If you own a local business, then you understand the importance of making sure your customers can find you. With the rise of digital marketing, it has become increasingly important to make sure your website is optimized for local search. The key to doing this is making sure that your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are correct on your website and consistent across all other online platforms. Let’s take a closer look at why this is so important.
What Is NAP?
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number and refers to the contact information associated with your business. Having accurate NAP information is essential, not only because it allows people to reach out to you, but also because it signals to search engines that your business is legitimate. Your NAP should be listed on all online directories where you have a presence. This includes websites like Yelp and Yellow Pages as well as social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It’s also important to include NAP information on any print materials you produce like flyers or business cards.
Why Is NAP Important?
Having accurate NAP information is essential for local SEO success because search engines use this data when ranking websites in local searches. Search engines rely heavily on keywords and phrases associated with each business when determining a website’s rank in local searches. For example, if someone searches “coffee shop near me” or “coffee shop in my area”, the search engine will pull up results based on each businesses location relative to the searcher’s physical location. Making sure that your NAP information is correct will help ensure that when someone types in those keywords or phrases associated with your business, you show up in the top results.
Consistency is key when it comes to your NAP information. Here are some other tips to help make your NAP more consistent and help contribute to your search ranking.
Optimizing Your Business Name
Use your legal business name: When optimizing your business name from a NAP perspective, it’s important to use your legal business name. This is the name that is registered with the government and is listed on official documents such as your business license and tax filings. Using a variation of your business name, such as a shortened version or a nickname, can cause confusion for search engines and customers.
Be Consistent: Make sure your business name is listed exactly the same way across all online platforms, including your website, social media profiles, and directories such as Google My Business and Yelp. Any variations in your business name can create confusion and negatively impact your NAP consistency.
Monitor and update your business name: It’s important to monitor and update your business name as needed. If your legal business name changes, make sure to update it across all online platforms to maintain NAP consistency. Similarly, if you notice variations of your business name popping up in online directories or reviews, make sure to address them promptly to maintain accuracy and consistency.
Optimizing Your Address
Use a consistent formatting: When optimizing your business address from a NAP perspective, it’s important to use a consistent format across all online platforms. This includes using the same abbreviations, punctuation, and capitalization. For example, if your address is “123 Main Street, Suite 100”, make sure to use this exact format on your website, social media profiles, and online directories. Any variations in your address format can negatively impact your NAP consistency.
Verify your address on Google Business Profile: If you haven’t already, make sure to claim and verify your business. Google Business Profile allows you to manage your business information across Google’s services, including Google Maps and search results. When verifying your address, make sure to use the exact same format as your physical address and ensure that it is correct and up-to-date. Verifying your address on Google Business Profile can help improve your visibility in local search results and ensure NAP consistency across Google’s services.
Optimizing Your Phone Number
Use a local phone number: When optimizing your business phone number from a NAP perspective, it’s important to use a local phone number rather than a toll-free number. While cell phones have made it easier for you to retain a familiar number, a local phone number can help establish your business’s physical presence in the area. In addition, using a local phone number can help improve your visibility in local search results.
Consistency is key: As with the NAP and your business address, consistency is key when it comes to your business phone number. Make sure your phone number is listed exactly the same way across all online platforms, including your website, social media profiles, and directories such as Google My Business and Apple Business Connect. Any variations in your phone number, such as using parentheses or dashes in different ways, can create confusion and negatively impact your NAP consistency. Consistency helps search engines identify your business information and understand that it belongs to the same business across all platforms.
How Can I Ensure My NAP Is Accurate?
The best way to ensure that your NAP information is accurate across all platforms is by manually checking each one regularly or setting up an automated process that checks them all at once periodically throughout the year. You can also enlist the help of a company like Made for You Media that provides online review and reputation management services that can help keep track of all your online profiles and make sure they are consistent with one another.
Having accurate name, address, and phone number (NAP) information across all online channels is essential for local business search engine optimization, as it helps to signal to search engines that your business is legitimate. Even more important, correct NAP information helps ensure that customers can easily find you when searching for businesses related to yours in their area. Whether you do it yourself or work with a trusted company to monitor and update your NAP infomation regularly, you can be more confident knowing that when customers search for businesses related to yours located near them, you have a great chance at them finding your business first.
Made for You Media is a digital marketing agency based in Winston-Salem, NC with clients across the US and Canada. Our focus is working with local businesses to increase brand awareness, build leads and increase sales. If you want help with your Local SEO to reach more customers in your local community, call us today at (336) 303-0640 to discuss your needs.