The world of digital marketing is full of acronyms. We’ve all heard of CRO, CTA, and SERP. But there’s also NAP. Its concept is pretty straightforward, and it’s a fundamental part of local search. However, there are some things that people don’t understand about it. We wanted to help and clear the picture for everyone. So, today we’ll answer the question of why is NAP consistency important for local SEO?
Often, just the mention of NAP consistency causes panic. It sounds scary and complicated. But fortunately, it’s neither of these things. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. It’s worth getting it right since it is one of the core components of ranking high locally.
However, ranking is not the only thing NAP consistency is important for. It can also influence how consumers see your brand. This may be the difference between a positive and negative perception of your business. It’s a simple thing, but a lot is going on under the hood. So, if you want to increase your visibility on Google for local searches, here’s what you should know.
What is NAP in SEO?
If you never heard of the term, the first thing you should learn is what NAP stands for. And it is:
- Phone number
These three pieces of information are all important for themselves. However, if you put them together, they can be a reason why people walk into your store.
On the other hand, if this information isn’t the same everywhere they look, people may get lost and frustrated. This will only help your competitors. And that’s not something you want.
Luckily, NAP citations aren’t hard to create. They occur naturally while practicing your regular marketing activity. If you have a Facebook business page with all the details filled out,
you already have at least one NAP listing. Hosting events and exhibiting in conferences also can be a great source of these. So, even if you don’t know where to start, you may already have a nice number of NAPs.
Does it include your website?
As you probably figured out by now, you can find NAP mentions in many forms and lots of different places. There are social media profiles and directories online, while newspaper articles and reviews do the same thing offline. However, the website is also important for your NAP consistency nowadays. It doesn’t matter whether the information is clustered together or split up on the different parts of the page. It still counts.
However, you still have to be careful about how you reference your name, address, and phone number on your site. Don’t think of it any differently from building citations on other people’s websites.
How NAP becomes inconsistent?
One mistake that people often make is falling into the habit of thinking of NAP as a purposeful thing to do when building citations. This happens naturally during all kinds of marketing actions. So, try not to neglect consistency because you’re more focused on writing an article or creating a new page.
Another way NAP can become conflicting is that you need to follow different formats. Each location or method of inputting the data can lead to getting it wrong. Filling a social media profile and purchasing a directory listing are two different things. So, they’ll look very unalike. If you’re doing it all at the same time, it’s easy to make a mistake.
Furthermore, you won’t always be the one who’s creating the citation. When other people refer to you, they might neglect some information. Even a marketing company working on your behalf can input the data slightly differently to you. They could be following all the effective SEO trends, but that doesn’t mean they can’t create inconsistencies over time
Why is consistency important?
Now that you know all the basics, we can talk about why NAP consistency is important for local SEO. And the simple answer is because it’s a ranking factor. It helps on-page and citation signals, but it also builds trust with customers. Let’s dive into that a little bit further.
It builds consumer trust
This is one of the most important aspects of keeping the NAP information the same. Incorrect information in online directories will frustrate your customers. So, you can lose them even before you knew you had them.
However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s a well-known fact that most local searches are driven by high intent. You can be sure that someone who did a local search on their phone will visit a local store within a week. On the other hand, if the NAP data they come across is incorrect, that customer won’t be happy.
NAP as a ranking factor
According to experts, NAP info is one of the top five ranking factors. Therefore, if you want to build a strong presence in the local pack, you can’t neglect it. A good thing about it is that it’s a lot easier to manage than other ranking factors such as backlinks. In this instance, the more citations you have, the better you’ll rank.
It’s worth mentioning that Google loves to collect data about businesses to understand them better. This means that its algorithm will count everything. They’ll care about the number of citations, the accuracy of the information, and the quality of sites from which the data is pulled. So, if your NAP is inconsistent, that can be one of the reasons why you can’t find your business on Google.
That’s about all there is to say about why NAP consistency is important for local SEO. Now you know not only that but also how to keep the information correct across the platforms. Do things the right way, and you’ll get more customers and better referral traffic to the site. You’ll be more confident, and your business will be more visible.