To anyone outside the ever-changing world of Search Engine Optimization, a NAP means a brief period of sleep during the day…a nice little siesta. For us Local SEO practitioners, NAP is an critical reason why some businesses rank locally on Google, and some do not.
NAP is a simple acronym that stands for Name, Address, Phone (number). One might think that, with all that SEO entails with such jargon like title tags, link building, domain authority, ad nauseum…why is something so simple as NAP an issue for some folks?
What it comes down to is this: Google and the other search engines want data consistency when it comes to certain things, especially NAP. If Google sees that a business isn’t consistent with this simple piece of information across sites and directories, then there is something suspicious going on and that business’s rankings suffer as a result.
The NAP of business is located in several places on the web, whether you entered the information yourself or someone else did. If your business isn’t ranking on Google, Google Places, etc, this may be your problem.
Has your business moved recently and/or changed phone numbers recently? This is the most common culprit when it comes to NAP inconsistency. Maybe your website still has the old information, or other places like Yelp.
Does your business have multiple locations, but use just one single website? This may confuse the great and powerful Google. Consider giving each location its own site, or at least its own page on the main website. If I were fortunate enough to be able to open another office in, say, my hometown of Rohnert Park up in Sonoma County, I’d create a page at rohnertpark.localmybiz.com, and then change my current Monterey office to similarly-named page.
Maybe you’ve used one of the Yellow Pages services that (try to) do SEO on your listing. There’s a double-edged sword in effect here: IYPs (Internet Yellow Pages) are valuable only in that a well-optimized listing on those sites do help your Google ranking. However, their SEO tactics are often weak; they sometimes use call tracking numbers instead of your actual phone number (thereby providing data inconsistency); and, in many cases, they own any website/listing that they create for you (please see my rant on the Yellow Pages…it’s a little old, but still relevant). You can still have a listing on IYPs without having to enlist their services.
If you think this may be an issue with your business and aren’t able to correct it yourself, give us a call! We have tools at our disposal that can determine if this (or other issues) are gumming up the Googleworks.
Who’da thunk NAPs are good for your business? Just don’t let that one lazy employee know.