As a new business owner, customers must be able to locate your store. That’s why NAP, or Name, Address, Phone Number, is essential for a business’s online and in-store presence.
Google weighs this information heavily when determining your website’s rank.
The challenges associated with local SEO are constantly changing. Google’s recent updates to its algorithm put a high emphasis on having a NAP consistent on all online listings.
Why is a Localized NAP important for your SEO Strategy?
NAP contributes highly to your business’s success because it allows your company to display its most valuable information, how customers can find you. Ensure your company’s listings are identical and current to rank higher in SERPs and improve your local SEO.
So, how can I optimize my NAP to rank higher in SERPs?
This article will discuss 8 NAP best practices for optimizing your local SEO to rank higher in SERPs.
Let’s dive in.
1. Run a Quality Report
If opening a new business, complete all paperwork correctly to ensure NAP consistency. A new company with a new business name is an open slate and should be taken advantage of.
The company-registered address must match the store address. If these are inconsistent and both are online, it will negatively impact your business’s local SEO.
Taking over an existing business requires more work to see where it stands with its online presence. Do a Google search to see where your business’s NAP is appearing.
Search for the company’s name, address, and phone number separately before searching for the business’s full NAP. Detect issues that arise and categorize them into a spreadsheet to address the problems systematically.
2. Use the Business’s Full Name
Be consistent across all online platforms where customers can find your business’s full name. Avoid abbreviating and using different variations with the full name of your business.
Google will scan all the listings your business name links to. The more listings it finds with the same business name, the more trust Google will have in promoting your business.
The full name is the first thing customers will see when searching for your business. For this reason, stick with one name. Your business will receive more clicks resulting in more people walking into your store.
3. Use the Business’s Full Address
Maintain consistency with your business’s full address. Use Google Maps to find out what Google sees when it scans your business’s address. If Google Maps is yet to apply to your business, refer to a piece of USPS mail.
For example, a common mistake is to spell out each word fully with your business’s address. However, USPS prefers to abbreviate street names to save space. Road, Street, and Avenue are likely to be Rd, St, and Ave.
The full address used by your business is the primary way customers will locate your store. Be sure to check for any visible discrepancies across all online listings.
4. Use the Business’s Full Phone Number
You are now detecting an underlying theme with your business’s NAP. Be consistent. Input the business’s full phone number in the same format.
For example, if (XXX) XXX-XXXX is your business’s format, use this across all online listings. Include it on the company’s website, social media platforms, all online citations, and your Google My Business profile.
Google recognizes NAP consistency and ranks higher based on how many identical online listings it finds. Once your business ranks in the local SERPs, build up your backlinks with more NAP citations.
5. Update Your Website
Update the website to show the company’s NAP in strategic locations. It is best practice to put the business’s NAP in the header and footer of each page on your website. Placing the NAP in the footer can significantly improve your local SEO.
Make a point to see that your website displays the company’s NAP in text only. When Google scans your business’s NAP as an image, it will bump down your website’s local SEO ranking. Google scans all relevant text before images.
Remember to provide the company’s NAP on the website’s contact page. This detail is overlooked and bad for local SERPs ranking and customers trying to find your business.
Include a Google Maps form on the contact page of your website. Showing a Google Maps form will boost your local SEO and give visitors instant directions to the store location.
6. Add Schema Local Business Markup
Add schema local business markup to your website to provide Google with an orderly way to scan your website. Google uses this information to show the top results, giving your website a better chance to appear higher in local SERPs.
Adding schema local business markup will also give your website a higher probability of qualifying to appear as a rich snippet in local search queries. Rich snippets are highly trusted, which is excellent for business.
Refer to Google Structured Data Markup Helper to add schema markup to your website. Verify it on Google’s Structured Data Testing tool to see if your code is working correctly. Google will show mismarked tags that need addressing.
7. Update Your Google My Business
Update your GMB to increase the visibility of your company’s website on local SERPs. Cross-check to confirm your business’s NAP is the same on your GMB and other online sources.
Look for duplicate and outdated listings that are no longer in use. Closeout duplicate listings and update old listings that are incorrect. Follow the prompts Google recommends to delete or modify your listings.
To make your GMB profile advantageous, build up NAP citations by increasing your external linking with trustworthy websites. Thanks to Google’s latest algorithm, it is essential to have a consistent NAP.
8. Optimize Your NAP for Google Local Pack
The business’s NAP directly impacts if it appears in the Google Local Pack. The Google Local Pack, or the Google Map Pack, is found at the top of the SERPs and shows the highest-ranking local listings.
Relevant businesses will appear according to the user’s search query with the geographical location, store hours, contact information, etcetera.
If your company’s NAP is operating consistently across all online listings, there is a good chance it will qualify to show in the Google Map Pack.
What that means is your business will show above the organic search results. The Google Map Pack is significantly valuable if your business is fortunate enough to rank in it.
A business’s NAP affects local SEO ranking and, more importantly, gets people to visit your store. NAP consistency benefits your business’s customer acquisition, company reputation, and ROI conducive to a successful business.
Conversely, if there are inconsistencies with your business’s NAP, expect to receive some negative reviews from unsatisfied customers. Understandably, this will negatively impact the company’s reputation.
Local SEO ranking is an increasingly competitive landscape. For this reason, frequently monitor all online citations and listings to boost your business’s visibility on local SERPs.
Refer to these 8 NAP best practices and watch your business climb in local SEO rankings—best of luck with your ongoing success.