Local Search Marketing : Importance of NAP Consistency

If you are running your business where you are having a face-to-face interaction with your customers on a physical address (instead of operating your business through a virtual address), then your business will be termed as a ‘local business’ irrespective of the fact whether you are a small, medium or large-sized enterprise.

To promote your business on the online space and attract your local customer, you will be required to take help of local search marketing.

Local search marketing aims at diverting local traffic towards your website by doing a local keyword analysis, doing on-page local optimization, optimising social media profiles & online reviews and listing your business in the NAP format on various reliable online directories.

But what exactly is a NAP format?

NAP is an acronym for name, address and phone number of a local business. When you list this information regarding your brand or business on various online directories like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn, Citysearch, IndianYellowpages etc., it facilitates search engine crawlers to index your website. Search engines readily provide a higher rank to those websites which have a huge influx of one-way links to its respective websites as these links are deemed as quality backlinks.

Various local businesses having brick and mortar stores such as restaurants, hotels, salons, shopping stores, and departmental stores make the most of it by enlisting their businesses in a NAP format into online directories as it is an easy way to promote their product and services, usually free of cost. It also helps them in earning organic traffic as users are automatically attracted to those search results which appear on a higher rank on Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

When search engines find discrepancies in your local listings on various directories, they will deem your website as unreliable and in turn provide you a lower rank on Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

However, authentic information listed in a consistent NAP format will boost your local search rankings. As each time a user does a local search, search engines are able to provide geographically or location relevant results to them.

Yet, there is one important factor to consider which is NAP consistency i.e. accurate information of the business should be enlisted in the Name-Address-Phone Number format on all the directories.

As explained below, NAP consistency attracts potential customers and helps in lead conversion. On the other hand, even a slight variation in your NAP format while submitting a business listing  affects your business in a negative way as your potential customers are misled by the wrong information.

Good NAP consistency: Correct name, address & phone number.Bad NAP consistency: Wrong Phone Number
Wayne Packers & Movers

666 West Street

Winston, CO 80356

888-888-888

Wayne Packers & Movers

666 West Street

Winston, CO 80356

888-457-907

Bad NAP consistency – Wrong Business NameBad Nap Consistency – Wrong Address
Leslie Packers & Movers Co.

666 West Street

Winston, CO 80356

888-888-888

Wayne Packers & Movers

234 North Street

Winston, CO 80356

888-888-888

But what if there is inconsistency in the format of your business name, address and phone number? For instance, there were changes in your local address, phone number or you had a variation in your business name and you failed to update the information in the listings, you placed the information in the wrong format i.e. primary address in the place of secondary address and vice versa, there were spacing issues or you used short forms like – St. instead of Street, Rd. instead of Road etc.

The repercussions can be detrimental to your business as not only will your leads bounce back, but search engines might de-index your listing for confusing the customers