Displaying your business’s name, address and phone number (known collectively as NAP) is a critical step in attracting new leads and sales.
When a prospect is interested in learning more about your products or services, they may seek to contact you.
And failure to include your NAP in visible areas such as your website and social media profiles may result in prospects choosing one of your competitors with whom to do business.
So if you’re looking to capitalize on your digital marketing efforts, you should follow these NAP best practices.
Doing so will enhance your inbound marketing campaigns, encouraging prospects to seek out your business on their own.
Does NAP Really Matter?
Absolutely! As explained by the marketing experts at Moz, NAP is one of the most influential local search ranking signals.
Local businesses who use consistent, optimized NAP in their digital marketing campaigns will have an easier time ranking for those critical local searches.
Google, Bing, Yahoo and even the smaller search engines pay close attention to NAP, using it to determine where and how to rank websites.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t rank a website for its target keywords without displaying NAP, but it’s certainly a helpful tool to bolster your rankings.
As stated above, displaying NAP is essentially a form of inbound marketing.
Not to be confused with outbound marketing, which is directly advertising to a prospect, inbound marketing involves marketing practices that encourage prospects to seek out more information about a business and its respective products or services.
But inbound marketing only works if prospects know who to contact. Business owners who fail to display their NAP could lose tons of potential sales for this very reason.
Of course, displaying your business’s NAP also instills a higher level of trust and confidence in your target audience.
When a prospect encounters a business website without NAP displayed, they may be skeptical of making a purchase, fearing the website is nothing more than a scam.
You can lay your audience’s fears to rest, however, by displaying NAP in a clear, visible location on your website. Legitimate businesses typically aren’t afraid of displaying their address and phone number.
On the other hand, businesses that seek to scam consumers may be reluctant to display their contact information.
Use Text, Not Images or Other Media
When displaying your business’s NAP online, use a basic text format. Some business owners make the mistake of displaying their NAP as an image, video or other forms of media.
Why is this a problem? Well, even if human visitors can see and read NAP in an image, search engines may not.
Sure, they can read alt text, image file names and captions, but they cannot see what exactly is contained within the image.
So if you simply create an image featuring your business’s NAP, it may offer little of no value regarding search engine optimization (SEO).
This is why it’s recommended that you always display your NAP in plain text format just to be on the safe side.
You can rest assured knowing that all search engines, big and small, can read your NAP if it’s plain text and not other forms of media.
Assuming you run a local business, you should add a schema markup for your NAP. This is done by accessing http://schema-creator.org/organization.php and choosing Type > Local Business > and enter your business’s contact information.
Double check the info to ensure it’s correct, at which point you can copy the code and paste it into your website’s HTML. Ideally, you should add this schema markup to the header of every web page on your website.
But if this sounds like too much work, you can simply add it to the footer, placing it in the template, so it’s visible on every page.
Go Beyond Your Website
Don’t limit yourself to only displaying NAP on your official website. Rather, you should display your business’s NAP on all web-related properties.
This includes your official website, as well your Facebook Page, Google My Business (GMB) listing, blog and any other online properties that your business manages.
The more properties on which you display your business’s NAP, the better. Search engines will connect the dots, so to speak, noticing that your NAP is displayed on multiple web properties.
In turn, this can prove highly useful in boosting your business’s presence on the search engines, particularly for local searches.
Use a Consistent Format
Arguably, one of the most common mistakes that business owners make when displaying their NAP is using inconsistent formats.
If you display your business’s address as “653 Rover St. Suite 12” on website and “653 Rover Street #12” on a different website, it may confuse search engines as they try to determine which format is correct.
Search engines do a pretty good job at distinguishing between different formats and recognizing similarities, but they aren’t perfect.
To ensure your business is listed and indexed correctly in the search engines, you should use a consistent format when displaying your NAP. If you use “653 Rover St. Suite 12,” stick with that format and that format only.
To recap, here’s a short list of best practices to follow when displaying your business’s NAP:
- Display NAP in plain text, not images, video or other forms of media.
- Use a consistent format when displaying your business’s NAP.
- Include your business’s NAP on all web-related properties, including but not limited to your website, social media profiles, YouTube account, blog, etc.
- Create a schema markup using your business’s NAP – and add this markup to your website.
Did we leave out any other best practices for NAP? Let us know in the comments section below!
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