Frank Olivo

Frank Olivo is the founder of Sagapixel. He writes on a number of topics related to digital marketing, but focuses mostly on SEO.

What is NAP in SEO? A Concise Explanation of NAP Consistency & Local SEO

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What is NAP in SEO?

If you spend any amount of time in SEO forums or Facebook groups, you’ll see the acronym NAP thrown around a lot—but what is it?

In local SEO, NAP stands for “name, address, and phone number.” Maintaining a consistent NAP is an essential part of local SEO; a consistent NAP helps Google understand when a website is referring to a given business, in addition to increasing Google’s confidence that it has accurate business information for that business.

What is “NAP Consistency?”

Businesses often go by several names.

Addresses can often be formatted in many different ways.

Businesses usually have more than one phone line.

This can make it difficult for Google to understand when a website is referring to a particular business, as well as complicate its understanding of your location and phone number.

NAP consistency refers to  the practice of settling on one format for your name, address, and phone number and using that for your entire online presence. In other words, the name, address, and phone number format is identical on your website, Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook, and everywhere else.

Why Is NAP Consistency Important to Google?

The last thing Google wants is for someone with a flat tire to Google “tire repair near me,” only to show it the address of a tire shop that moved two years ago.

When it sees the same NAP for a business repeated consistently across the web, Google is more confident that the information it has for your business is correct

As far as name consistency, maintaining a single name across the web helps Google to better understand when a website is referring to you. It probably knows that Kentucky Fried Chicken and KFC are the same company, but odds are, you’re not as big as KFC and you can’t get away with using several different names to refer to your company.

How to Establish NAP Consistency

Settle on a NAP Format

Pick a name and stick to it

To start, pick a single format for your name that you’re going to use consistently. Don’t list yourself as Dunkin’ on one website, Dunkin’ Donuts on another, and DD on yet another.

Pick an address format

Ideally, format your address the same way your local post office does.

For example, we have an office location on Route 73 in Marlton, NJ. Here are several of the possible ways to format that address:

  • RT 73
  • RTE 73
  • RTE-73
  • Route 73
  • NJ 73
  • NJ-73

If there were many mentions of Sagapixel across the web, each using a different format for this address, Google may not be particularly confident it has the right information for that location, potentially leading it to favor another company whose information it is more confident in.

This is not only the case for addresses, but for phone numbers as well.

Settle on a phone number for your listings

Are you going to give the sales number? The customer service number? Pick one number and use it across all your listings.

Decide How to Claim Your Citations and Feed Google the NAP Data it Needs

There are many services out there that can help you claim the citations that Google will use to generate a confidence score in the information it has about your business. You can also do it manually.

If you own a business that is probably not going to be moving, changing its name, or phone number, you should probably do your local citations yourself or hire a company to do them for you. Local citations services like Yext aren’t worth the money if you’re not regularly changing listings.

Go on Upwork or reach out to us if you’d like someone to handle it for you.

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