What is NAP Consistency, and Why is it Good for SEO?
Is your business information listed the same way across the web? If not, it’s likely costing you from an SEO and customer perspective.
Consider this: You’re researching a particular vendor with whom you might do business, but you find conflicting information between their website and their company LinkedIn page. Is there anything more frustrating than not knowing which is the correct information?
What is NAP and NAP Consistency?
Closing business often comes down to trust, and it starts with your company’s NAP (name, address, and phone number). It’s important that this information is the same everywhere it appears online. Think about all of the places your business NAP is listed. There’s your website, of course, but it also likely appears on your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages, your Google My Business profile, Yelp, phone books and yellow pages, online directories, map apps, and B2B connection platforms such as UpCity. Honestly, the list goes on.
Why is NAP Consistency Good for SEO?
It might seem simple or not that big of a deal, but inconsistency in how your company is listed in various parts of the web can be a serious problem—one that drives potential buyers away and can have a significantly negative impact on your Google ranking.
According to a Bright Local survey:
would stop using a local business if they found incorrect information in online directories.
Say a customer is looking for a phone number to call your business and they start at your Facebook page. If your company profile doesn’t have a number listed, that means the customer is going to have to do more work. Already the process is seeing some friction, though perhaps not quite enough to push them away just yet.
So what’s next? They’ll likely Google your business name. Uh oh—the address shown in the quick info panel on the right of the search results isn’t the same as what your website shows. The website should be the source of truth, but what if your business recently relocated and your team hasn’t yet gotten around to changing it on your Contact Us page or in your site footer?
At this point, the struggle to find consistent information could very well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and the impetus a potential customer needs to seek out a competitor.
Remember what we said just a few paragraphs ago? It’s all about trust. In fact, a 2018 BrightLocal study revealed:
lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online.
This may sound harsh, but how can you expect a buyer to feel confident in spending money on your services when you haven’t taken the time to provide complete and accurate information across the many online touchpoints where your business appears?
But it goes beyond simply losing trust. A majority of folks won’t give you a second chance to make a first impression, and that same study showed that most consumers will blame the business for the inconsistency, not the directory in which it appears.
A recent article from Web Solutions of America mentions:
When determining local rankings, Google weighs three different factors: relevance, distance, and prominence.
It’s a problem that begins to compound. Lack of trust means fewer leads which means less revenue. But on top of that, when your business listing is inconsistent around the web, it affects your Google ranking negatively, and that is detrimental to your online visibility.
Digital marketing service provider Blue Corona addressed the issue in a recent article:
If search engines are finding conflicting information about your NAP, they’re not going to know for certain what your business is or where it’s located. When the search engines find varied details about your company, they lose confidence in your listing—so they are more likely to provide users with another listing that they’re more confident about.
So What’s the Solution?
From a bare-bones perspective, you can begin the process of determining where your NAP information lives and make sure it’s consistent across the board. However, that can prove to be unwieldy in short order. It’s possible that your NAP appears in 100 places or more online—it can go beyond your social. Maybe it’s a landing page for an event you sponsored or an unclaimed business profile on a lesser-known review site; the point is, it can get out of control quickly if not carefully tended to from the beginning.
That’s the key, right? Obviously it’s easier to keep the horse inside the barn if it hasn’t left. But if you do find yourself looking for a reset, providers such as BrightLocal, Yext, and Moz offer help in this department, as do the many high-quality SEO companies on UpCity.
Consistency is one of those key factors that shapes both search engine and human perception. It’s difficult out there, and every day is a grind—don’t make things harder for yourself by giving potential customers an avoidable reason to take their business somewhere else. Remove the frustration, make the research frictionless, help Google “feel confident” in your business, and ensure your company is recommendable.
Want to find out more about how you can build credibility and significantly increase your online visibility? UpCity can help! Contact us today.