NAP Local Marketing
NAP is a term you hear in local search marketing circles, but the reason for it is often misunderstood. It’s not enough to be using this formatting, you need to make sure it is done correctly – or you could just be making thing worse. Read on to discover why.
“NAP” is an acronym which stands for “Name, Address, Phone Number”. NAP is essential for businesses that serve a local geographical area. NAP is most often used for local citations, but it’s also very important that you structure your website with consistent NAP.
What is NAP in Local SEO?
Very often we are asked if NAP in local citations actually does anything to help with SEO? The simple answer is yes.
But more specifically, the consistency of your NAP listings is far more important than the quantity and placement of citations. Why?
Because Google, Yahoo, Bing, and numerous local review sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google My Business all check the consistency and accuracy of your listings, and from that make a judgment about the authenticity and trustworthiness of your business.
The better your business scores on this, the more exposure you will see in searches from new customers.
Simple as that, but VERY important to get it right!
How Does NAP Affect Your Local Marketing?
When customers check out places to shop, eat, or get local services – what do they do?
They grab their phones, tablets, or laptops and type in (or nowadays they “speak”) whatever they are looking for.
You do the same thing, don’t you? Don’t we all?
So, NAP is critical for businesses that want be listed when customers search for them!
These sort of locally based searches are hyper focused on local results. This is called “geo-targeting” because the search phrases typed in are related to a specific geographical area.
If someone is IN your area right now, searching for your product, service, or location – you WANT to show up in these targeted searches. NAP consistency helps you do that.
UPDATE for 2017 and Beyond: NAP is even more important now as smart phone and mobile usages increases.
Mobile searchers are most likely to visit your business within 1 to 48 hours. But customers will never even know your name if you don’t appear in their search!
Stop missing your opportunity to grab your share of these local searches, so you can stop losing out on that highly motivated customer.
Remember: Someone who is looking for you right now is about as “targeted” as you can get with your marketing and advertising!!
Consistent NAP information across the web greatly affects where you will rank in the local search results, because search engines such as Google take the data into account when determining which companies to show for geo-targeted searches. Smart phones already know when searches are locally based, but most customers still type in a city location.
What can businesses do with their NAP to boost their local search rankings?
For starters, you MUST make sure that your NAP is correct – both on your website as well as on other sites throughout the web.
Local SEO experts agree that search engines cross-reference your NAP information across a variety of websites as a validation that you are a legitimate business.
So it’s important to be very consistent in getting identical information across all platforms including Google+ Pages, or a Yellow Page type listing. Any website, social media (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) as well as local or trade directories.
Also be sure to check specific review sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor if they apply to your company or industry.
Review sites are BIG with consumers who want to check you out before making a buying decision. The more “local citations” you can build up with consistent NAP information, the better.
Note: if you aren’t using these local directories and websites to get your NAP listed, you SHOULD be! More on that here in this article about “Local Citations for Better Rankings”
NAP in Local Marketing
For NAP consistency, make sure you follow these requirements:
NAP – Name
Use the full name of your business, and use it exactly the same, every time.
NAP – Address
Look up your company on Google Maps. If the address is correct, copy and paste this exact version of your address into all of your local NAP entries. Some streets have more than one name, make sure you use the version that Google uses. If that version is correct, get our free guide on how to correct your local citations.
In addition, make sure you always use the exact same version of your full address for NAP purposes. Don’t use different variations such as “123 Main Street” vs “123 Main St.” – yes, it really is that detailed.
Check ALL of your local citations and correct any inconsistencies. This is very important for making sure search engines see identical address listings on all websites.
NAP – Phone
Once again, use the exact formatting on your phone number whenever you use it online. If you write it as (800) 555-1212 or 800.555.1212 – be absolutely sure you use the same across all web properties. Especially on your local citations.
So, consistent and accurate name, address, and phone number huh? Sounds like common sense, right?
We agree. You may be thinking to yourself that you already have this covered. Keep in mind that many directories and listing websites will sometimes “guess” at the format of your company name and location. You very all may have multiple versions already online. You NEED to verify your NAP and local citations.
Check NAP Consistency
It is time-consuming and somewhat laborious to find, verify and edit your NAP listings. To learn more about how to do it right, download our free 5-step guide on NAP for local marketing. The time and effort is more than worth it!
INSET – We can help. We offer several affordable SEO services specifically for correcting NAP. Check them out here, from a NAP audit to full NAP editing – discover which are best for you so you can start to benefit from corrected listings.
NAP Case Studies
We recently completed case studies on three different websites. By checking and updating local citations, each of these sites improved rankings for their locally targeted keyword searches. We don’t base these strategies on hype, we actually test and conduct in-depth analysis so you can benefit from them too.
Free NAP Guide
Download our free step-by-step guide on NAP for Local SEO. Verifying your citations is essential for better online marketing. Click the image to get your free copy!