make sure your statuses are all compatible as well. If you have older, inactive accounts that are no longer used, delete such references and substitute them with your current handles on social media.
Target Social Media
When you fill in your business information in online directories and lists, you’ll most likely be asked to reveal the social media profiles of your company as well. Today, as many social networks have developed from becoming a place where people communicate to a media distribution site, you want to make sure that the same NAP is created for them.
If you are just starting your business, do not worry about creating profiles on all social media platforms. For example, only concentrate on Facebook and Twitter but ensure consistent and accurate NAP data is given. This, along with all the other measures in the post, will set you on the right path to get one of the local searches featured on the website.
Now, whenever you come across the NAP acronym in the context of local SEO, you are going to know what it alludes to and how to get consistent data across the web on your business.
NAP data plays a vital role in both traffic and consumer confidence in the search engine. It can grant you a head start in the rankings, or stop visibility of your local pack and quest. It can make finding you easy for people, or infuriate them, and consume in and out of brand trust.
The last bit of advice we want to leave with you is to compile a list of all the sites that your business listed. That way, you can upgrade it quickly and effortlessly if you make significant changes to the name, address, phone number, or URL address of your business.
The truth of the matter is that NAP can have a considerable impact on the local rankings of your company as it offers the most critical data about your business to potential customers and search engines alike. So do not try to get your NAP data right in a hurry, and take your time to ensure everything falls back in place!