Why Is Nap Consistency Super Important With Chicago SEO?
If you ask a Chicago SEO agency what you need for foolproof local SEO, they will most likely tell you to start with NAP consistency. It is free, easy, and quick to do, but it immediately adds value to your business for search engines and potential customers in the area.
This guide looks into why you need consistent NAP in your local Chicago SEO, including:
- NAP and its place in your local SEO strategy
- Five good reasons to work on NAP consistency
There’s a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes.
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What Is NAP in Local Chicago SEO Strategies?
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number, representing the three basic pieces of information you need to advertise your business online. NAP consistency is fundamental to local SEO for small businesses because it greatly affects how people and search engines find them.
NAP consistency is a key ranking factor in local search because search engines use NAP to confirm your business’s status and location. The latter is particularly important since proximity is another factor that affects your rank in local searches (i.e., nearby places rank higher on searches).
Therefore, having a consistent and updated NAP across all online directories, local directories, search engines, social media platforms, and websites, including linking sites, is a must. It gives you maximum visibility and helps you attract more potential customers to your physical store.
Here are some concrete examples of why NAP consistency is necessary for local Chicago SEO:
- Food, specifically deep-dish pizza, is one thing for which Chicago is well known. Imagine owning a pizzeria that could make it big but keeps losing customers to other restaurants because no one can find it. NAP consistency helps make navigation easier for people.
- Besides food, people visit Chicago for sports. How disastrous would it be for Chicago’s reputation if the United Center, for example, had different addresses across its social media pages and website? That would never happen, but the fact is that the consequences would be dire.
- As the third-largest city in the US, Chicago welcomes many visitors daily. That means hotels have a responsibility to guests, and themselves, to show up in local directories with the correct NAP. Otherwise, they risk canceled bookings or negative customer reviews.
5 Reasons Why You Need NAP Consistency
Now that you (hopefully) appreciate the importance of NAP consistency in your online presence, let us look at five reasons why you, a small business in Chicago, need it in your local SEO. Updating your profiles with the right preparations beforehand does not take very long, so it's worth the time investment.
A tip is to update them all at once so that you guarantee none of them gets avoided. If that sounds like too much work, hire a Chicago SEO agency to handle it. Actually, you can delegate your local SEO to them to make it a more cost-effective SEO campaign strategy.
1. People Need the Right NAP To Contact You
Consistent and accurate NAP in all your listings, profiles, and website improves visibility in local search and draws more leads and customers to your business. Most importantly, you allow people to reach you. Here is a cautionary tale about why taking NAP for granted hurts business.
A restaurant advertised the wrong phone number for their store; the number, in fact, was for the residence of an innocent, unrelated man. He kept receiving calls about the restaurant but thought nothing of it and did nothing about it. In the end, the printing error cost the restaurant owner plenty in lost potential business.
2. Consistent NAP Helps With Local Ranking
As mentioned, search engines track mentions of NAP online to verify whether or not a business is real and where it is in proximity to a searcher. That means the fairly simple and easy act of keeping NAP updated everywhere automatically and immediately boosts SEO.
This raises visibility and awareness online, especially if you have a Google My Business Profile because it means you also appear in Google Maps results. Profiles in online directories also serve as another medium for customer reviews and managing your business’s online reputation.
3. Inconsistencies Reduce Customer Trust
Think back to your experiences searching for a business or store online. Was there ever a time when you went to a location and found that the place you were looking for had moved? You probably felt very frustrated and might have even decided to leave a review about it.
A business that does not manage its NAP well is bound to lose customers and their trust due to negligence. How can a person believe that you put any care into your products and services when you do not care enough to get your address right? It is bad for SEO and your reputation.
4. Updating NAP Provides a Much Better UX
Voice search is a growing market that leans heavily on user experience (UX) as a highlight of the service. If you want to capture this market and the business it brings, you need consistent NAP. Here is an illustration of why it matters even more for online voice searches than text searches:
Say a potential customer wanted to look up your business before visiting your store. They know two different spellings of your business’s name; which one do they use to search? What if the typo caused them to end up at a different store, or worse, a major competitor?
5. It Helps Keep Business Flowing Smoothly
Putting everything together, having a consistent NAP keeps your business on track. It allows customers to find you without incident (which is excellent for UX), and you get a nice boost to your local SEO for doing the bare minimum. It takes minimal effort and has a massive payoff.
It ties everything together well and lets people know that they can trust your business as a legitimate one. In other words, NAP consistency prevents potentially damaging or troublesome mishaps from affecting business operations.
NAP consistency is fundamental to excellent local SEO. It leads potential customers to you and tells search engines you value good UX. It also makes it convenient for nearby searchers because you show up at the top of local results if you manage your business profiles correctly.
Need help keeping your NAP consistent? Contact Digital Authority Partners (DAP) to learn how we can help.
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