And how do you get them to choose you? Well for starters, you can make sure you’re listed as often and reliably as possible. The more people see your company, the more likely they will be to reach out.
And that’s where NAP consistency comes into play. NAP is all about your company contact information and whether it is accurate across the board.
A wrong phone number listed on Google? Potential customers won’t be able to reach out, and they’ll think you’re less credible than the competition.
So let’s break down NAP and how you can use it to your marketing advantage with minimal headaches.
What are local business listings?
You can’t apply NAP consistency if you aren’t clear on local listings or why they matter and this all comes down to where and how your business information appears online.
A local business listing tells customers and prospects about your company with contact information, descriptions, services, and photos. Most websites also include a way for customers to leave reviews, which can help or hurt your online reputation.
Haven’t listed your business online yet? That doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Try Googling your company and see what comes up.
Businesses can opt to add their information on sites like Google My Business and Yelp and control the majority of the content. If you find citations you haven’t built, you can often claim them or update the information if they aren’t accurate.
Common issues that pop up with online listings
Online listings can be a great way to build business traction. Consider them advertising that, in a lot of cases, costs little to nothing.
But just like any online content or marketing venture, they’re not foolproof. Here are five pitfalls to avoid when setting up your local business listings.
Who doesn’t have a consistent name on the internet? You’d be surprised.
Some companies go by nicknames while others change business partners and the name on their trucks…but forget to update their online content.
With 46% of search focused on local company details, incorrect information can create serious problems for your online marketing.
Wrong Contact Details
No one can get in touch with you, so they go call a competitor instead
Inaccurate Services Listed
People don’t think you can help them with a project, so they search for alternatives.
Outdated, Poor Quality Photos
Pictures attract clicks but not if they’re from 10 years ago, too small, or super blurry.
Incorrect logo? Readers will think they arrived at the wrong place.
Unless you run completely different businesses, you should have a single listing on each site for your company. In fact, Google My Business has restrictions that prevent duplicate listings.
If each business has separate contact details and tax info, then more than one listing makes sense. Otherwise, consolidate so customers can use the listing as a one-stop shop to learn about and contact your business.
Partial information can be just as much a problem as misinformation. If you start creating a citation, finish the job to the fullest. Add all of the essential details and be thorough – right down to the pictures.
Incomplete citations can also crop up if you have unclaimed listings. Many directory sites will list companies to help users, but they won’t have all the details about your business. You can use reputation management software to find these listings, claim them, and get to work updating them.
While most listing sites collect the same information, they don’t always present this info in the same way. This can create a bit of confusion for customers and companies alike.
When you’re updating or adding a listing, pay attention to the information requested and how it will be displayed. It’s important to keep things as consistent as possible.
Tradies: Don’t Invest a Dollar in Digital Marketing Until You Read This!
What is NAP? (hint: it’s not to do with sleeping on the job)
Okay – so what exactly is NAP?
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number.
This is the core content that people need to be able to get in touch with your business.
Many trades businesses overlook the importance of the address part of the NAP since they typically don’t have a storefront. But you can’t leave out a location (address) when you’re listing your company online.
Addresses help people find you on local search when they Google your services (which happens when customers don’t know your name). Even if you don’t expect to have people stopping by, they’ll use this info to decide if you’re truly local to them and worth considering for their project.
The benefits of applying a consistent NAP
When it comes to marketing your business, the internet is no place for inconsistency.
People need to be able to clearly and quickly identify your business, what it does if it can solve their problem, and how to get in touch with you. When your NAP is consistent, your business benefits.
Easier contact options
Customers are looking for quick and clear details that tell them more about your business. Accurate NAP details make it easy for them to contact you from any listing once they decide to reach out.
Higher search ranking
Google and other search engines reward consistency. If your info matches across different sites, Google sees that as high value and will rank you higher. People searching for a “cleaning service near me” are more likely to find you in their search. And with “near me” searches up 900% in the last two years, this is key to exposure for your business.
Increased buyer trust
NAP consistency shows consumers you’re reliable and makes them more likely to reach out to you. In contrast, missing or inaccurate info can leave questions in consumers’ minds.
Which of these is the right number? Is this the same company I saw on Yelp? Does this logo look different?
Too many questions and people will move on to clearer options.
Higher Traffic and Conversions
NAP, and online citations in general, are all about increasing chances that people will find you (traffic) and reach out to you (conversions). Consistent NAP content boosts both of these by making it easier for consumers to find your info and successfully act on it when they’re ready.
How to go from a basic NAP to a power listing
Your NAP is critical to citation success.
You have to nail down the name, address, and phone details to even stand a chance at using listings to bring in more business. But you can up your game by adding more content to your listings. Just be sure that it’s 100% consistent across every site.
An accurate phone number is all it takes for some people to reach out. But if you have a website, include the URL in your online citation. The more information people have, the better. Plus, Google rewards links back to your site with higher search result rankings.
The phone is not always the preferred choice of contact for consumers. Email offers more convenience for people to reach out and ask initial questions about your service. Just make sure any email address you share is monitored regularly so emails don’t go unanswered.
You might think your services are straightforward. But customers want to see exact matches when it comes to their projects.
Landscaping may seem straightforward to you, but do you provide soil irrigation services for proper drainage? You install new roofing, but do you help with repairs from storm damage? Detail everything you offer to encourage people to contact you.
Where the listing sites allow, link out to your social media sites. This can help people engage with you more, use built-in chat features, and take a look at photos or reviews from your customers.
Use these problem-solving steps to improve your NAP
Business details change over time, so maybe your listings don’t match right now. Or, you might have found some citations that you didn’t create in the first place. No problem. Here are some problem-solving steps to promote NAP consistency.
Start with core details
Assess the damage. Are your name, address, and phone number the same everywhere? Find where it isn’t consistent, and get to work updating that core content.
Double-check for duplicates
Your business should only be listed once on each directory site. Keep an eye out for duplicates that can confuse customers or lead to incorrect data. Remove whatever duplicate content you can along the way.
Make sure you’re aware of every business listing online. Conduct a quick audit by searching yourself or using reputation management software to see where people are talking about your company. For every listing, triple-check the content and make sure it’s up to date.
Tradies: Don’t Invest a Dollar in Digital Marketing Until You Read This!
How to fix inconsistent NAP
If your digital footprint is small or you’re just starting out, updating your NAP data shouldn’t be too overwhelming.
However, a larger online presence could present some challenges. Here are a few approaches to consider as you review your inconsistent NAP content.
Not a tech whiz? You can totally do this!
Depending on how many listings you have, it just might take some time. You’ll want to update each and every website your business is listed on and create consistency moving forward.
Get organized and create a list along the way of each listing so that future updates are less time-consuming. Check your NAP and supporting content as you go along.
Use web tools
If you’re struggling to find every mention or keep up with listing updates, there are web tools that can help.
Reputation management software can monitor when and where your company is mentioned. This makes it easier for you to find the listings and update them. Some even help you engage with customers who are commenting or reviewing your services.
Call in reinforcements
Sometimes tackling all the listings and branding components necessary is simply overwhelming. If you don’t have the resources, time, or confidence for the task, there’s zero shame in pulling in some help. The following are our recommendations for boosting your NAP whether you’re on a budget or looking for premium results.
Ask a friend
You never know what talents others may have. Ask around your family, friends, and friends of the family. You might find a marketing expert in disguise or a new college grad eager to put their skills to use.
Find a freelancer
Temporary help is a great way to reduce a big project into a manageable one. Consider hiring a freelancer to take on the research and recommended updates for your listings. You can choose to have them implement the changes or leave the rest to you moving forward. You can often meet qualified professionals on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.
Hire an agency
Finding way too many inconsistencies and listings to handle internally? Consider hiring a digital agency to help. These companies are trained to streamline online marketing and have the tools and teams to approach your online brand quickly and consistently.
Are you ready to NAP your way to a bigger business?
NAP data might seem super simplistic, but don’t overlook the impact it can have on your online marketing. Listings are a great, affordable way to get your name out to customers and increase traffic.
Most people searching for your company or services are potential customers. They have a project or a problem and they need a solution sooner than later. If your core contact data is up to date, they’ll be able to reach out when the time is right. If your info is inaccurate or misleading, they’ll just move on to a company that looks more trustworthy.
In short, NAP consistency instills confidence in buyers and search engines.
Accurate info leads to higher rankings, which leads to increased visibility, which leads to more customers. NAP is a key way you can build up your business naturally online. All you need to do is keep it consistent.
Maintaining NAP is just one big way you can put your online image to work for you. It’s also one of the first steps refining your SEO and Google search rank. For more high-impact ideas for your web marketing, check out the Tradie Digital SEO toolkit.