Why is NAP important in Local Search?
Businesses change, but the address doesn’t! Don’t expect the search engines to work out what your business should be listed as.
Everything about a business premises can change over time except the address. For example; the business owner can change, the business name can change, the phone number can change, what the business does can change, however the address will always be the same.
Imagine you are a search engine trying to make sense of NAP data that is spread across hundreds of local listing sites associated with the same address. You find different names listed, some are similar, and some are completely different. Which one’s correct?
Then you look at Phone Numbers. You find the same phone number associated with the same address, but also potentially other addresses and even other businesses! Which one’s correct?
Then you look at Categories. You find the same business name but with different categories! Which one’s correct?
Which one would you prioritise in local search results? Logically, you would choose the NAP details which are listed most consistently. However, what if the most consistent NAP is out of date because a new business has just taken over the premises? What if a business has been in the same premises for years, but recently changed its name, or telephone number? etc. There are many variations, but ultimately the search engine has to make a decision…Which one is correct?
Consistent NAP data on multiple local listing sites provides an “anchor” on to which the search engines can hook. We call this the “NAP Anchor,” as together the Name, Address and Phone number provide a unique identifier for your business location to anchor to.
Even subtle variations such as spelling or brand name variations can affect performance.
The more consistent the NAP across multiple local listing sites the more authority it has and the more confidence search engines have in raising it in their local search results.
Search engines try to make sense of information not clean it.
Inconsistent NAP confuses search engines and impacts your local search performance.
Make sure you have a clean NAP!