Is your business lagging in local listings? You can rejuvenate sluggish search results by reassessing vital details, like your Name, Address, and Phone Number across your local citations. Here’s what you need to know.
- Your NAP combines the top three details searchers want
- NAP inconsistencies can cost you valuable opportunities
- Interior and exterior store images complement NAPs and boost engagement
What does NAP stand for?
The term NAP is an abbreviation for “Name, Address, Phone Number,” but don’t let that mundane detail mask how important it is. In fact, NAP is a vital piece of a local SEO strategy, as it’s used to help inform search engines and potential customers about a business’s physical location and contact information.
NAP consistency is especially important for proper citation building, as it helps validate a business’s legitimacy and makes it easier to find the business via local searches.
Increased conversion rates, both digitally and in person, are two of the benefits you can enjoy when you have these three important business details covered. But, if they’re inconsistent, you could be in trouble…
This guide reveals the risks of an inconsistent NAP, how NAP audits work, and why investing in local SEO software can help you get noticed in your area.
What is a NAP Audit?
A NAP audit for Local SEO is a comprehensive process of evaluating a business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) information on the web. It is an important aspect of local search engine optimization (SEO), as it helps ensure that businesses are accurately represented online and in local directories.
A NAP audit checks to see if your business’s NAP information is consistent across all platforms, including the company website, social media profiles, Google My Business, and other local directories like Yelp or YellowPages. This ensures that customers searching for your business online will find the same information no matter where they look, which increases their trust in your brand. Additionally, when all of your business’s NAP information is up to date-and accurate, search engines can better rank your website in local searches for relevant keywords.
Furthermore, having correct NAP information increases the chances that potential customers will be able to contact you directly from the search results page or directory listing without having to visit your website first. This makes it easier for customers to get in touch with you and further enhances their trust in your brand.
Avoiding Costly Pitfalls With a Neat NAP
Single and multi-location businesses, like franchises and enterprises, need their NAP to be consistently accurate at all times.
The first danger is that conflicting NAP data can effectively make your business disappear; an online listing says you’re in one location, while in reality, you’ve moved somewhere else. Customers may write you off entirely, thinking you’re no longer operating.
The next pain point of a poor NAP is how it impacts your local online citations (the important backlinks from other sites to yours). Quality backlinks boost your local web profile; inaccurate ones send you down the ranks. For example, a single instance of a changed phone number not being updated can cause your business to be labeled with Google’s “unreliable” stamp. This means opportunities that could have been yours go straight to the competition.
Aligning every NAP webwide gets more challenging the bigger your business is. An audit is a vital step toward bringing all your online contact details into harmony.
Getting your NAP in order requires a thorough audit of your webwide presence. You need to make sure your contact details are uniform across all directories, channels, and digital resources if you hope to impact local searches. This can be a major undertaking if you don’t have the right tools at your disposal. So, before starting your NAP audit, check your online presence accuracy with our free tool. If your score isn’t green, then it’s time to improve your local listing information.
The Four Steps of a NAP Audit
Think of a NAP audit as a spring cleaning for your online profile, with the bonus that you can perform one anytime you like. You can realize deeply positive results with only a handful of steps:
1. Review the Facts
Audits start by gathering all the facts about your current business. Double-check every contact detail and be willing to commit to them as your master NAP data. This is the list that will be used as a reference for all other online information.
2. Discover & Disable All Duplicates
Even the newest business can have multiple listings around the web. This can lead to repeated information, which is OK if it’s right, but SEO poison if it’s wrong. Conflicting details of any kind are an SEO drag, making them essential to find and remove, or consolidate.
One example is a business that may make subtle changes (either deliberately or by accident) to how it enters its name online. Audits root out every instance where your NAP appears so you can update double or incorrect entries.
3. Optimize Your Website’s NAP Placement
Website headers and footers are great places to add NAP details, as they’re among the first areas visually scanned by customers. Search engines need to be able to “feel out” your on-site NAP, meaning your website design should have it as clickable, and copy and paste-able information. Images of NAP details aren’t nearly as effective in your website’s header, footer, and contact page.
4. Splice In Some Schema
Savvy NAP auditors will tell you that adding a Google Schema markup will further help search engines discover your details. This is done via Google’s structured data markup helper, which lets you tag your business as a local service. Google also provides its own structured data testing tool, which lets you double-check that everything was input correctly.
We mentioned above that images don’t perform well when it comes to optimizing your NAP. This is true when we’re talking about the letters and digits that make up your NAP on your website. Images do, however, play an important role in local SEO when they’re supporting street names and phone numbers on your Google My Business profile. So, be sure to include relevant images of your business to add credibility and improve the user experience.
The Importance of Maintaining Your Image
Your NAP gives customers three key details, but this is still purely written data. People respond strongly to visuals, and combining relevant images with text can increase customer recall by 650%. You can capitalize on this massive margin by adding only a few photos of your company’s interior and exterior. An article by Search Engine Journal reveals some stats every store should consider:
- 1 in 5 web searches happens on Google Images
- Image optimization can dramatically boost SEO
- Image alt tags can impressively increase your online views
The free (and very useful) resources at Google Business Profile allow you to post pictures as part of your profile. Remember: Every business listing has an address. Interior and exterior images help embed yours as a unique presence in a viewer’s mind. Local searchers may have already seen you and will make that connection. Anyone unfamiliar with the area now has photos displaying what to look for at street level.
Be sure you don’t just pepper your web profiles with any old images. Ensure that they depict your business accurately, and have an SEO team optimize them.
Direction Local Features and Benefits
Direction local offers general-purpose solutions for local businesses, and niche solutions for hotels and medical practices.
For businesses in the medical and hospitality industries, the platform provides access to high-value directories unique to that niche. And Direction Local has partnerships with over 75 online directories.
With these solutions come substantial benefits, including:
- A boost in search engine rankings—including voice search and local search results
- Enhanced profile and increased rank on over 25 map apps—including Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Waze
- Easier customer acquisition (draw qualified leads right to your door!)
- Improved brand reputation
- Increased profits from your online presence alone
Direction Local is one of three flagship solutions from Direction, a company with decades of SEO expertise.
Direction teams know how to empower businesses to thrive online through award-winning bespoke SEO services and global legal compliance solutions.
What kind of features earns the results local businesses want?
Direction Local includes various features to develop, enhance, and update your online presence. These include:
- Automated listing creation
- All-in-one review management dashboard
- One-step publishing for business updates
- Custom SEO reporting and analysis
- Real-time syncing and profile updates
- Automated listing checks, duplicate cleansing
- Voice search activation across multiple systems
- Niche directory submission
- 2-Way API syndication
- Guided setup and installation
These features come alongside an SEO partner who genuinely cares about your results.
Contact Our SEO Specialists With Any Questions
The Direction team is dedicated to providing your business with local SEO solutions that hit their target and help you dominate the search listings. Our specialized local SEO software, Direction Local, delivers the power to actively manage your web presence to ensure accuracy and attract more local business.
Our user-friendly dashboard lets your business quickly update and sync information, and sends real-time alerts about any online reviews you receive. Nailing your NAP is just one of the many ways we can help you move up the local rankings. Connect with Direction today. Or schedule a discovery call.