Local search is becoming a huge market. There are great opportunities in the local space because Google has emphasized local connections so strongly that a small local business can outperform a large national one, depending on the keywords. The goal of local SEO is to make your business appear high on the results pages when someone looks up your area of service and the name of a local town. If you are among the top pages listed, then you will get a lot more calls and referrals. That can make or break a business because it can lead to major change in revenue. One of the most important aspects of local SEO and performing well is NAP data. In this post, we will describe NAP data and talk about why you need to know what it is as a business owner or manager without web design experience.
NAP is an abbreviation for Name, Address, Phone Number. In other words, NAP data is one way of summarizing the contact information for your business. This leaves off email, chat, social media, and other modern communication methods.
The reason NAP data is so important is that Google uses it to verify that your business exists and that you control its website. Normally, Google does not really know whether or not the website you run is the official site of your business, an imitator, a site for a business with a similar name, and so on. Google needs some kind of signal to link together your business with the website you control. The measure it uses to track this is called authority. If a site has high authority, Google is really confident that the site is exactly what it claims to be.
For a business owner, you want your business’s sites to have as high authority as possible. The best way to do this is through NAP data. If your business has consistent NAP information on many different parts of the Internet, then Google can be more sure about its correct spelling and other details, making it easier to link the business to the site. There are many places you can put your NAP data to help Google out. Of course, you should put it all over your website, and make absolutely sure it is exactly what it should be and that every time you put it down, it is exactly the same. Put it on Yelp or Angie’s List, if those sites apply to your area of business.
Put it on local listings like bulletin board sites, churches, chambers of commerce, and so on. Your NAP data should be in as many places as possible. Working alone, it is pretty hard to come up with new places to put NAP data, but there are lots of SEO tools that can help you automate this process. They have built-in lists of placed to post your NAP and they won’t make mistakes because they are automatic software.
If you want your business to reach its potential, then you must invest in some local SEO. In local search, site authority is so important that you cannot avoid working on spreading your NAP around to as many places as possible. That will put you in front of your competition and drive more traffic to your site. The more traffic you have, the better you rank, so it is a positive reinforcement loop. It should be an early step of any local SEO campaign.