NAP is an acronym that stands for Name, Address and Phone number. Your business’ NAP may be listed any number of places online in citation form. A citation is an online mention of your business NAP, usually without a link.
Your business may score better with search engines if your business’ NAP is consistent everywhere, including local links & citations. It will also be less confusing for your customers.
The reason for this is that search engines look through the web for business listings, buy business listings and automatically compare the consistency of those listings. Part of the reason for that thoroughness is to downplay or eliminate websites that look spammy. As a result, the more consistent your business’ NAP is, the more likely it is that the correct information will be displayed in search results and the more likely that your business will rank higher in local results.
As you may have noticed, people use their phones more than ever to find things like businesses locally. The more your NAP is correct, the more likely it is that information they find on their phone will lead them into your brick-and-mortar store.
Is your business usually George and Son Plumbing but other times George Plumbing and occasionally George’s Plumbing? Do you sometimes write Company and other times Co? Stop it. Pick one name to brand your business around and use that one name all the time.
Does your urban business get listed sometimes as 1011 Main Street but other times as 1011 to 1013 Main Street? Or is it usually 1301 Main Street but occasionally the corner of 13th and Main? Consistency in how your business is listed helps search engine results point people towards your business.
Is there a local phone number and an 800 number? Standardize around the local number. Is a tracking number used in some campaigns, which identifies your business with yet another number? Stop it. Use one phone number everywhere.
All those different ways that your business represents itself will come to back to haunt you. You will see previous business names, locations and secondary locations, various phone numbers you may have used. That variety of online information may limit how well your business ranks in search engines.
Getting this all consistent will take time. If your business already lists well in listings at search engines and directories, and business is where you need it to be, a practical approach suggests that you can ignore this.
One way to save yourself a lot of time is to use Moz Local. Enter the name of your business and go. You’ll see tabs of incomplete, inconsistent or duplicated information, along with links for you to fix those issues manually at no charge. You’ll also be presented with an opportunity for Moz Local to fix your issues for less than $9 per month.
Or you can work with each provider individually starting with the ones in the Moz Local report. Make sure to visit the following data collection companies as well:
As you work your way through everything, complete each site with your business’ correct information, correct any wrong listings that you find and request any duplicated information to be removed. When you’re done, you may see a bump for your business in search engine rankings, leading to more page views and new customers in the store.
Search engines spend a lot of money showing results that people seek. They’re built well enough that you don’t need to sweat the small differences.
Disclaimer: The links in this article, including the link to Moz Local, are not affiliate links. ShopRoute30.com doesn’t make any money whether you click, signup or not. They are just good information for helping your business find more new customers online and turn them into offline customers.