Many of us rely upon digital address books or possibly even a well-worn address book when preparing to mail letters, holiday cards, or pay bills. In the haste of modern daily life we hurriedly consult these address keepers, jot down the address, and send off our mail without thinking twice.
Potentially a number of issues with current addresses, name spelling, street designations and zip codes could seemingly derail our mail delivery. To the credit of the United States Postal Service’s address databases and mail forwarding techniques our mail generally arrives without consequence for such inconsistencies.
But in the world of Google such inconsistencies may result in lower Google search rankings and reduced opportunities to connect with your prospects. For this reason, it is crucial to your SEO success that your business Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) information be correct, and consistently designated.
NAP citation errors often occur after a business moves. In such a scenario, a given business, say Acme Cleaners, moves from their original location on Main Street to a bigger building on Queen Street. Upon moving, their address and possibly their telephone number will change. If the business owner fails to forward the new changes to sites containing this information, NAP disparities will result.
This can be further aggravated by some internet yellow page (IYP) sites that may re-purpose content from assorted found sites or buy data from internet aggregators to build their online listings. NAP information may not be current or contain inconsistent contact information. There is no guarantee that the data is scrutinized before it is posted online.
If your information isn’t corrected, errors will continue to propagate. Like a wave produced by a thrown stone hitting water, your listing variations will take on a life of their own as they swell through replicated site information.
Business names must also be closely scrutinized for consistency throughout all internet listings. In example, Acme Cleaners vs. Acme Cleaners Inc. Either is acceptable, but keep it consistent throughout your listings.
In the Google+ Local information algorithm, any variations of NAP information diminish the integrity of the listing. Google spiders capture local information appearing in various sites for a given business, and compares it with what information is contained in Google’s local results. Variations are interpreted as being suspect or not as trustworthy as a site having consistent NAP listings throughout all surveyed sites. If your information is inconsistent you will likely have lower ranking.
Its impact is huge.
Per Yext.com, Google has confirmed that 20% of all searches have local intent. Mobile devices account for 40% of local searches. Consistent NAP information is prerequisite for sales prospect conversions at the local level.
For this reason, either you or your internet marketing agency must audit your business citations on a regular basis to check for inconsistencies and correct as required.
Very simplified, the steps to do this are as follows:
- Survey all NAP listings and make a list of all found variations.
- Enter each NAP variation into the respective query forms of business data aggregator sites InfoGroup, Localeze and Acxiom.
- Capture what fields are found to be inconsistent.
- Claim your listings on other various Internet Yellow Page websites and submit corrections as appropriate. (NOTE: with Yext.com, you can edit listings on 40+ venues at one time, or submit new listing if they already exist.)
As a result of these steps, all other things being equal in this discussion, your business will be optimized for higher ranking than other competitors who haven’t yet discovered the value of maintaining consistent NAP listings. Your company will also be better represented to the general public. Accurate address information will also reduce the chance of a prospect driving across town and becoming disappointed at the very least when they realize your business isn’t at the location listed on an internet site.
For those who may not have the time or may not be confident in their knowledge of NAP correction procedures, we provide NAP citation audits and other services for businesses seeking to maximize their Google ranking and visibility.
Contact Matt at SunAnt, or call SunAnt at 262-641-2613 for further details.