Every business owner knows that having their business contact information is critical to doing business. At the very least, a business should have their name, address and phone number visible to their potential customers. This NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) should be on every piece of literature, advertisement and website. If it isn’t, then you are losing customers. This holds true whether your business is strictly online or has a physical location.
So how do you make sure your NAP remains consistent in all your marketing materials?
You want to first check any listings including directories both online and offline to see that the NAP is correct. Secondly you need to check for any broken links with misinformation about your business. Third, but most critical is to check advertisements and other media for misinformation. It can be a daunting task to check each listing. There are algorithms out there that can cut the manual labor of checking and rechecking each listing separately. You may have heard of them.
SEO firms utilize these algorithms to help define and search out inconsistencies in data. One of the most popular algorithms is the Pigeon. What Pigeon does is connect web search and web maps in a coherent matter. Other digital marketing agencies and SEO firms offer to clean up and manage your online business directories.
What tools can you use to keep your business NAP up to date?
Businesses have access to a number of online tools to manually check listings. SEO tools, such as the ones seen on MOZ.com https://moz.com/tools are good to check more than just status and traffic rates. It is important to utilize these tools correctly so you have a good picture of what your potential customers are seeing. There is a possibility that by doing it yourself you may miss something. An extra pair of eyes and a good thorough computer generated “sweep” for data can make a big difference in spotting potential mistakes.
What are the consequences of not having a consistent NAP?
An interesting article, seen here…https://drivenlocal.com/the-importance-of-having-consistent-nap-name-address-phone-on-the-internet/ details what could happen when the business contact information is incorrect or missing. The bottom line is that you lose customers. It could also mean the difference between having customers come to your place of business or not having them come to your place of business.
There’s another important aspect to consider here. Trustworthy businesses, both online and offline have phone numbers and physical addresses unless they handle services strictly online. Local businesses expecting to attract potential customers to their physical business should definite have consistent NAPs on all business directories that they sign up to promote their business.
Location is essential. If the customer finds a wrong address or phone number for your business, “you’re toast!” Local search engines are driven by both a physical location and by the business category. The correct NAP that is consistent in all areas is critical to both driving potential customers to your business and keeping loyal and returning customers.
What are some key factors that I need to know to keep my business information current and accessible?
Customers are looking for you. Incorrect business information and broken links will drive customers away from your business. You need to know that your NAP is current and accessible to potential customers.
Customers trust that your information is correct. Inconsistent or incomplete information will destroy that trust.
Sites change. You need to keep on top of them. Your business also may change location or website. You need to let your customers know.