The Role of NAP in Local SEO

What is a NAP?

When it comes to local SEO, Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) are critical to success. These are not just informative but technically relevant as well.
Google searches and indexes all listings on its search based on this. So, it is important to get this right. And errors on this can lead to several issues with ranking and indexing. It can also confuse customers who are looking to visit your store.
Another thing to note is that inconsistent information can lead to duplication problems. A rival business can claim your NAP in this case. Getting this sorted can be a long and painful task.

Importance of NAP

Your NAP details are important to your local SEO ratings. The idea is to have a consistent NAP all over the internet.
Your data should not be different from one place to another. Having even a single element out of place can result in an unforeseen amount of problems.
Most top brands in the market will have the same NAP across every platform they’re on. The reason is that it has several tangible advantages for your business.
Ranking well when it comes to local SEO focuses on getting the NAP right. For business, it is extremely important to rank as high as possible. Having the correct NAP is what enables you to feature in the local 3-pack.
As you all know, local packs are rated higher than even rank #1. When you have consistent NAP details, Google will consider your listing as legitimate. It is one way you’ll be able to improve trust signals for your brand. Also, Google will represent your listing online in the same way.
If you have a longer name, like Ken’s Towing Services And Repair, that is what you should be called. It shouldn’t become a variation like Ken’s Towing. It helps you establish your own identity and prevents confusion.

The Role of NAP in Local SEO

NAP is one of the most basic components of local SEO. It is the first thing agencies check for correctness. And only after they take care of this will they start on the rest.
Like any other critical data point, NAP can sometimes be erroneous. And you need to correct this as soon as possible.
Ideally, you should take care of your NAP data while building citations and listings because it is much easier to get it done in the early stages.
When you build your online profile, you might use a large number of directories. Here, it would be easier if you have your NAP figured out in the first place. But sometimes inconsistencies are unavoidable.
For example, if you’ve moved office or changed your phone numbers. It will result in the earlier NAP being invalidated.
Not just that, but anyone calling your older numbers will not be able to get through to you. It can sometimes result in them flagging your company for being non-responsive. And that is the last thing you need as a brand. It can seriously hamper your rankings and ability to compete in the market.

Important : How to Update Local SEO & Maintain Rankings When Moving to a New Location?

There are several things you can do to alleviate these problems. Getting in touch with experienced digital agencies is the easiest way. But on the other hand, you can also get a few things done yourself.
Small things like deciding on how you want to display your phone number can play a big part.
Some companies use brackets, while others use dashes. For example, (800)-123-1234 and 800-123-1234 are legitimate ways to denote phone numbers.
Likewise, some notations also affect your NAP. You can also write the word Street as “St.” or “St.”
Make a note of how you put down your address in your NAP. The reason is that you need to follow the same in your invoices, checks, business cards, and pamphlets.

How To Fix NAP Inconsistency?

Let’s take a look at a few ways how you can fix NAP inconsistencies on and off your website.

1. Update NAP On Your Website

The first thing you need to do is update the right address on your website. Your website is going to be the first place people look. And you need to ensure that all the information on there is correct and compliant.
It is quite common to have your business name and address displayed on the header and footer. Also, don’t use fonts that cannot be easily read by people. It can also impact your search engine readability.
Another factor to consider is not to use images for your NAP. It needs to be text and should be in an area with a solid background color.
The key is to make it as clear as possible. Also, take care to make sure that you have the same NAP on all your pages. And if you have different websites, it should be the same on them too.

2. Optimize Google My Business

Another thing you need to work on is your Google My Business profile. Since it is one of the most popularly used tools in local SEO, it has become essential for ranking.
A GMB page gives people a lot of information about your business. It includes business address, hours, category, and review. So you need to make sure that all data on it is correct and consistent. And the reason this is so popular is that 90% of all searches come from Google.
Having your information on here gives you the most leverage. And there is no reason to skip doing this because it is free. And if you haven’t done it before, there are chances that you might need to claim it. You can get done with this quickly, not to worry.

3. Proof Your NAP Data

You should always make sure that you proofread your NAP data multiple times. It is important because anything from a dash to a digit can affect it. It is also important to look at your physical documentation.
Check your paperwork to find out your address and location. It should be your primary source because online addresses are easier to change as opposed to documents.
There are a lot of common errors that can creep into your NAP, which you can avoid. For example, if your address has 0’s in it, sometimes it could be O’s. These visually look very similar but are completely different.
Transposition errors are common in this case. You could have meant 56, but it could be 65 on there. There could also be duplicates on your address. Check to see if you have mentioned anything twice.

4. Identify NAP Variations

As time goes on, there might be variations that have crept into your business details. It could be anything from the way you write “Street” to add commas in different places.
You need to record all variations of your NAP. Better do it on a spreadsheet, so it will be easier for you to compare. You should also save the location where you found it. It can act as an easy reference when you want to make changes.
The next step would be to figure out the best way to resolve these differences. While any differences are important, you can neglect some if they are difficult to change.
You can dash it in the address or other minor elements. But the primary areas where you should focus on are the business names and phone numbers.

5. Checking Your NAP Online

Your NAP listing might be there in a lot of places. The best method to remove errors would be to go through each one and edit them.
The first place you should look is the BBB. The Better Business Bureau is one of the top websites when it comes to online business listings. It acts as a single source of information for a large number of organizations. So naturally, this is the first place you need to check and correct.
To change your information on it can take a bit of time. So do it when you’ve consolidated all your changes.
You should also verify your information with the Business Record Service if you are running your business in the US. It has a record of most registered companies in the area and their owners. It’s a good idea to update your information here as well.

6. Auditing Social Media Profiles

Brand building has a lot to do with social media these days. Social media has a user base of close to 3.6 billion people. And it has the highest engagement ratios of any business platform.
With new advancements, it has been easier for businesses to use their NAPs to target relevant customers. Social media offers a lot of flexibility by giving businesses several options for demographics.
You need to keep your NAP consistent on these social media platforms as well. It is easier said than done because there are a lot of social media platforms that brands use. And they have different methods when it comes to changing NAP. But all said you need to keep it consistent as it plays a key role in local SEO.

7. Using The Right Tools

Updating NAP can be a tedious process. Some tools are available, which can make your job a bit easier. There are popular tools like Moz Local, which can help you iron out all your NAP consistency problems. This tool will be useful for bigger companies that are dealing with a lot of data. It also gives you a lot of flexibility and accuracy.
You can eliminate human errors using tools. Some advanced software can also automatically update your citations when you make changes to your NAP.
If you’ve engaged a digital marketing company, talk to them about filling you in on the right tool for the job. They have tools that are more specialized at the job. AI-assisted tools can get it done much quicker. It can also search for your citations on other hard to find websites.

8. Local Schema Markup For Business

You can use schema markup code on your website to help customers find you easier. As we are in a saturated market with different brands, schema markup might be the edge you need.
Before you get started on schema markups, you need to read up on Google guidelines. And you don’t have to be intimidated because it is not going to be code.
Several schema generators are available online that can create the type of schema you need. All you need to do is add on your website, what kind of schema it will be, and other details. It can output the schema on the same page. Just copy it and paste it on your site. You can also use this to add more information to your NAP.
We can help you in checking the NAP details and fixing the inconsistencies. Get in touch with our local SEO experts to know more.

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Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years in strategising and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested to writing Digital-marketing, PPC and Social Media Marketing related topics.


Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years in strategising and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested to writing Digital-marketing, PPC and Social Media Marketing related topics.

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