Citations are online mentions of your business all around the internet. That is why NAP consistency is so important. The purpose of citations is for users to find you and find out more about the business or your website. There are two types of citations. Unstructured citations are references to your business in any blog post or article, where there is only a name or some other information mentioned. Furthermore, we have structured citations, found on data aggregators and most important databases online. They have a specific form and contain several pieces of information that are formatted in a certain way.
Mayor business listings include Google My Business, Google Maps citations, Apple Maps, Bing Places, etc. They require you to fill in all the essential information about your business, and the main part of it is NAP – name, address, and phone number. There are some additional nuggets of information such as website, description, etc. but NAP is the essential part. In this article, you’ll learn about NAP consistency, and the reason it matters to the local SEO. This way, you can improve your SEO strategy and make sure your business is visible and easily accessible to potential customers.
What is NAP consistency?
As they create citations on various websites, people often forget about NAP consistency, and that is submitting identical information to each site. The format of this information is also very important. Therefore, when talking about NAP, you need to make sure the information and the format of it are accurate and consistent across all the websites you build citations on. And let’s find out why.
Why accuracy and consistency of NAP are important for local SEO?
NAP is considered one of the key factors for the success and efficiency of your local SEO. That’s why we’ve made a list of reasons why is that theory true.
Consumers are the main focus
One of the main reasons why a consumer gives up when searching for a business, product, or service is the inaccurate information they find online. Let’s say a consumer finds some information about a business on Google. And then wants to double-check it in another directory and finds different information – the chances are they’ll give up and find another company.
Incorrect info can also mislead your potential customers, prevent them from finding your offices or contacting you to get more information or buy a service or product. For that reason, providing correct and consistent information about your company will ensure your potential customers find and locate your business with ease. Not sure how to do it well? AZ Citation Services can deal with all these tasks for you. Trusting a pro build citations for you is a time-saving decision that will ensure the maximum efficiency of this task.
If fewer people try to find you, your Google ranking will certainly drop. Furthermore, the inconsistent information will scatter the ‘points’ you need for a unique online image of your business. All the signals from social media, reviews, and links that Google collects to build your ranking will be inefficient if presenting different information and company. So, to understand your online profile and make a fair ranking, Google needs a lot of accurate information about a company. This will ensure it collects all the right pieces of info for one business name and ranks it properly in the search results.
One factor that is related to the previous item on our list is the legitimacy of your website. The name, address, and phone number of a certain business appear on multiple locations on the web. Then, Google will use it to prove the legitimacy of the website. Your website authority is achieved when Google cross-references all the information it can find online, therefore providing more ranking points for a trustworthy website.
If a person is looking for a service or product in a specific area, a business will appear in search results only if its address matches this search. For that reason, it is important to include your correct address details on all the databases, social media profiles and make sure locals can find you faster.
All of these factors included, we can conclude that NAP consistency ultimately leads to more traffic to your website, better rankings, increased leads, and finally – your business success. And here’s how to set up your NAP properly, and make it consistent and accurate all over the web.
Main tips for making a better NAP
Let’s start with the N – the way your business’ name will show up on the internet. It should be a full business name, not a variation or a nickname. Make sure you avoid any short version of it, but a full, official name of the company.
To make sure searchers can find you locally, set up one format of writing the address of your business. There are several styles to choose from. Each of them is correct, so you can choose any and stick to it. Whether you use 123 Thomas Street, 123 Thomas St, or 123 Thomas St. is not important, as long as you’re using the same style for all citations you build in the future.
Again, there are several formats you can use for your phone number. Brackets, hyphens, or dots – you can use each of these to divide the numbers. However, make sure you pick a style and write in in online citations, but also any offline places such as brochures, checks, invoices, business cards, etc. If you’ve been using a certain style on some important paperwork, pick that style for your online presence, too.
Do the cleanup
After reading all the tips, you’ve maybe noticed some mistakes you’ve made in the past. You shouldn’t worry about it – it is possible to do the citations cleanup, and makes sure all the citations are corrected and written in a uniform way.
Inform your employees about NAP consistency
Once you set up your NAP format, make sure everybody in your company knows about it. This particularly important if you’re running a bigger business, where other employees do some online tasks for you. Educate everybody on the importance of NAP consistency and ensure the success of your business in the future.