Do you NAP?

Do you NAP?

 February 02, 2017 |  Views:317 |  Posted by: John Marx |  Article Tags: 

No, we are not talking about taking a nap. Those are great in certain situations. We are referring of NAP when it comes to your search engine optimization efforts or SEO. NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number. This information is critical for SEO to be effective and accurate. With a proper NAP setup, every search engine and wherever your customer goes will have a consistent experience on finding your business online. In this article, we will cover the core steps of NAP and why it is critical for your business to rank well on the search engines.

Breakdown of NAP

We're going to start off by covering how to have uniformed consistency to help drive leads to your business. Driving potential customers to your website is the first step to gathering information about your visitors and to start the sales process.

Name

This may seem like a simple thing to do. Say you are a lawyer and you are known as "Tom, Dick and Harry Trial Lawyers". This could seem very simple for the name and something that you don’t put much thought in. The problem is consistency. Below we have several examples that could be used for our fictitious company.

  • Tom, Dick, and Harry Trial Lawyers
  • Tom, Dick, & Harry Trial Lawyers
  • Tom, Dick, and Harry Trial Lawyers, Inc.
  • TDH Trial Lawyers
  • TDH Lawyers
  • TDH

You can see from the above all the examples still cover the name in some way but we lost the consistency. Now imagine your website uses one way, your social media another, Yellow Pages another, and other sites use a variety of those. You are diluting your brand and adding confusion to the search engines. Decide on a standard and stick to it and make certain it is the same across all the pages.

Address

Like our business name above we must think about the overall consistency of our address. If our address is “123 Mocking Bird Lane in Merrillville Indiana” we can envision that we could have the following addresses (we will use one line in our example but also think about a two-line address as well):

  • 123 Mocking Bird Lane, Merrillville, IN
  • 123 Mocking Bird Lane, Merrillville, IN 46410
  • 123 Mocking Bird Lane, Merrillville, IN 46410-xxxx (with the 4-digit extension)
  • 123 Mocking Bird Lane, Merrillville, Indiana 46410
  • 123 Mockingbird Lane, Merrillville, Indiana
  • 123 Mockingbird, Merrillville

Like our name our address can be even more diluted to all the potential variations and combinations. Decide on one and stick with it. We will routinely be looking at Google Maps first to see if we need a North, South, East, or West in our address. Often there are East and West parts of a road and can be miles apart adding confusing to people trying to find your business.

Phone Number

Okay the phone number will be the simplest, right? Not necessarily. We see phone numbers in many ways. These are:

  • (855) 456-2669
  • 1-
  • 1 (855) 456-2669
  • Toll Free 8554562669

Phone numbers are often one of the largest areas we see being inconsistent. The first two are often the most consistent we see for our United States customers.

DNI Tracking Number Problems

We have done Dynamic Number Insertion or DNI for several clients due to their corporate requirements. We personally do not recommend DNI due to the potential risks that it can lead to. DNI uses a JavaScript program on your website to insert different phone numbers, rather than your primary business phone number, onto your website. This script looks at where the user came from and sets the phone number accordingly. This is used so that you can track where sources of leads are coming from. Depending on your implementation this can cause severe problems for your NAP. There are many DNI solutions out there that do not take NAP into account and can lower your SEO results. This is counterproductive from what you are trying to achieve. Do your research prior to implementing a DNI solution and weight the risk this provides.

If you do DNI and later find out it has hurt your business rankings you can clean it up. You just must be prepared that it will take a lot of time and effort. So, if you have done DNI in the past and see that it is not doing what you hoped for you can fix it.

Citations

First, we talk about naps and now we are leading to speeding tickets? No, not really. A citation when it comes to SEO is a good thing to have. A citation is when someone mentions your business on their website. A basic citation can be someone mentioning your business name with no link. A citation is always better when a link to your website is included, your address, phone number, or other identifying information is used. Many times, we have seen that having just your phone number. Perfect examples of valid citations are:

  • Company Name by itself
  • Company name and phone number
  • Company name, phone number, and address
  • Company name, phone number, address, and link to your website

Like our NAP above and if we have the capability of controlling or offering advice on a citation (many times you don’t) you should try to get your citations to match your branding standard.

Now that you know

Now that you are aware of and know about NAP, the core benefits it offers to your business, and why consistency is important the next step is to make your information correct on your website, social media, and every local business directory your business is listed on.

If the above seems like a daunting and endless task finding a team, like JM2 Webdesigners, can greatly help with NAP, local SEO and standard SEO. We have an entire department dedicated to the art of SEO and helping get your business name out to those that are looking for the products and services that you offer. You can reach us at , email at sales@jm2marketing.com, or through our contact form here.

<a href='mailto:john@jm2marketing.com'>John Marx</a>
John Marx
CEO / Owner
john@jm2marketing.com

John has been actively involved with technology since computers first came out in the late 1970's. He developed businesses and games as a teenager which still hold his interest. John started out with basic and assembly language, and progressed to Pascal, Delphi, C, C++, and COBOL in his college days. Currently he uses Visual Basic (VB), PHP and C# (his preferred) as part of ASP.Net. Since 1995 John has concentrated his work to Internet web pages and is a strong advocate for pushing web technologies to their maximum potential. John continually writes code in HTML (HTML5), CSS (CSS3, SASS, and LESS), jQuery, and uses SQL Server to store all of the information he writes. John is a strong advocate for agile development practices, and pushes the use of Internet standards in every application he writes and supports.

John is proud that the team at JM2 Webdesigners is committed to following the company standards of honesty, value, and customer satisfaction.