Short for Name, Address, Phone Number, NAP listings are vital for local SEO. NAP is essential if you want your business to rank in local organic search results. As Google uses this information to decide which businesses it will show in geo-location searches, inconsistent data can have a negative affect on your SEO ranking. It also affects how often your Google My Business listing shows up for searches. It can even mean that you never reach that all important organic first page position you have been working so hard to claim.
Why are NAP listings so integral, though? And, more importantly, how can you ensure that your NAP details are correct and not ruining your local SEO efforts? Keep reading to find out why NAP needs to be correct.
NAP Listings and Local SEO
Some things to keep in mind to ensure that your NAP listings are geared towards effective SEO include the following:
Why is NAP such a big deal?
Because search engines cross-reference your NAP details across a wide range of websites, from your own site to social media platforms and independent review sites, it is essential that this information is correct. These citations help you develop authority and trust online, showing search engines that you are a reputable business that has a real life location and genuine contact details. The more local citations you have that contain accurate NAP data, the more likely your website will move up in the SERPs.
Where should you enter your NAP?
Ideally, you should be listing your business on just about every directory that is reputable and trusted. These could be anything from Yelp to EatOut.co.za, Google My Business, and any other site relevant to your industry. Wherever you list your business, you will need to use the same information that you have on your own website and social media pages.
NAP & Google My Business Listings
Your Google My Business listing is the business information & map that comes up when someone does a search for businesses in their area. It also comes up if someone searches for your company name specifically – or it should. If it doesn’t you should get in touch with us pronto! Your Google My Business listing is critical, and the information on the listing should match the NAP details on your website perfectly. If they don’t match, Google will not show your GMB listing as frequently & you will also not get features on the map 3-pack in the organic search results.
How accurate should NAP be?
If you want your website to rank, your NAP data needs to be as accurate and consistent as possible. This means that if you have any details change, you will need to update them on your own website and social pages, and any other site that you have listed on at any point. If you are not sure which sites you are listed on, do a search using old and current phone numbers, business names and addresses. Some of the most important things that could ruin your ranking include:
- Inconsistent/misspelled business name
- Inconsistent address or missing details such as suit number
- Inconsistent phone number
- Missing/incorrect social media listings
- Missing business hours (although not vital to NAP, this still helps your local SEO efforts)
What NAP listings should you prioritise?
There are a few places that your NAP details are located. Some of the most important places to focus on include:
- Your Website
- Your social media pages
- Google My Business (GMB) Landing Page
- Listing sites
How do you ensure that your website NAP is accurate?
Your digital marketing specialist will work with you to ensure that your website is ready for local SEO. There are also some things that you can do to ensure that your website has the best chance of ranking. The very first place that search engines look for NAP is on your company website. If you have updated your external listings, without updating your contact page, this will affect your ranking. Likewise, if any information is incomplete or inconsistent, such as strange spacings between letters, your ranking will also be affected. You could also try adding your company name, address and phone number in your footer to further make it easier for search engines to find this data.
If you would like to know more about how local SEO in South Africa helps your business succeed online, please get in touch. We can assist with NAP listings along with a wide range of digital marketing services in South Africa that are designed to help you grow.