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What Is “NAP Consistency” and How Does It Help Local SEO?

A simple Google search for “pizza in Orlando, FL” pulls up a local map and a short list of pizzerias with contact information pulled from their Google My Business (GMB) profiles.

As a business owner, you may be asking yourself, “With so many pizzerias in just one city, how does Google determine which ones make the list?”

Google first determines where to rank your business by pulling the Name, Address, and Phone number (also known as “NAP”) from your GMB profile. It then takes your profile’s NAP and compares it with the NAP listed across your social media, website, and online directories.

NAP Consistency relates to how consistent your business information is across these listings, which is what ultimately decides where your business ranks in local searches.

The Basics of NAP Consistency

To have consistent NAP, you must list your information the same way across your Google profile, social media, website, and other online directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc. Attention to NAP detail is essential because even the slightest slip-up could throw a wrench in your rankings.

For example, if your Google profile lists your address as “1234 Pizza Lane, Orlando, FL”, but your Facebook profile lists your address as “1234 Pizza Lane, Altamonte, FL,” Google won’t recognize them as being consistent.

Google — just like its users — gets confused when your company has inconsistent listings.

When your listings are conflicting, Google won’t search around for the correct version of your NAP. Instead, it may choose other businesses that have consistent information.

NAP Consistency and Local SEO

When determining local rankings, Google weighs three different factors: relevance, distance, and prominence. Here’s how you can use your NAP Consistency to maximize all three.

Relevance

Google combs through local listings to find the most relevant results for users, but it can’t associate your business as a respective search result if there isn’t enough information available. By having NAP Consistency, your online information will be both thorough and consistent enough for Google to decide how relevant it is to a specific search. 

Distance

By asking permission to access a user’s location, Google can pull results that are convenient for him or her to reach. However, without an address listed, Google won’t bother considering your business as a local listing. NAP Consistency requires you to provide your full address across each of your listings, which helps your business appear as a trusted, local option.

Prominence

Prominence might seem like a crazy way to determine whether to rank a business because, after all, it’s hard to gain traffic if you aren’t already ranking. Fortunately, Google measures this factor a bit differently than you may think. Just by having your NAP listed consistently across multiple local directories, your business appears more prominent to Google. 

Your NAP and Your Audience

Just as you aim to impress Google, you should aim to impress your audience. Although your target consumers may not know what NAP consistency is, they will certainly consider it when making purchases and choosing businesses.

According to a 2018 report by BrightLocal, “80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online.”

Consumers aren’t going to cross-reference your website with your social media pages until they find the most accurate information; they’re going to use the most convenient, consistent, and relevant option that’s readily available.

How to Improve Your NAP Consistency

With NAP Consistency, you get what you put in. This means if you make any significant business changes like moving office locations, getting a new phone number, or changing your company name, you have to make an update across all of your local listings to maintain consistency and keep your Google listing at the top search engine spot.

Depending on how big your business is, how many directories it’s listed with, and how many social platforms it posts on, that can take a lot of time and effort.

The SEO team at Web Solutions of America knows how to rank. That’s why we use a mixture of state-of-the-art listing management software and innovative local SEO tactics to expand your digital reach and boost your GMB presence.

While managing your growing listings, we’ll optimize content that increases your website traffic and, ultimately, your sales. Contact us today to learn more.