What is NAP and Why Does It Matter for Local SEO?
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number. NAP data shows up in various places, including Google Searches, Yelp pages, business directories, etc. Because this data appears in a number of different places, it’s crucial that it is always consistent.
For example, your company might be called ABC Company. Your address is 123 Main Street, Suite 45 and your phone number is 1-234-567-8900. On your website, this might be listed as:
123 Main Street, Suite 45
However, on another website, such as Yelp, your business is listed as:
123 Main Street #45
And the Yahoo business directory might have:
45-123 Main Street
Search engines find it difficult to determine if these businesses are the same, so they struggle to rank your business correctly. The situation can be even more complex if your business has multiple locations, if you have a toll-free number as well as a local number, or any other variations.
Where NAP Data is Listed
Not only does your NAP and important business data exist on websites that you submitted it to, but it also exists on various other locations around the web. There are a number of business directories and other business data websites out there and a lot of these directories and websites copy data or import data from other websites. That means that, if you have a NAP inconsistency on one website, several other sites could pick up this same error. This could mean that your information could exist in various forms in various different places around the web.
This confuses Google and it can also be confusing for customers. In fact, because there are so many directories out there that scour one another looking for business information, it also becomes hard to correct NAP consistency issues.
Correcting NAP Consistency Issues
For example, think of a situation where directory A and directory B have inconsistent NAP information for your business. Assume that directory A has the correct information and the other needs to be fixed. Now, you might be able to fix the issues and make changes on directory B, but you may not realize that B gets its information from another directory (directory C). When you change B to match A, B scans directory C, notices that there is a listing on C that does not appear on B (because you changed it) and it automatically creates a new listing on B that matches C. Now you have correct information on A and B, but also two listings on B which are inconsistent, as well as incorrect information on C.
If that sounds confusing, it is. It’s also difficult to resolve because of the complexity of the situation.
If your website isn’t ranking where you’d like it to rank in local search results, you’ll want to work with an SEO company Toronto and area to analyze your situation, determine the best course of action, and make the right adjustments to improve your rankings. Google and other search engines are focusing more and more on local search results when people are searching for businesses. If you don’t rank highly for your location, you’ll be missing out on a lot of potential business.