Ask the Expert: Why is NAP consistency important?

Welcome to our “Ask the Expert” section. Each post, a Yodle expert will address a marketing-related question that a franchisor commonly asks. Submit your question to us in the comments box below and we may address your question next month.

Today, Yodle’s SEO expert Joe Balestrino will tackle the following question:

Why is NAP (Name, Address, Phone) consistency important?

When determining how you rank in local results, Google scans the web for mentions of your business name, address, phone number, website URL, and several other data points. It then compares that information to other data sources, including the major data providers and possibly even post office records, state business filings, and telephone records.

Your local search rankings are heavily influenced by whether or not Google finds your business information on the web and from their data suppliers, and whether that information is consistent and matches what is provided on your Google+ page and website.

Part of NAP consistency is also cleaning up duplicate listings. Why is this important?

Reviews can be split up

Reviews help your business rank higher in local searches, so splitting them up amongst multiple listings on the same directory does nothing but hurt you in the long run. You build a better reputation with 15 reviews on one listing, versus 5 on one and 10 on another.

Information can become outdated or altogether incorrect     

Managing one business listing across multiple directories is hard enough. Couple that with multiple listings on one platform and things fall through the cracks. If your business information is outdated, you could be losing business!

Major search engines won’t know which listing to show, or even worse, they won’t show your business at all

You always want to send one, clear message to your customers and search engines. If you try to break that rule, you could be penalized, and heavily!

Duplicates have a way of snowballing                                     

The local listings ecosystem is complex. Many of these directories feed information to each other. If you have a duplicate somewhere with the wrong information, chances are that it has been replicated across many directories.

For a list of Yodle’s citation network, click here.

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