Are you aware that one of the most important ranking factors in local search is NAP? If you aren’t aware of this, or what NAP means, then read on as in this short article we look at the importance of NAP consistency for local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and what you can do about it.
What Is NAP?
Before we start looking at the importance of NAP in SEO, it would be a good idea to first explain what it is. NAP is the abbreviation for Name, Address and Phone number, so it refers to these all-important business details. According to SEO experts like Moz, NAP is one of the most critical factors in local SEO as it influences how Google shows your business for local search results.
NAP data is often referred to as citations, which is an instance of your NAP data showing on a leading business directory in Australia (or wherever you are based around the world). According to a Moz report, “Foundational Ranking Factors”, three of the top six factors relate to the quantity of citations, the quality of those citations and the consistency of those citations.
Basically, they’re saying that your business name, address, phone number and website URL must be correct and consistent across all your business directory listings. If your business details have changed, for example, you have moved to a different business premises or you have updated your website from http to https, you will need to go back to these sites and update your details. If you don’t you may find that your local rankings are negatively affected as a result.
Why is NAP So Important?
To determine your rankings in its search results, Google uses a variety of data points which it processes at various time points. To do this, it scans the web looking for mentions of your business name, address, phone number and other details, then compares that information to other data sources. Consequently, your local search rankings are influenced by Google’s ability to find your business information online, so if your details aren’t consistent or correct (Google knows exactly where your business is located), it assigns you a lower ranking.
How to Ensure NAP Consistency
Depending on a variety of factors, including the number of SEO providers you have worked with, the number of times your business details have changed, and the comprehensiveness of your records, you may find it easy to update your NAP details across the web to ensure accuracy and consistency, but it could prove to be a major task. In fact, it isn’t at all uncommon for businesses to change their business name and details in an effort to start afresh so that they stand a chance of showing in Google’s local search results for their most important web pages and keywords (search terms).
However, regardless of the effort required to fix your listings, it really is well-worth making the effort because the benefits of having accurate and consistent NAP details across the web are far too good to overlook. We hope that this article helps you to understand the important of NAP in SEO in 2018.