For businesses of all kinds and sizes, local search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic and purchase. A strong local search presence can help your company attract customers without spending tens of thousands of dollars in traditional advertising.
In fact, according to research:
- 92 percent of users choose a business that appears on page 1 of local search results.
- And 53 percent typically visit a business within 48 hours of performing a local search.
Simply put: successful local SEO = increased traffic and revenue = better business results.
NAP Consistency is Key to Boosting Local Search Performance
Marketing execs and SEO professionals understand that part of every successful search strategy involves building citations and submitting your business information across the web, on all the possible sites that consumers go to in order to research and find great local businesses.
A crucial element to this process is consistency in your submission of your NAP information: business Name, Address, and Phone number. NAP consistency means the information you provide is correct and consistent across all the websites, apps, apps, local business directories, and other digital properties in which your business locations are listed.
When you have consistent local citations and NAP, your business listing ranks well.
Seems plain, simple, and easy enough? Not so fast. Too many businesses have been careless with the information they provide when building citations, and this is costing them valuable opportunities.
- In the U.S., 37 percent of businesses have at least one incorrect or missing name on their listings. 43 percent have at least one incorrect or missing address, and 18 percent are missing their phone numbers.
- According to the Local Search Association (LSA), wrong local data and inconsistent NAP is costing businesses in the U.S., to the tune of approximately $10.3 billion in potential annual sales. Moreover, the LSA report found that 32 percent of consumers will not consider buying from a business with wrong contact and NAP information listed online.
To prevent you from making similar mistakes — and from losing opportunities to grow your traffic and revenue through local SEO — we here at ReviewTrackers created a list of tips and tricks for NAP consistency.
Tips and Tricks for NAP Consistency
Conduct an audit. It’s highly likely that your business is already listed somewhere online. So run a quick search to see how your business information appears on different sites. Conduct a search for your business name, for your address, for your number, then a combination of two or three of these.
If you have the time, organize these listings and citations on a spreadsheet so you can identify which ones need editing or correcting. While this can be time-consuming and tedious, you have the option to invest in local listings service providers to help you maximize your efficiency.
(Important note: If you’re managing a business with multiple locations, each location should have its own unique NAP.)
Keep your information updated. You may have moved to a new office or you recently changed your phone number. In this case, it’s important to refer to the spreadsheet of your audit and make the necessary changes to keep your NAP information up-to-date on all the sites where you’re listed.
Remove duplicates. Did you accidentally create a citation or listing before discovering that a similar one for your business already exists? If you somehow end up having duplicates, try to clear them out by claiming the citation or listing as your own, going through the verification process, and contacting the site owners.
You definitely want these duplicates to go away. Some sites have specific instructions for removing duplicates or integrating these into one; you just have to take a proactive approach in following the steps needed to ensure that your business and NAP information are consistent and tied up properly into one citation or listing.
As much as possible, avoid variations. Variations in entering your NAP variations could prevent you from achieving maximum visibility in local search results.
For example, don’t write down “W. Campbell St.” as your business location’s address when previously you entered “West Campbell Street.” Similarly, if you have previously used “Robert Johnson, CPA” as your business name, don’t deviate and change it to “Robert Johnson, Accountant” or “Robert S. Johnson Accounting Group”.
Variations to avoid also include having multiple or different phone numbers for a specific business location.
Document your citations regularly. Get organized and keep track of where your business is listed or mentioned online. Incorrect and outdated information can multiply quickly across the Web and affect your ranking in local search results, so it’s critical that you regularly monitor your online presence before errors and bad data affect your search performance.