One of the most popular marketing goals for local business owners is to improve their organic rankings in the local listings of search engines, such as the map sections found in both Google and Bing. In addition to verifying your business address with Google and collecting quality online reviews, ensuring NAP Consistency is a surefire way to improving your local presence on the web. The higher your consistency, the higher your rankings. Here’s a quick rundown on what NAP consistency is, and how it affects local SEO.
What is NAP Consistency?
NAP is an acronym that stands for “Name, Address and Phone Number”. NAP Consistency occurs when your organization’s Name, Address, and Phone Number are consistently listed with the same spelling and formatting throughout the web. Good SEOs also make sure your web address is written consistently when they’re optimizing listings.
How NAP Affects Organic Rankings
While NAP Consistency is particularly crucial when optimizing for local search, it actually plays a role in all types of search engine rankings. If you help Google establish an overall perception of information consistency when its crawler looks at your business’s online presence, you are helping the search engine display your business listings to the ideal search audience.
When returning local results for any search query, Google wants to be as confident as possible that a business listing really represents the organization the crawler believes it to be. For example, there are hundreds of similarly named “Florist” businesses and Google needs to tell them apart. How can it do this? By comparing each listing’s NAP.
If you show Google two different NAPs, the search engine may see two different businesses. When that happens, your SEO link juice gets split up, and your organic rankings can suffer.
Benefits of NAP Consistency
- Increase organic rankings by having the same, accurate information across all channels
- Appear higher in local search results on mobile devices and desktops
- Receive increased traffic to your site, as well as more calls from mobile devices
- Help new and existing customers easily find your website and your physical location
Examples of Poor NAP Consistency
Let’s pretend your organization’s official name, physical address, phone number, and web address read as follows:
Denver Florists Inc., 494 E. Pretend Blvd., Denver, CO 80209, 303-771-7400, www.denverflorists.com.
Two years ago, you submitted a business listing to an online local directory with this information:
Denver Florists Inc., 494 Pretend Blvd., Denver, CO 80209, 303-771-7400, www.denverflorists.com.
And six months ago, you verified your business with Google as:
Denver Florists, 494 Pretend Blvd., Denver, CO 80209, 303-771-7400, www.denverflorists.com.
Because each listing slightly varies, all three could be seen as different organizations by search engines.
How to Improve NAP Consistency
To do it yourself, find every website that lists your business information, and if given the option, create an account to optimize the listing, or contact the webmaster and request the change. By checking your listings regularly, you can maintain high NAP Consistency and improve your organic rankings over time. You’ll also need to verify your NAP information with the search engines themselves.
Your alternative option is to hire a marketing firm to optimize your listings for you. To offer the most reliable Local SEO optimization, Volume Nine has a team that specializes in local businesses (like restaurants and more). In addition to performing a Local SEO Audit to assess your local web presence, our Local SEO experts will check and update your NAP information throughout a network of hundreds of websites and directories.
Save time and avoid headaches by letting Volume Nine correct your business information for you. Contact us today.