First, What Is NAP?
This isn't some confusing online marketing tactic. It's a fundamental, but incredibly important component of successful online marketing and SEO. NAP stands for "Name, Address, Phone." It's that simple. The name, address and phone number of your business or organization must be consistent across the web. If not, then it's a confusing mess for searchers and for search engines as well.
For example, here is our NAP info listed on Google:
Everything looks great here. There aren't any inaccuracies. However, we can't stop here and consider everything good. NAP information gets collected on tons of websites. Here's a list of websites your business might be listed on as well:
- Angies' List
There are hundreds of sites where you can store you NAP information for searchers to find. And while listing your information on as many relevant sites as possible is beneficial, it can also hurt you if you don't pay attention to what's being listed. How could it hurt you?
Checking for Inconsistencies in NAP
Maybe your phone number changes. Or maybe your business changes location. If a change occurs and those listing sites aren't updated, or only a few are updated, then you have inconsistencies across the web. When someone searches for their business, Google may return the correct information on Yelp but it might be wrong on Yellowpages just below it. That's confusing for a searcher. They might call the wrong number the first time and that would be embarrassing for your business.
The same scenario happens when a search engine scrapes your NAP information. If there are inconsistencies, then it's like a red flag going up. The search engine is unsure which information is correct, thus not knowing which to serve to the searcher. Over time, these inconsistencies can cause your online visibility to drop. Search engines may stop showing listings for your business because it's not sure and doesn't want to mess with figuring it out.
So, what can you do?
Here are a few steps you need to take right now:
- Go to Google and search your business or organization
- Flip through the first 3-5 pages of Google, documenting any inconsistencies
- Go to the sites with inconsistenices, create an account (if you don't already have one) and make edits to your listing
- If you can't access the listing, make sure you suggest an edit.
- Monitor the amount of listings you were able to adjust
- Repeat the above steps after a few weeks to see what was adjusted and which sites are still displaying the wrong NAP information. You may need to call administrators of the site to get the issue fixed.
Although NAP sounds basic and almost too fundamental, it's crucial for your success as a local business or organization. You need to check for inconsistencies and make corrections. You need to take a look at what searchers and search engines see. Maybe you haven't searched your business in a while. Some results on Google or other search engines may have changed. Maybe something is displaying that shouldn't be.
It's always important to Google your organization from time-to-time to get the latest on what is being displayed. So, take a moment right now to see what's popping up on Google for your organization. And remember, if you need help with this process, our SEO experts are happy to step in, so just let us know!
Let's Talk NAP