NAP: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

You are working with your web development team on improving rankings for local searches. Everything is going along swimmingly when suddenly, without warning, one of the SEO specialists starts talking about NAP. As far as you’re concerned, he might just as well be speaking Greek.

Many of website owners know nothing about online marketing and often hear plenty of industry terms that are not understood.  NAP is one of them. If you count yourself among the legions of confused website owners take heart; this article explains exactly what NAP is and why it matters.

NAP is an acronym that stands for ‘name, address, phone’. NAP is essentially the physical contact information for your business or organization. Easy enough, right? What is not so easy is convincing website owners why they should care about this information.

Inaccuracies in Business Citations

In the days of the phone book, businesses used to pay careful attention to make sure their listings were correct. They wanted no errors in either the white or yellow pages. Of course, the yellow pages were more important because business owners paid a ton of money to advertise in them.

So what would happen if a company’s yellow page listing was inaccurate? An incorrect address could send a potential customer half-way across town. An incorrect phone number could cause major embarrassment to a consumer who called a residential number. The same thing applies to online information.

It’s Not About Rankings    

Even though NAP is still in the top 5 ranking factors for local searches, the reason you should care about it has nothing to do with search engine ranking. It has everything to do with consumer trust.

BrightLocal’s 2018 Local Citations Trust Report tells you everything you need to know about NAP. The report analyzed the responses of 1,000 consumers in relation to how they feel about inaccurate business citations. The numbers are shocking. Here is just a sampling of consumer responses:

  • 93% admit to being frustrated by incorrect business information
  • 80% admit to losing trust in local businesses with inaccurate information online
  • 71% have had a negative experience because of incorrect information
  • 40% will give up looking for a business if they are given the wrong address
  • 68% will stop using a business if they find incorrect information online.

From the customer’s perspective, incorrect NAP information is an indication that a company does not care enough to make sure its name, address, and telephone number are cited accurately. Even if a business has nothing to do with an incorrect listing, it will still be blamed by the consumer if that information is wrong.

Rendering Local Search Useless

Consumer trust is important, but there is another way to look at this. You could put a ton of time, money, and effort into drastically improving local search performance and have it all come to naught because of incorrect NAP.

You could work with an expert SEO provider like Webtek Interactive. You could do everything right to make sure your business performs as well as it can on local searches. And still, something as seemingly insignificant as an incorrect address or telephone number could send your customers to the competition.

NAP is more than just an acronym you don’t understand. It is a part of your company that is too critical to leave to chance. So if you are looking for one of the most important things you can do to improve local outreach, consider going online and finding as many citations as you can. Where errors exist, correct them.