Your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) info play an important role in Local SEO. NAP information allows Google to associate accurate business information with your business (such as it’s location), and maintaining consistent NAP info allows customers to make successful phone calls and request accurate driving directions.
Table of contents
Use this guide to better understand and audit NAP info:
What is NAP info?
- Name: Your business’s name (excluding any legal suffixes)
- Address: Your business’s physical address, including any suite numbers
- Phone number: The main phone number used to reach your business
Note: Your business’s phone number can be a tracking number. However, you should also add your local phone number as your secondary number.
The importance of NAP info
👤 For users: Users rely on accurate business info throughout the buying cycle. For example, a user performs a search for a “personal injury lawyer,” and they click to call the first Local 3-Pack result. However, there’s a typo in phone number, which leads them elsewhere, so they hang up. Then, the user decided to call the second result in Google’s Local 3-Pack Result to pursue their case. In this scenario, the law firm that got the first click-to-call potentially just lost out on a case because of inaccurate NAP info.
🤖 For search engines: Search engines like Google use NAP information to deliver search results to the end-user (potential customers for your business). For example, let’s say a law firm was recently acquired and changed their name from Simon Law Firm to Morgan Law Firm. The new law firm decides to invest in TV / radio to announce the acquisition, but forgets to update the Google Business Profile name, which is still labeled as Simon Law Firm. Users searching for Morgan Law Firm as a result of the TV / radio campaign are unlikely to find the Google Business Profile because it contains outdated NAP info.
NAP Audit Tools
BrightLocal: BrightLocal provides an all-in-one solution for local SEO, including NAP audit functionalities. It audits and monitors business listings across numerous directories, flags inconsistencies, and tracks the progress of NAP corrections over time (see example above).
Note: I personally use BrightLocal as I personally prefer their UI and other tools. Plus, they recently introduced GeoGrid reports to their rank tracking platform. So whether you’re audit NAP, building citations, generating more reviews, or looking at rank tracking – they have everything in an all-in-one dashboard. You can get a 14-day free trial to test the platform out for yourself.
Whitespark: Whitespark offers a range of local SEO tools, including NAP audit features. It scans various directories and websites to detect any inconsistencies or inaccuracies in NAP information. It also provides actionable recommendations to rectify the identified issues (see example above).
Moz Local: Moz Local is a comprehensive NAP audit tool that allows businesses to check their NAP consistency across multiple platforms and directories. It provides a score based on the accuracy and consistency of business listings and identifies potential issues that need attention (see example above).
What to look for in a NAP Audit
- Correct inaccurate business information: Once a NAP audit identifies inconsistent or inaccurate data, it is crucial to update and correct this information across all platforms. Ensure that the business name, address, and phone number are consistent and reflect the most up-to-date details. This step is vital for building trust with search engines and potential customers.
- Claim and optimize your business listings: Claiming other listings on platforms like Apple Maps, Bing Places, and Yelp will allow you to regularly update information, and (in some cases) give you access to additional features. When it comes to your Google Business Profile, you’ll want to verify your business profile to ensure you’re getting the most out of Google Search. Other optimization opportunities include providing detailed business description, adding relevant business categories, including opening hours, website links, a high resolution logo, other relevant photos, and generating positive reviews. Consistent NAP information across these platforms is key.
- Monitor and maintain NAP consistency: Regularly monitor your business listings across various directories to ensure the accuracy and consistency of your NAP data. Changes in business information, such as address or phone number updates, should be promptly reflected on all platforms to maintain consistency.
- Encourage customer reviews: Positive customer reviews not only enhance your online reputation but also contribute to improved local search rankings. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on directories, as search engines often consider these reviews when determining rankings.
- Build local citations: Local citations are mentions of your business’s NAP information on external websites, directories, and social media platforms. Consistently seek opportunities to build high-quality citations from authoritative sources within your industry or locality, as these can boost your local SEO efforts. Start with the high priority ones like Apple Maps, Bing, and Yelp – and NO, you don’t need to pay Yelp). All of the aforementioned local profiles / citations are free.
Once you’ve optimized your Google Business Profile, and submitted your optimized and accurate business info (including NAP info) to other local citations, you’ & claimed you’ll want to consider optimizing your local landing pages – these also play an important role when it comes to ranking in search engines and converting customers once the get to your website.
Happy SEO-ing 🙂