Google can be particular and doesn’t like to be confused—it prefers your business NAP (name, address and phone number) listed exactly the same everywhere online. Consistent NAP can also help drive customers to your business.
When you create a Google My Business listing, Facebook page and any other business page/mention (citation), ensure the business name, address and phone number are exactly the same. A citation is any mention of your NAP online. Similarly, if you create an event, participate in a panel on your business’ behalf or mention your business online, you’ll also want to make sure the NAP details are uniform. Some citations are out of your control because they’re marketing activities. For example, if you’re mentioned in an article but your business’ name is listed differently, it’s harder to get it corrected. Plus, you’re not always the person adding your business’ information—maybe an employee or a content writer is adding these details. This is something an SEO company should be helping you with.
Common NAP Discrepancies
Consistent listings mean word for word exact matches no matter where your business appears online. If you have & in your business’ name rather than and, then this is how you’ll need to list it everywhere. The same goes for your address. For example, if your address says Suite one place and Ste. another place, then you’ll need to make sure your address is consistent on all directories. Directories include Google, Google maps, Facebook, Yelp, Bing, Apple Maps, Foursquare, US-info, Trip Advisor, etc. You’ll also want to make sure the address on your website matches all the others.
Here are some common discrepancies we’ve seen between NAP listings that can hurt your rankings:
- Phone number—You’ll want the format of the phone number to be consistent depending on which you prefer (XXX)XXX-XXXX or (XXX) XXX-XXXX. Ensure that you’re using the business’ main line and not a fax, cell or another phone number.
- State—Do you use the abbreviation or write out the state?
Why is NAP Important?
NAP is important for two essential reasons—rankings and customer trust.
NAP information is a top ranking factor. Google gets confused if all your business’ citations aren’t consistent. To put it simply, Google wants to provide correct information. If all the mentions of your business are the same, Google recognizes the legitimacy of your business and shares your business. Rankings also help get you in Google’s local pack when customers search for businesses. If mentions aren’t uniform, your rankings can be damaged by inconsistencies because Google sees these as a red flag.
Think about your own experiences searching for businesses and the impact on consumer trust. You’ve probably been frustrated by inconsistent information about businesses in online directories, whether it was an incorrect address or wrong hours. You don’t want to frustrate your customers or hurt customer trust with inconsistent or incorrect information. It’s not good if customers get lost trying to find you or waste time searching multiple places for correct business information.
Are you going to go check your NAP? If you want help with NAP or any other SEO concerns, we’re only a click away!