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One of the most effective ways for your business to be found on local search is a consistent NAP. Is your business being found on the internet? Do a search right now to check if your NAP is consistent.

What is NAP?

NAP is your Name, Address, and Phone Number. It is critically important for local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) your NAP is consistently the same throughout all your backlinks and citations. Click on the link to learn more about backlinks and citations. Being consistent influences search engines results such as Google and Yelp how you are found. Best practice is to stay consistent with the same contact information for every search engine.

What information is necessary for NAP?

Business Name – If your name has at the end Inc., or Ltd., or any other corporate short form, make sure it is always included on every listing or don’t have it at all. The choice is yours. Just make sure it stays consistent

Address – Make sure your address is Rd and not Road. Another is Ave instead of Avenue. Google Maps preference is the short forms of street names.

Phone Number – Landlines are preferred but mobile phones work good too. Make sure to use the same phone number for all your listings. Avoid call tracking phone numbers. Call tracking numbers sole purpose is for marketing but raise havoc for NAP. When the phone number is not consistent, the flow of information is broken, which will affect your ranking negatively.

Email address – Some directory listings provide this option. Make sure the same email address is used for all your listings.

Think of the internet as one massive database Click To Tweet

When it comes to NAP, it is all in the details

Think of the internet as one massive database. Each time information is recorded on the internet, it is recorded into this massive database. If your NAP (name, address, phone number) is not consistent, your search engine results will be effected. The more consistent your NAP is the quicker your business will be found and ranked higher on local search.

A few examples. Your address is 123 Harmony Ave West Kelowna, BC V4A 1T1 250-555-5454. On another citation your address appears 123 Harmony Avenue Westbank, BC V4A 1T1 250-555-5454.  Search engines are created to pick up details. The same business name with a different NAP information will affect how you will be found on local search. Inconsistency in your NAP can lower your ranking.

Beware of Tracking Numbers

A common practice for many SEO marketing companies is to create landing pages with a tracking number. The tracking number is a temporary phone number and specifically to track how many calls are made with that phone number. The problem with tracking number it is a different phone number from your business phone number. When a SEO marketing company links and attaches all your backlinks and citations with this temporary phone number, it spreads throughout your entire data points. Your rankings are effected negatively and it is a nightmare to clean up.

What happens when you put a tracking number (a temporary phone number) on your google plus page and other citations and backlinks? All the other business directories pickup this temporary phone number and save it. Once it starts it, spreads like virus to all the other directories and data providers the business name is attached to. Tracking numbers throw a wrench into your local search, damaging your ranking, and turning it into a monstrous, tedious mess to clean up. Contact Kelowna SEO Marketing company to help sort the mess.

Why is NAP consistency important for ranking?

Google compiles information by way of data points. These data points follow a database process of consistent steps, which determines a website ranking. Google determines your ranking in local results by scanning the web for mentions of your business name, address, phone number, website URL, and many other data points. The information is compiled and compared to other data sources from major data providers such as Google and telephone records.

Google has a strong influence on local search rankings. It is crucial your business information is consistent and matches perfectly with Google plus page and website.

How to set up Multiple Locations NAP

If your business has more than one location such as Boston Pizza, there is a way to set this up for each location to be listed on your website. Make sure each location has NAP consistency. To learn more here is a link explaining how it can be done. Top 5 Issues Wrecking Local SEO for Multi Location Businesses.

How can you fix this problem?

Fixing NAP problem is not an easy endeavour. It is a laborious task that takes time and persistence. What is interesting, there is actually a hierarchy how data information is distributed on the internet. On top of the hierarchy ladder is Google. Any changes you want to make to your NAP should start with your google my business account. From there the information will trickle down the lower hanging hierarchy change of less known NAP data sources. Other top hierarchy to consider making any changes are Yelp, Bing, and Yellow Pages. Social Driven Sales and other reputable Kelowna SEO Marketing companies can help and advice you through the process.

Citations will help as well. The better-known organization you belong to who include a profile of your business is good to have your correct NAP information. Organizations such as Chamber of Commerce and membership industry specific help spread your correct NAP information.

Fixing NAP problem can be like playing pac-man

As soon as you fix an NAP listing, it is not unusual to find an incorrect listing pop up on another data listing website. The issue is there are no single authority to police all the data on the internet. What this means is say Yelp sees the listing exists on Yellow Pages and re-creates it automatically. Like playing pac-man, just when you think you got a handle on it, another site needs to be changed with the correct NAP.

NAP cleanup is necessary

If you do not take the action to cleanup a large portion of your NAP problem, it will affect your local ranking. You will also be ranked for low, non-competitive keywords. The downward effect is your business will be found on the second or third page rather than on first page ranking. The hope of being found as the top three in search ranking is minimal.

Kelowna SEO Marketing can help cleanup NAP problem

Cleanup of NAP and your citations takes time and is worthwhile. Yes, you could hire a Kelowna SEO Marketing company to do it for you. The best advice as a business that has tackled it numerous times for other businesses is the lion share is up to you. The reason someone within your business has already set up using your email address. A Verification request code will go directly to the email address the citation or directory has been registered. Kelowna SEO Marketing company can help you sort out and provide direction to cleanup your business NAP.

Cleanup of NAP and your citations takes time and is worthwhile. Click To Tweet

Patience and persistence is what it takes to keep your NAP consistently the same. As you come across incorrect online information, take action immediately to change it. The process may take a few weeks and possibly up to a year to cleanup.

Need help to set up your business NAP. Social Driven Sales is your Kelowna SEO Marketing expert team. Contact us today to start the conversation.

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