ARTICLE: Don't "NAP" on this Critical SEO Element
Establish Your Name, Address, Phone Number Profile (NAP)
By: BRIAN PLATZ
Ensuring a consistent "NAP" across the internet is crucial and improving consistency is one of the best ways to improve your local presence on the web. The more consistent your NAP, the higher your rankings. Alternatively, if your NAP is not consistent, it confuses the search engines - and the public - and dilutes your search engine rankings.
“NAP” Stands for Name, Address and Phone Number. And having one consistent NAP throughout the internet is a critical optimization element for your business. In order to build confidence with search engines businesses must ensure a search engine understands exactly who and where they are. Search engines focus on details and react to even the smallest discrepancy in NAP. You need to have the same, accurate information across all the search engines and local business directories. In Google's case it will even build a separate business listing with the inconsistent NAP information. You can probably see why having multiple listings cannot be good for your business.
Correcting NAP inconsistencies can be done, but it is difficult and takes time. Lots of time! There are a number of factors, but one of them is how widely the company is referenced on OTHER online business directory sites such as Yellow Pages, Bing, Yahoo, City Search, and Yelp and many more. Do a Google search with your Business Name and find every website that lists your business information. If given the option, claim your business listing and create an account to optimize the listing. Do the same search with your Phone Number. And your Address.
Beware of "Tracking Phone Numbers". Many business directory companies will try to sell you services that include tracking phone numbers. This is a convenience for them to be able to track calls so they can bill you. But it creates an additional NAP to confuse the search engines, in this case one with the same business name and address but a different phone number.
Review your own website. Is NAP information clearly featured where the visitor can find it? Does the website include the location of the business in title tags and headlines? Many sites include this information in an image which cannot be seen by the search engines. Do you have a Contact Us page with accurate NAP information? Ideally your name should be on every page of your website.
The good news is that even though fixing the problem can be extremely hard, it is doable. In the end, your online citations should match the business filings with the state, the information the post office has, the information on your website, and should ideally use a landline as the phone number.
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