How Should You Leverage NAP Consistency to Boost Your Business
September 1, 2017
How to Leverage NAP Consistency to Boost Your Business
Small business owners, here's a question to ask yourself: how's your NAP consistency? If you're wondering what getting some regular shut-eye in the middle of the day has to do with growing your business, you'd better keep reading, because this is something that can have a big influence on how often your business shows up in local and map-based internet searches.
NAP Consistency refers to the accuracy and consistency of a business's Name, Address, and Phone number across all directories, websites, and other online platforms. Essentially, NAP Consistency is all about whether your business has identical contact information listed everywhere it shows up online.
Local citations determine your NAP Consistency
The various sources for a business's contact information are often referred to as local citations. Anything that lists contact information for a business, even if it doesn't link to their web site, can be a local citation that factors into SEO rankings. Even directories that you might not think of as playing an important role in your online presence, such as local business associations or chambers of commerce, can be important local citations that factor into your search rankings.
However, in order for search engines to trust these local citations as authoritative and consider your business to be legitimate, you're going to need NAP Consistency. If the major search engines see different addresses and phone numbers listed for the same company in different places, their algorithms are going to be wary of steering traffic to your business.
The Importance of NAP Consistency
NAP Consistency demonstrates your business is an established, reliable presence, and gives search engines confidence that they can list you as a good match in local and map-based searches. Even minor discrepancies in your name, address, and phone, like abbreviating your company name differently, omitting a suite number in your street address, or providing different phone lines to different directories, number can shake that confidence.
NAP inconsistencies can show up if you have different agents of your business providing contact information to different sources, such as if you change how you want to abbreviate certain elements for stylistic reasons, when you move, or if you change your primary phone number. When search engines find local citations of your business that aren't all exactly the same, their confidence in your business goes down. Those little discrepancies get perceived as signs of instability. Duplicate listings of your business in the same directories can also be counted against your NAP Consistency.
How to Strengthen Your NAP Consistency
The best way to ensure you have good NAP Consistency feeding into strong local SEO rankings is to be aware of all of your business's local citations and make sure they all have your most up to date, identical-to-the-letter contact information. This can be a lengthy and painstaking process if you have to do it manually, which is why many companies use local marketing services from companies like LocalMatterz to stay on top of their citations, maximize their NAP Consistency, and keep them rising high in search rankings when consumers are looking for nearby businesses.
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