What is NAP and Why Is It So Important?

What Does NAP Even Mean?

What is NAP? It’s an acronym for probably the most important aspect of your business: your contact information. NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. If you expect to be able to get great rankings in local searches, you need your NAP to be correct and consistent across all your website citations and wherever else you place your business online.

Business Data and Distribution

Consistent NAP helps you get recognized no matter where you are in the world. Yelp, Google, etc. get most or all of their data from providers. This data is then added to theirs which they then publish online and off. Have you ever wondered how your company wound up on Google+ or Yelp or online Yellow Pages without ever supplying the data? This is how. Once your data is plugged in, it spreads. Fast.

So… be sure it is correct and consistent everywhere.

Citations and Search Engine Rankings

No one wants to review the information of millions upon millions of businesses for accuracy. Who can afford the effort, funds or time? NAP allows for the proliferation of your information where it’s needed: everywhere. Local searches are especially important. Beware of the common mistake that many companies in your hometown may make when developing smaller sites that use numbers in the URL that can be tracked. Bad idea. Only use your real URL and your real information. If you don’t, then answering “what is NAP” will mean absolutely nothing.

Its Effect on SEO

The whole premise of search engine optimization (SEO) is to be seen. Major search engines need their users to be confident in the results. This is why many big hitters like Google and Bing will cross-reference the information over many platforms to make sure you’re a legitimate business. The better the NAP consistency, the better the rankings your business will get. And vice versa.

Be Consistent or Be Doomed

What is NAP without its consistency? Nothing, nothing at all. NAP is all about being consistent. This is one important way your company gets listed higher than others – without even thinking about keywords or content. Search engine protocols are notoriously very streamlined and there’s no wiggle room. You have a set address for your business.

Say you paid for an ad in the Yellow Pages with a tracker so that you can get a count of leads generated. But say you left off “Inc.” or changed “apartment” to “suite”. The search engines will view these as different companies. Fix these discrepancies to fix your ranking.

Hire a SEO company to do it for you unless you have the time to create accounts and login to every single place your business information was listed in order to change each instance.

Use NAP consistently to ensure your business doesn’t take a permanent nap.

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