Local SEO: Why NAP Inconsistency Hurts

Written by: Jason Bayless | April 30, 2016

Establishing yourself online while trying to optimize your content to be as SEO driven as possible is already eccentrically detail oriented, down to the grammar and individual characters on the content pages you accommodate. While you’re trying to build your local market with SEO strategies, one of the most important things to consider is NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) consistency. Getting this done correctly and effectively can have a profound impact on the results that appear when someone enters your business into a search engine.

How NAP Inconsistency Produces Negative Outcomes

The results of especially poor SEO efficiency and NAP consistency can be catastrophic. It’s possible that you’re only learning about these meticulous strategies now, and have for years been registering your organization or business inconsistently. Multiple entries, in the most ideal scenario, are absolutely identical.

You may have registered a business in the past through a local directory with a missing letter or period, changed your business name, or did not format it identically. This is a proper example of bad NAP consistency, where your website contains this information:

New York Better Butter, 123 Lipid Lane, New City, NY, 10956, 845-111-2222, NewYorkBetterButterlieveit.com

Though at a later time, you signed into Google and verified the business you have online, only with the following NAP:

New York Better Butter Inc., 123 Lipid Lane, New City, NY, 10956, 845-111-2222, NewYorkBetterButterlieveit.com.

If mistakes like this have been made multiple times, as small as a letter difference in any part of the name, address, and phone number, these two listings can come up as separate entities in the worst case scenario. This is absolutely confusing to any potential clients, who may try to contact you and obtain contradicting information.

In the absolute worst case, inconsistent results can have outdated information. This could cause you to lose a potential client, simply because the first result they found for you gave them an incorrect phone number.

The other negative impacts is that it simply reduces the optimization of your local SEO, and makes you less relevant in searches through different applications.

What You Gain From NAP Consistency

Everything you have to lose from adopting poor NAP measures is what you seek to gain. Improved search engine relevancy that will always link (and give multiple results in your favor) to the correct information, both through map applications and search engine listings. This makes your business become more locally popular (especially in contrast to your competitors). You can expect to see client rates improve, and higher traffic and analytics for your website and sales. You’ll also have more satisfied clients, when they don’t have to jump through hurdles to communicate with your business.

Strategies To Improve Local SEO

You should already understand that you need to have identical and accurate formatting for your business information, if you need to make changes in directories you’ve already registered in. What areas should you apply your NAP information to, though, in order to better advertise your services and become more relevant online?

The most popular websites, such as Yelp, Google, CitySearch, Yellow Pages, or other domains should have your information on their directory. There are even services, such as Axiom, that do this for you and list you across multiple directory sites. When finding websites to advertise yourself, don’t forget to find local websites that can link to your page, and try to communicate with other websites that can link your website to their blogs and articles.

Make sure that your business is accommodating for every category it can in these directories. Even the most minor association can bring a few more clients to you. Put your business information in as many headlines on your website as possible. The address and any keywords in the name are especially important for local business.

Becoming More SEO Relevant

It’s great to keep developing marketing insights that can make you more relevant online and help you promote your business. When making a local impact with your business, regardless of its popularity, adopting these measures is a strong way to get even more clients, obtain them over competitors, and consolidate your information.