You may already know that Name, Address & Phone Number, or also known as NAP, is very important for your Google Local business listing. Itâ€™s a crucial element to Googleâ€™s local pack algorithm. These days, itâ€™s even more important for local businesses to have complete and optimized Google Business Profile listings. NAP and user experience are two extremely important factors that drive the overall local SEO performance. In practical scenarios, NAP is what leads to a good user experience, which results in better ranking on the local search listings.
In this post, you will learn more details about these two factors and how they act in favor of your local SEO campaign.
As I told already, practically, your NAP data can help determine whether the user experience of your profile listing would be nice or ugly. Good, accurate and consistent NAP entries lead to a good user experience on your Google Business Profile page, which further tells Google that your profile is complete and nice. This will help Google rank your profile on the local Search listings page.
The concept is really simple to understand, right? But there is more to explore, which we will do here in this post.
Understanding the user journey
Many believe that the user journey starts from the point when a user first makes an inquiry either through an email or a phone call, or when the user spends considerable time on the companyâ€™s website.
That is NOT entirely true.
The user journey starts even before that, right from the point a user first comes to know about the company. Whether it is from the search engine results, from your physical store location, from the map or from somewhere else they first saw any Ad material that spoke about your business brand. The journey might have begun from the first ever impression that led them to visit your website.
There are several sources online, including the directories used to build citations and listings that can help the users find your brand on the internet, but if they find your local business through your website or your Google Business Profile listing, you must make sure the information they see on your profile is good and they like all additional stuff that they find on the profile listing.
You also have to make sure that first impression of the users lasts long by getting a great user experience from your Google local listing profile. If that doesnâ€™t happen, you are probably going to lose them as your potential buyers. Therefore, there are a few basic things that you have to do on your Google Business Profile page and try to attract the users further, so they can make a purchasing decision faster.
Influencing the user journey
As I already told, your goal is to keep your users engaged. You must show them what they actually want to see on your profile. They have come to your profile with at least some hopes and expectations and if they donâ€™t see what they expected, itâ€™s a loss for you.
So, you have to make sure your users are engaged and their interest level grows as they spend time on your Google local business profile. The concept is simple to understand, so your goal is to influence the userâ€™s journey positively and for that you would need to optimize your profile well with proper information.
Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) is very crucial for that purpose. Proper NAP entries will lead to a first class user experience, which can result in a successful conversion.
There are multiple stages you can focus on while trying to influence the userâ€™s journey. It starts right from the point a user performs their search and takes the first look at your profile. Your aim is to appear in the search results page or the Local Pack. So, a prominent appearance in the search results is the first stage of influencing the user journey.
The next stage of influencing the users is by putting a lot of effort and care by making your local profile page look good and complete, and load fast. Google is strictly against local pages that are lazy. Slow or lazy pages are treated as doorway pages or thin pages that are there only to rank for the local keywords and offer little or no value to the users.
Therefore, you make sure your local page is not lazy or slow. It should offer adequate value to your target users, and thatâ€™s how you can influence the user journey. There are a number of things you can apply to your local business page in order to provide value to the users. For example, if you are targeting a search term â€œDentist in Los Angelesâ€, â€˜dentistâ€™ is your main search term and you need to create enough content around this search term that would offer additional value to your users looking for dentists. And Los Angeles is your target location around which you will need to create your supporting content.
This means, whenever a user is looking for a good dentist in Los Angeles area, he or she will first get to see enough credible information about their search intent and some proof of your existence as a local clinic or business in Los Angeles.
So, divide your content goals into two parts. The first part of the content will focus on exploring the information about your product or service, and the second part will tell about your location. All the content you create must sound natural and non-commercial because Google doesnâ€™t like commercially created content that doesnâ€™t offer value to the users. Your blogs are a great place to leverage your local page content potential and outreach.
Creating and maintaining the Local pages
Your local pages must be created to both impress your targeted users and meet the Googleâ€™s Local Pack algorithm guidelines. Therefore, design and content of the page together with prominent appearance in the search results all matter here. Make sure your NAP data is as consistent as it can be. The directories and citations you build for your brand are seen by the search engines and your targeted users. Search engines and users like to see consistent NAP on your listing to be able to have trust in your local business.
The first time you register the local business on the Google Business Profile you enter the correct NAP data, but as you change your business location or phone number, you need to update the old or existing citations and directory listings with the new data. You shouldnâ€™t generate different phone numbers for attribution tracking process.
There is a common issue associated with directory attribution when agencies try to generate unique phone numbers for every directory they use to submit their business. That attempt can lead to highly inconsistent NAP with your published citations although those agencies have been told having unique phone numbers for every directory submission can help them accurately gauge an ROI on the marketing.
However way it works, itâ€™s definitely a risky trick that can hurt your Google My Business listing.
Inconsistent and inaccurate NAP entries can cause ambiguity and will lead to poor user experience. You need to maintain a high degree of accuracy and consistency on your local pages in order to reduce the risk of not getting ranked or listed by search engines. When a prospective customer tries to reach out to you and finds a different phone number that you are no longer possessing, you totally lose that customer. That is the risk of having inaccurate and inconsistent NAP.
You get the point, right?
Itâ€™s very important to create local pages with consistent and accurate NAP data and maintain the same as long as your business is active in the local business listing. NAP consistency helps increase the user experience, which is what Google Local Pack algorithm gives a lot of priority to.
Google Local Pack algorithm
Googleâ€™s Local Pack algorithm works much like its traditional Organic Search algorithm, but the difference lies in the fact that Local Pack is greatly influenced by the location of the users while doing the search.
Having consistent NAP means that your business is going to appear within the Google Local Pack sphere, and Local Pack appearance will significantly increase your chance of getting more clicks on the results page. More clicks will bring a lot of advantage for you and if your NAP data is accurate and consistent plus the on-page user experience is great, you are going to get maximum conversions.
You as a local business owner want to get as many local customers from your location as possible. Consistent NAP data contributes to the process of improving the user experience and your chance of getting ranked on the Google Local search. That is how you can increase your local customers.
Therefore, the bottomline is you need to create thoroughly optimized local pages with consistent and complete information. Satisfy the search intent of the users and the search engines. Thatâ€™s how your local business will be a successful one.
What is your take on NAP data and optimizing Local listings? Please share your views with us by commenting below.