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.
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
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.
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.
Okay the phone number will be the simplest, right? Not necessarily. We see phone numbers in many ways. These are:
- (855) 456-2669
- 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
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.
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 855-456-2669, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our contact form here.