Imagine for a moment that your business managed to create the perfect digital marketing campaign. Your paid ads were incredibly persuasive, your web design was impeccable, and your products and services practically sold themselves. Now imagine if you did all of that without once mentioning what your business was called, where you were located, or how people could contact you.
All your marketing would be pointless! That’s why it’s essential for you to use search engine optimization (SEO) to optimize critical local information like your name, address, and phone number (NAP) across the web. But what is NAP SEO, and how can you do it right?
Below, we’ll provide the answers to both of those questions. Read on to learn more, and then subscribe to Revenue Weekly for more digital marketing tips from the agency with over 785 client testimonials! WebFX campaigns have earned more than 12,936,451 ecommerce transactions in the last 5 years.
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What is NAP SEO?
Before getting into anything else, we first have to ask: What is NAP SEO? NAP SEO consists of two elements — NAP and SEO.
To talk about what NAP SEO is, let’s first look at each of those elements individually. As we stated earlier, SEO stands for search engine optimization, which refers to the process of optimizing web content to rank in search engines like Google. The idea is that when you create marketing content on your website, you want to put it in front of users by having it rank in Google results.
What does NAP stand for? If you recall, it stands for name, address, and phone number. Those three items make up the fundamental information about your business that you need to make available to people online. Your customers should know who you are, where you are, and how to contact you.
NAP SEO is simply the merging of those two concepts. It refers to the way you manage how your name, address, and phone number appear in Google.
Why does NAP SEO matter?
NAP SEO is important for a few different reasons. To start, having an issue with your NAP information — whether because it’s inconsistent, incorrect, or just not there at all — can lead to a terrible user experience for anyone trying to locate or contact you.
Beyond that, though, your NAP strategy affects your rankings. When your NAP is poorly managed online, Google’s algorithms will take notice, and penalize you in rankings. Finally, you want your NAP information to be as available and correct as possible so you can gain more customers.
Rankings aside, anyone who can’t find your contact information is also someone who can’t buy from you, and that’s not what you want.
5 tips for optimizing your NAP strategy
Now that you understand the idea behind NAP SEO, how should you go about optimizing NAP for your business? Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be too complicated. Here are five simple tips on how to get the most from your NAP SEO.
1. Keep everything consistent
Short of putting your NAP information online to start with, the most important thing for you to get right when optimizing NAP is to keep it consistent. If Google finds that you have one phone number listed on one page, and a different one on another, it will penalize you in rankings. You need to keep everything as similar as possible.
If you write the name of your company as “Walker Point Industries, LLC,” write it that way for every listing. Don’t use variations like “The Walker Point Company” or “Walker Point.” If your business has a specific nickname that most of your customers know it by, such as “Walker Point” rather than “The Walker Point Company,” you still want to use your company’s legal name on your Google listing as well as other local listings. On top of it causing Google to rank you lower, inconsistency among your listings will confuse your audience.
If they don’t know the right number, address, or phone number, they won’t know how to get in touch with your business. If you’re worried about keeping up with all of your listings online, a tool like LocalFX can help you keep everything consistent by allowing you to update and sync listings across 100 directories.
2. Conduct an audit before you start
Before you get into the process of optimizing all your NAP listings across the Internet, start by conducting an audit of the listings you already have. There may already be some inconsistent listings for your business online, and you need to know what those are. Do your best to search for any possible names, addresses, or phone numbers the Internet may associate with you.
If any of those three items have changed in the past few years, be sure to look up the old versions as well as the new ones. Whichever listings you find — if any — start your optimization process by editing them as needed to be consistent with one another. If you need help finding them all, LocalFX is a great resource to help you find inconsistencies in listings so you can update them accordingly!
3. Claim your Google Business Profile listing
Once you’ve optimized any preexisting listings, the first place you’ll want to go with your NAP information is Google Business Profile. When you set up a Google Business Profile, you input your NAP. Google may then display this listing when people perform relevant local searches.
If you haven’t already created a Google Business Profile, you can claim yours through the Google Business Profile site. When it comes to local search, it’s an incredibly simple and valuable resource to have. As a side note, one reason it’s so important to have consistent NAP information across the web is that if Google detects an inconsistency, your Google Business Profile listing could be suspended!
Make sure to maintain consistency so that doesn’t happen.
4. Record and update all your listings as needed
As you go about the process of creating and optimizing listings, make sure you record each one. Don’t put up listings only to later forget they exist. You need to keep track of all the NAP listings your business has online.
The reason for this is that it’s not unlikely that some of your NAP information will change at some point in the future. You may move, get a new number, or even change the name of your company. If that happens, you’ll want a list of everywhere you need to update.
If you don’t want to deal with the tedious process of updating all your listings manually, LocalFX can help you handle it easily!
5. Carefully manage multiple locations
All the steps so far have assumed the use of a single name, address, and phone number for your business. But what do you do if you have multiple locations? To a large extent, you do the same thing as you would do for a single location — you just do it separately for each location.
If you must create separate listings for each location, do so, but be extra careful not to inadvertently mix and match NAP information. In other words, managing NAP for multiple locations doesn’t come with any major change to the process. It just means a little more effort, caution, and precision on your part to ensure that the different locations don’t get mixed up with one another online.
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Get more help optimizing NAP from WebFX
Ready to start driving results with your NAP strategy? WebFX would love to help! Our team of 450+ experts knows what it takes to run a successful SEO campaign, and NAP SEO is no exception.
When you partner with us, you’ll have access to the full range of our SEO services, from keyword integration to responsive design. You’ll also receive a dedicated account representative to keep you informed and involved throughout the optimization process. You’ll also have access to LocalFX, our local directory management tool!