Jump Start Your Google Rankings with a N.A.P. [Improve Traffic by 20-70%]
- N.A.P. is an acronym that stands for Name, Address, Phone Number
- Maintain accurate and up to date listings across the internet is important
- What happens when N.A.P. is updated on business listing sites to be accurate and up to date?
Why is N.A.P. So Important?
What I Discovered While Researching the Client’s Local Listings (This is Probably Happening to Your Business)
How We Fixed the Local Listings
What Your Business Needs to Know
In a recent case study, I worked with a client on their local listings. We uncovered the following before we got started.
Of 61 listings, 52 of them were nonexistent. Five of the remaining 9 contained incorrect N.A.P. information. We took on the task of updating these listings to improve their overall rankings in Google. Once all the local listings were updated the traffic to their site saw a 70% increase in traffic and a 12% decrease in bounce rate. These increases were from local, qualified traffic. Meaning it was not junk traffic from another part of the world. The traffic increase was from organic search results. In fact, the bounce rate for organic traffic was even lower than the overall number.
You might be wondering what N.A.P. is. N.A.P. stands for Name, Address, Phone Number. This is the basic information of any listing for a business on any number of local directory listing sites. There are hundreds of local directory listing sites ranging from Google My Business to Yelp and lots of lesser-known ones in between. Some of these sites are not very valuable to your SEO strategy (What Is SEO?) or your business in general. Others will provide a boost as Google scans the internet to ensure business information is accurate.
Speaking of Google My Business, if you don’t have GMB listing accurately set up for your business then we need to have a different conversation.
Why Is N.A.P. So Important?
Google My Business is a very important component of local SEO. Having this set up completely and accurately is a necessity for any business. Google does not only confirm your business information on Google My Business. It also scans the internet to validate that your N.A.P. matches what you have on Google My Business and that all the other listings match.
Variations in your name, address, and phone number can send signals to Google that the information is not accurate across all your web properties.
What I Discovered While Researching the Client’s Local Listings
Let me start by saying that there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of local directory listing sites. There are the necessary listing sites such as Google My Business, Bing Places, and Yelp. There are the lesser known but still somewhat important sites like Apple, Yellow Pages, YP, and Mapquest.
After these sites, there are local directories that are not very popular at all. These include sites like ABLocal and AroundMe.
You may not have heard of the last few sites above, but they still provide value to your Local SEO efforts.
There are more listing sites that provide no value as well. In some cases, adding your information to low-value directory listing sites can send the wrong information to Google. In most cases, you just won’t receive any benefit to adding your business to them. This is where having an experienced and knowledgeable SEO comes into play.
We scanned 61 local listing directories for their business information. Their business was not listed at all on 52 of the local directory listing sites. Of the remaining 9 more than half had the wrong information.
The 9 that were set up included Google My Business, Bing, Google+, Yelp, and Yahoo. The business at least knew the importance and value of claiming their business listings on these sites.
What happened to the listings is that over time the address and business name changed. The listings were also created with the owner’s cell phone number rather than the business number in some cases.
This meant that of the 9 created listings there were Name mismatches, address mismatches, and an incorrect phone number.
How We Fixed the Local Listings
We were able to discover and update the listings quickly. In a matter of days, 51 of the listings were live with accurate information. The rest soon followed.
After day one of the updates, we saw a 20% increase in traffic and a small drop in bounce rate. The traffic increase came almost exclusively from local organic search.
After one week we saw an increase in traffic of just over 70% while noting a decrease in bounce by 12%. This is significant as it indicates more qualified visitors are coming to the client’s website. In other words, people who want to potentially do business with the client.
We did not see an immediate bump in monitored keyword rankings. It is possible that other keywords that we are not actively monitoring moved up. We will know when we do our end of the month review.
What You Need to Know
There is no indication from Google that having N.A.P. set up correctly on these local listing sites impacts your Google Rankings. I have no way to prove that a listing site helped or hurt SEO efforts.
It is obvious that Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook and other business listing sites of this caliber are critical to your SEO success. They should be included in your plan. The client did include 9 of the top business listing sites in their plan. The client did not maintain those listings which eventually became stale and outdated.
The remaining business listing sites may or may not impact SEO and Google Rankings. It’s hard to tell as we updated 61 listings at the same time.
If you as the business owner decide to do this on your own there are third party sites/applications that can assist. Yext is the most well-known one. Synup is also a good option.
You can also go the manual route. This will take you more time obviously. It also increases the chances of a listing becoming stale or inaccurate.
Start from the top of the business listing pile. Google My Business, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, and Facebook are some of the most important ones. Continue from there. You can easily find a list of important business listing sites by, wait for it, Googling it.
Or you can ask us to do an initial scan for you!
You may or may not get the same results we got for our client. Having your business listed on local directories is helpful regardless of the impact it has on your SEO. Having accurate information is very important.
I will close with this. Every year on Christmas Eve I get cannolis for the family. Growing up in New Haven this was easy as there were a few Italian bakeries within a mile or 2 of me. Now I live about 30 minutes away from New Haven. A few years ago, I thought I would try a newer bakery closer to my home. I googled the business information on Christmas Eve. To my surprise, the Google listing said they were closed. I had to go to New Haven to get Cannolis.
Turns out the bakery closer to me was open on Christmas Eve but their Google My Business listing was not accurate. They lost my sale and potentially many others. Have you ever gone to an Italian bakery on Christmas Eve?
Are you prepared to lose sales because you can’t be found or your information is not up to date?