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  • What is NAP? How Does it Help Local SEO?

    What is NAP? How Does it Help Local SEO?

    Whether you are selling online or on television, using the same tagline, colors, and logo will make the audience trust your brand.

    But advertising online adds an additional wrinkle – it’s also critical to have NAP consistency, which stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number.

    Ensuring your NAP is accurate everywhere on the Web is vital for your local SEO ranking. Google and other search engines crawl this information when finding out about your company. This vital data is stored and part of Google’s decision about your site ranking.

    How important is accurate NAP? A recent study found that NAP consistency could change your online performance by 16%!

    NAP consistency could change your online performance

    Learn more about NAP, local SEO, and more below.

    NAP And The Importance Of Backlinking

    Your online business listing must be a critical part of your overall marketing strategy on the Internet. These business listings are highly effective backlinks that will boost your site’s authority with Google and others.

    When we say backlink, we mean a link from a related website to yours. When a website with high authority links to your website, Google sees that as a good thing and will probably raise your ranking over time.

    However, if your Name, Address, and Phone Number are inconsistent from listing to listing, this will damage your credibility in the public’s and Google’s eyes. For example, if you are a personal injury attorney, you work in what is often a life-or-death profession.

    People go to your site to find information about personal injury topics and to locate a good attorney. If your NAP is inconsistent from one site to another in your law firm, that can be a serious problem.

    If NAP on one of your sites says one thing and NAP on the other says another, people will be confused. And, critically, search engines won’t trust your company. It’s especially important for NAP to be consistent if you operate in the health, financial, or professional services industries.

    How To Get The Most Out Of NAP

    Local SEO Ranking Factors

    It’s vital to ensure that your company’s NAP information is leaning into your SEO strategy to maximum effect. You can do that by following these steps:

    • Make updates to your NAP information whenever anything changes. This step is critical if your company is new, moved, or has new storefronts.
    • Keep your NAP as consistent as possible between online business listings.
    • Put your company on major business indexes, such as Yelp and the BBB.

    How to Set Up Your NAP

    Example of Good and Bad NAP

    We’ve covered how important NAP is to local SEO results. However, there are several finer points to review before moving ahead. The following details might seem excessive but they matter a lot to your Google ranking.

    How Will You Display Your Company Name?

    For official business purposes online, you should always use your firm’s full name as it exists officially. For instance, if your law firm is John Smith Personal Injury Attorney, you shouldn’t list it in your NAP as John Smith Personal Injury Lawyer. It is the same thing but consistency is essential for the best use of NAP for local SEO.

    How Will You List Your Company Address?

    Everyone uses various abbreviations and notations when they write down physical addresses. For example, you may write ‘street’ but your husband writes ‘St.’ These small differences are a big deal with your NAP. The physical address should be the same on every website.

    Below are a few ways to write a business address. All of them work; they just need to be consistent across the Internet:

    • 700 Cleveland Avenue
    • 700 Cleveland Ave.
    • 700 Cleveland Ave

    It also helps to keep NAP consistency when you print marketing materials, including business cards,  brochures, and flyers.

    How Will You List Your Phone Number?

    As with your physical address, there are many ways to list your phone number online. Just make it consistent for the best NAP:

    • (877)-886-9615
    • 877-886-9615
    • (877) 886-9615

    Your phone number should be listed the same in print, too. Don’t forget letters, invoices, checks, pamphlets, etc.

    Unsure how to list your NAP? Look at the business paperwork you got when you first registered the company. Whatever your filing paperwork says, make that your NAP.

    Creating A NAP Record Online

    Google My Business

    Creating your NAP online isn’t difficult. It only takes a few steps and a sprinkling of common sense:

    • Make your NAP information as simple to find as possible on your website. Google will crawl this information to check how authoritative and credible you are. Don’t forget to put the NAP in the text on every page and not in a picture. Otherwise, Google can’t grab it, unless your programmer puts it in the code.
    • Get your Google business listing on Google as soon as possible. This adds your company NAP to Google Search and Google Maps.
    • Search for any incorrect NAP online, outside your site. Remember that search engines search for NAP not just on your site; they will check what’s on your site with listings on other sites. Check for other NAP listings on local directories, review sites, and social media channels. If you find something that is wrong, contact the webmaster and ask for a correction.
    • List your NAP with these directories: Citysearch.com, 411.com, Foursquare.com, Merchantcircle.com, your local chamber of commerce, Infousa.com, etc.
    • Put your NAP on your listings for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and others.

    An accurate NAP is so important for local SEO. If you do most things right with your search engine optimization but don’t get NAP right, it will affect your bottom line.

    Of course, doing all of these steps is a lot of work. What if you don’t have time to do all this with your NAP? Not to worry.

    An expert digital marketing company will be happy to gather and correct your various NAPs listed online. They also can publish your consistent NAP on the most important online directories and monitor how it shows on social media.

    Chief Marketing Officer at SEO Company
    In his 9+ years as a digital marketer, Sam has worked with countless small businesses and enterprise Fortune 500 companies and organizations including NASDAQ OMX, eBay, Duncan Hines, Drew Barrymore, Washington, DC based law firm Price Benowitz LLP and human rights organization Amnesty International. As a technical SEO strategist, Sam leads all paid and organic operations teams for client SEO services, link building services and white label SEO partnerships. He is a recurring speaker at the Search Marketing Expo conference series and a TEDx Talker. Today he works directly with high-end clients across all verticals to maximize on and off-site SEO ROI through content marketing and link building. Connect with Sam on Linkedin.
    Samuel Edwards