Why NAP & User Experience Are Critical for Local SEO 

NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) consistency is essential for Google’s local search and building citations with consistent NAP on your Google Business Profile listing and other online directories and sites can influence your local rankings immensely. Not only is having a consistent NAP important to the user journey but maintaining a high level of consistency and accuracy reduces the risk of mistakes being made by search engines mechanically processing the data.  

Conflicting information can erode Google’s trust in your location’s data, which doesn’t equate to your listing being considered the best result for a relevant query. Keeping track of where key business information is listed and how accurate it is can be tricky, even for a single location. When you’re managing multiple locations with multiple addresses and phone numbers, even with the use of enterprise software, it can become increasingly complex. So, where do you start?   

When Does the User Experience Begin?  

Many people consider the user journey and brand experience to start when the user makes the first inquiry by phone or email or spends significant time on a company’s website. However, the journey begins a lot sooner.  

Google data shows that there are five touchpoints that lead to a purchase/affirmative site action: 

  • Used a search engine.  
  • Visited a store or other location.  
  • Visited a retailer’s website or app.  
  • Visited another website or app.  
  • Used a map.   

    This is where the consistent NAP becomes imperative because users need consistent information to progress in their journey. Often, we assume that users find our local businesses and brands through our websites, our guest posts and outreach, and our Google Business Profile listings. Users, however, find our brand through various online portals, including the directories where we build our citations and listings. Pssst: Locl can sync NAP across 75+ top online directories instantly so you never have to manually enter your business information across listing directories again! 

    NAP Consistency  

    Search engines don’t only use directory listings and citations; potential customers find these details on other sites, too. An inconsistent or inaccurate NAP can lead to frustrated users and lost leads. Inconsistent NAP can be caused by several human errors and business changes, including:  

    • Changing the business address and not updating previously built citations, directory listings, etc. 
    • Having a different store address to the company registered address and using both online.  
    • Generating different phone numbers for attribution tracking purposes.  

    Not only can all the above cause issues for your local SEO, but they can also cause numerous user experience issues – and poor user experience leads to loss of sales and damage to your brand. Search engines intend to provide users with the most valuable and relevant information. If you give them consistent NAP information across the web, they will be more likely to reward you. Even more important, you will provide potential customers with a positive first experience of your business. Ensure you’re updating NAP information regularly to help your client’s business attract the proper customers and provide accurate information to those inquiring about their business!   

    Locl equips 1000s of multi-location businesses in marketing agencies to win the trust of consumers with online location profiles that are accurate, consistent, and compelling. Talk to Sales!