Summer’s here (allegedly) and that generally means village fairs, festivals and air shows. It also means chocks away and wheels up for the Red Arrows, the RAF’s air display team, who spend from May to September doing spectacular things in the air. You may ask “what the heck do the Red Arrows have to do with my business?” They represent the peak of precision flying and demonstrate an incredible level of consistency from display to display. It’s those two words – precision and consistency – that are also vitally important when it comes to your business NAP data.
What is NAP
This is simply your business contact details: Name, Address, Phone Number. It’s your NAP that Google and the other search engines look for when they go crawling through the web to verify your business information. They do this by checking various local citations – Yell, Facebook and others – all of which use your NAP in their listings. If your NAP is inconsistent the search engines get a little confused.
Why NAP consistency is so important
Google generates local business listings from a number of sources and generally the business owner is only one of those sources. Additional sources may include data aggregators like Infoserve and Market Location, government websites like Companies House and even members of the public through services like MapMaker. This information all gets mashed together and allows Google to put together a picture of your business. Issues can arise when your business NAP data isn’t consistent as Google can’t then tell what information is correct. That can lead to a multitude of problems, the least being that your ranking in the local search results may be negatively affected.
Effects of wrong NAP data
The most common ways that NAP information can get messed up are when a business moves, changes its name or uses call tracking numbers incorrectly.
Another way is when a business tries to use keywords in a listing instead of its actual business name. For example, if your business name is Joseph and Sons Plumbing then that’s what you use, not Joseph and Sons Plumbers London.
As I mentioned above, it’s likely that your local search rankings will be affected in some way and it’s also possible that merged or duplicate business listings could appear on Google. These can be quite tricky to resolve and make things very confusing for anyone trying to find information about your business. If a potential customer is shown the wrong information about your business, whether it’s your phone number, website address or email, then they may well end up contacting a competitor rather than coming to you.
How to check your business NAP
The simplest way to get this done is to just search for your business name, address or phone number and put your search in quotation marks, i.e. “Your Business Name”. That will show you the bulk of your listings which you can then check and change as needed. If you’d prefer to have someone else do it for you then by all means call in an expert.
Remember, it’s all about precision and consistency – so go check your NAP data right now!
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