Optimize NAP Consistency to Help Customers Find Your Reviews
If you are a small business owner who has personally made an effort to get your business found on Google, there is a good chance that you have run into the term NAP consistency.
NAP consistency stands for name address and phone number consistency and refers to the information that Google has about your business.
The idea is that you want your name, address and phone number to be the same across as much of the internet as possible.
The hope is that this will help rank your Google Map listing so that more people can find your business and read the Google reviews that your happy customers have written.
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How Important is NAP Consistency for Ranking in Maps?
If you were asking this question around 2010, the answer would be that NAP consistency was one of the most, if not the most important ranking factors in maps.
In 2019, the importance has gone down significantly.
This is not to say that NAP consistency should be ignored by any means, simply that it does not carry the weight that it used to.
Why Does Consistency Matter?
It is important to analyze questions like why is NAP consistency important to Google from a standpoint of what Google is trying to provide.
Google aims to serve up search results that are good solutions for your search query.
When I search for a business, trust is a big factor. If Google trusts that the end user will like your business, it will be more likely to serve that result for the search, because that keeps people using Google.
NAP consistency is an indicator to Google that a business is legitimate, and that it is where it claims to be. Can you imagine Google serving up restaurants in the search results that don’t exist, or bringing them up in the wrong location? This would create a poor user experience for Google.
How Much Effort Should You Put Into Name Address and Phone Number Consistency?
Because it is not as big of a ranking factor as it used to be, a good rule of thumb is to focus on directory listings and websites that are well known, that people actually use, or that are industry specific. Make sure that your name address and phone number are accurate on all of the sites that fall into those categories and you will be getting the major value that comes from NAP consistency.
Getting the Real Value From Business Listings
The real value from your business listings comes from actually getting those listings picked up in Google’s index.
Most business listing sites have thousands and even hundreds of thousands of pages of businesses that are all very similar. This leads to Google often taken months to index pages, if they even index the page at all.
To improve the number of your listings that get indexed in Google, try to add unique content to as many of the listings as possible. Focus on adding good images that Google will want to index, and a unique maximum length business description on as many as possible.
Focusing on quality business listings getting indexed with Google will go much further than simply getting listed in as many directories as possible.
What Does This All Have to Do With Weave?
To be completely transparent, business listing consistency is only distantly related to what Weave does. We don’t manage listings.
However, the purpose of even bothering with business listings and NAP consistency in the first place is to help rank better in Google Maps, which will, in turn, help more people find your business, read your amazing reviews and ultimately elect to become a customer of your business.
Weave helps businesses communicate better with their customers which leads to better customer experience. Weave also has a review tool that helps businesses gather more reviews from their happy customers.
Increasing your ranking in Google Maps, while gathering as much positive feedback as possible is a winning strategy for getting more customers coming from online.