NAP consistency plays a very important part in local SEO.
What does NAP mean in SEO?
Simply put, NAP stands for:
- Phone Number
These three nuggets of information are important details in their own right but add them together and that can be the reason why a customer walks into your store – or the cause of them getting lost, being frustrated, wasting their time or, visiting a competitor.
Does NAP include your website?
We’ve established that NAP mentions can take many forms and occur in a whole host of different spaces, from social media profiles to directories, newspaper articles to reviews, but these days NAP consistency also includes your website. This is a place where you will naturally reference your business name, provide customers with your phone number or give directions to your store. Whether they are clustered together in the same part of the page or split up on the page, that information still counts as a NAP citation.
How can NAP become inconsistent?
It’s easy to fall into the habit of thinking of NAP as a purposeful thing you do when you’re specifically seeking to build citations. In fact, it’s something that often occurs very naturally in the course of a marketing action such as writing an article or creating a new web page.
For that reason, it’s easy to be caught unawares and fall into the trap of neglecting NAP consistency simply because you’re more concerned with the actual task at hand, not the NAP you’ve generated as a byproduct of your focus at the time.
NAP is a ranking factor
As per the Moz Local SEO Ranking Report, NAP information is a top five ranking factor. It contributes to on-page signals and citation signals, both of which contribute to a strong presence in the local pack.
According to Moz findings, only Google My Business signals (which includes NAP within the business profile), review signals and link signals are more important for local SEO, with behavioural signals, social media signals and personalization all judged to be less important.