What is NAP Consistency? And why is it good for SEO?

One of the more common questions I receive from local business owners is, “How do I rank higher on the ‘maps’ section of Google or other search engines?”. Well there are many different strategies that can help your business’s presence on a search engine’s ‘maps’ section… such as verified information or the number and quality of reviews… but one of most effective ways is by creating what is called ‘NAP Consistency’ for your business throughout the web.

What is ‘NAP Consistency’?

NAP is an acronym for, ‘Name, Address, Phone’. NAP Consistency means your business’s Name, Address, and Phone Number are consistently listed the same across the web. Taking the NAP a step further, it is equally important to have your website’s address also listed consistently as well.

Why is NAP Consistency Good for SEO?

Search Engines are all about confidence… or is the search engine confident that a business and/or website going to be able to fulfill the needs of the person searching for a specific product or service. In order to build confidence with search engines businesses must ensure a search engine understands exactly who and where they are. Building on that Search Engines are computers… and computers are ridiculously detailed oriented. So when search engines are crawling the web they can – and will – notice even the slightest variations in a business name, address, phone number, and/or website address. These variations can hinder a search engine’s confidence. With that in mind, let’s go over an example… Let’s say your ACTUAL business’s name, address, and phone is: St. Louis Optometry Inc, 123 New Ballas Road, Creve Coeur, MO 63141, 314-555-5555. A few years ago, you signed up for an online yellowpages ad with a tracking number to track the phone calls the ad generated.  The sales rep filled out the form to list your business as: St. Louis Optometry, 123 Ballas, St. Louis, MO 63141, 314-555-5556. Last year, you verified your Google Places Account listing your business as: St. Louis Optometry, 123 Ballas Rd, Creve Coeur, MO  63141, 314-555-5555. Because search engines are ridiculously detail oriented, all three of the listings maybe considered different businesses and therefore lowering their overall confidence which can lower your ranking.

So How Do I Ensure My NAP is Consistent?

To check if your Business’s NAP is Consistent, Google your business name with the city your business is in. If you see variances, then your NAP is not consistent. There are also a few online tools that check for NAP consistency such as Moz Local, but I would recommend checking their results for accuracy.

 How to Fix An Inconsistent NAP?

Fixing your business’s NAP is nothing but a pain, but it is a critical component to your search engine ranking. You can fix your NAP by going to each and every website your business is listed, creating an account, and changing the listing… but this will take you a while.  Other options included hiring an SEO company, like St. Louis Digital Media, or another paid service such as Yext.

Questions?

If you have any questions or would like a free internet marketing consultation, we invite you to contact us today. We are a locally owned website design and internet marketing company in the St. Louis Missouri area.