Accurate location-based Name, Address, and Phone Number of any business is defined as NAP consistency. They need to be the same everywhere from local directories, websites, social media profiles, and business listings. Local SEO is one of the most important factors determining how your business ranks on search engines. Additionally, never ignore the homepage URL and ensure it remains consistent everywhere.
NAP consistency is seen as the foundation of local SEO strategy. You need to consider it as table stakes or the minimum requirement for ranking in local search engines. Any inconsistency or not having proper citations across the web should immediately be fixed.
What Is Meant BY Local Citations?
Any mention of your business’s name or contact information on the Internet is a local citation. These are considered critical Local Pack Ranking factors. Such citations are primarily from directories, social media, business association pages, and chamber of commerce mentions. Citations don’t have to be linked back to a website to provide search engines with a positive signal for your business. Consistency in your data across business listings becomes a crucial signal for Bing and Google to classify your business as legitimate.
You need to start listing a small business on significant websites such as Bing Places, Apple Maps Connect, and Google My Business. After having a consistent profile on these platforms, you should focus on building additional citations on the social media platforms and local directories.
Importance of NAP Consistency
Google believes its users are essential, and its goal is to offer the most relevant and helpful information to them. Google’s algorithms are developed to sort data on the Internet. Search engines use different ranking signals to determine the best results based on queries received from their users.
When ranking a website in the top search engine results, several factors are considered. Businesses providing local business result citations are among the most critical signals for Bing and Google to determine if such information is authentic and accurate. Local business citations with severe inconsistencies are often considered negative or search engine set of ranking signals. Consistency in Name, Address, and Phone Number data across the Internet helps you rank higher as they are considered accurate information for the users.
A similar concept can be applied to people searching for information about any small business. For instance, if a user tries to contact a business and gets an inconsistent listing having an old number or multiple old addresses would give a bad experience. Searchers might believe that a company that doesn’t bother updating its contact information isn’t trustworthy to offer them genuine products or services. Estimates suggest that 73% of users lose trust in a brand if their business listing has inaccurate data. A business that keeps its directory listings updated is the one staying at the top.
How Much Consistency In NAP Is Required?
Consistency doesn’t mean that all NAP citations need to have each space, character, dash, and space the same everywhere. For instance, the formatting of your phone number doesn’t need to be the same in each citation. Similarly, the format of your suite number doesn’t need to be the same but ensure they are there in each listing.
Hence, the takeaway from such developments requires you to do your best to maintain consistency across NAP and URL across your online listings but not be stressed about slight variations that search engines can quickly figure out. Thus, it’s essential to do whatever is best for your potential customers and ensure they can easily find you and abides by a consistent format across each listing as much as possible.
Another example of this condition is that a local search engine ranking isn’t impacted if a citation mentions “Avenue” as “Ave” or any suite number is formatted differently or missing in a particular listing.
If you think you have done everything correctly and your NAP is consistently abiding by the prescribed standards, but your business listing still isn’t at the top, it’s time to consult a professional. Local SEO Jacksonville is a company that assists small businesses in Jacksonville, FL, to rank better in the search results. Their team has both the expertise and experience of promoting businesses to rank better for your targeted products and services.
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