Understanding NAP Consistency and Why It Affects SEO

Today, there are acronyms for almost everything, especially when it comes to technology. Some of the acronyms we hear every day are instantly recognizable and we know what they mean without any further explanation, but we often hear of new acronyms and don’t fully understand whey them mean, or what purpose they serve.

One very important acronym that you have likely heard - but may not know much about - is NAP. Simply put, NAP stands for:

N=Name

A= Address

P= Phone

Those three things are all critical elements that should be very visible on your website because search engines look for that data in order for your business to show up on geo-targeted searches and maps.

This may sound like common sense, but in reality, most businesses have some discrepancies when it comes to the accuracy of the information on their website. These things often happen when there are several people managing profiles and directories for your business.

Consistency is the key when it comes to NAP

In addition to making sure that your name, address and phone number are accurate, the other critical element of NAP is ensuring that everything is listed consistently - this includes using the same spelling and formatting every time.

The first thing we do when researching a new client is run a scan to check for NAP consistency and most of business owners who turn to us to assist with their marketing have varied address information or conflicting phone numbers and even multiple names that show up with their listings.

In order for proper NAP consistency, you should be using your company’s full name and full address. It’s up to you whether you choose to use full words or just abbreviations, but it is extremely important to stick with one and use it consistently whenever it is listed.

For example, You can choose either 123 Main Street, or 123 Main St. - either is fine - as long as they’re always the same. Likewise, your phone number listing should also be consistent; some companies prefer (555) 234-5678 while others use 555-234-5678 or even 555.234.5678. The choice is yours, just stick with whatever format you choose.

Why is NAP so important for SEO?

NAP is critical for a local business if they want to rank high in organic search results because the process of influencing the ranking of your business is consistent of NAP. The quality of a website where the NAP is consistent influences the validity and quality of the website.

If you have consistency, Google views that as the ultimate "match" and rewards you with a higher ranking. The most important information is a match aligning the data. So if your website had one phone number and a directory online has the same phone number address and a DIFFERENT phone number, you not have the ULTIMATE result.

The best and most important leads will come from sites that pay attention to this. You want to be as consistent as possible with all your online listings.There are so many online directories used for more than just a search by the general public. If your name is there, it should be consistent. The base is what you have on Google my Business listing. This will be your base.

What makes this process more challenging, if you make manual changes, your information may easily revert to another listing form elsewhere on the web. You need to stay on top of this and we can do this for you at Bloomerang. We not only insure your listing is correct, we GUARANTEE it will remain correct going forward. This is the very first step of maximizing your online presence, understanding and paying attention to your NAP. Give us a call, or leave a comment below to get started, or you can run a free scan yourself here to check your own NAP consistency.