Why NAP Consistency Should Be a Pillar of Your Local SEO Strategy
SEO Company advice for local online marketing
The Importance of Business Information
There are a lot components of local search engine optimization that may seem basic, so basic that you can easily overlook them. One of these is Name, Address, Phone (NAP) consistency. Of course, you know that you want the same NAP information across the web, but you may not understand why and the damage you are doing to your local Search Engine Optimization success if you are not consistent.
Google and the other search engines crawl—i.e. read—thousands of directories, ex: Yelp or Superpages. When the search algorithm finds the exact same NAP information in these listings, it becomes more confident that this is the correct information. As this confidence grows, search engines are more willing to believe that your organization is an active and viable business, enabling a higher local ranking.
If, however, your directory citations are not identical or if you have duplicates with different profile results, a search engine like Google may lose confidence that your company is authentic. When this happens, your local search engine ranking can be significantly diminished. Google adds weight to companies which are cited more often, but this relevance is diluted if some of these NAP citations are providing outdated or incorrect information. After all, Google’s primary purpose is to provide reliable and accurate data.
How to Ensure NAP Consistency
There are a number of ways to make sure that business information is identical across all citations. The easiest, of course, is to hire a marketing firm like Place1SEO that specializes in local and targeted SEO techniques, and can quickly normalize all of your citations.
However, if you want to try this yourself, you can manually visit each directory which lists your company and double check each for accuracy. This may take a while, but you can actually use Google to help you find these citations. Just type in a key business datum like your business name or phone number. This should provide a list of all your citations, accurate or inaccurate, but just to be sure, you may want to Google part of your address.
***Hint - Use a spreadsheet to keep track of your work. Download this free pdf to help you structure your project.
Don’t be surprised if new incorrect or duplicate listings show up from time to time. This happens because major aggregators often share information with one another, and they don’t have the discretion to choose a more reliable NAP. So they often distribute incorrect information.
If you need to scale up your citation search to dozens or hundreds of businesses, the manual method quickly becomes unworkable. You may wish to hire a reputable SEO company like Place1SEO to ensure complete and ongoing accuracy.