If you’re not familiar with the term NAP, you’re not alone. NAP stands for “Name, Address, Phone.” Having a consistent NAP is critical for search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing if you want your photographic studio to be found online.
Here’s how it works: there are dozens of ways your business information (NAP) can end up online. For example, suppose you enter your NAP into Google Maps. At the same time, companies like LocalEze collect your NAP from all over the Internet, then sell that data back to over a hundred other companies like Bing and MapQuest so they can improve their listings. If all the NAPs aren’t EXACTLY the same, your studio will have duplicate listings online. These duplicate listings split all your SEO “juice” and hurt your chance of being highly ranked on search engines like Google.
What do I mean by “exactly” the same? If you create a Facebook page and list your business as “John Smith, Photographer” and on Google maps you list your business as “John Smith Photography” Google will treat them as 2 different businesses. I’ve seen 2 different listings as the result of different names, phone numbers, or even something as simple as adding the word “Drive” at the end of your address.
So how do you fix this? The simple answer is that in the short run, you cannot. A change to your studio’s NAP can take months to find its way around to all the search engines and business directories. To get started, here is a tool you can use to discover the different NAPs on the internet for your studio.
But the most important thing you can do today is to decide what your studio’s address will be, and to use the same one everywhere. Write out the NAP you use most often on a notecard, stick it on your office wall, and make a point to enter it exactly the same way every time. Do not deviate from this NAP. Even something as small as changing “Drive” to “Dr.” or “Dr” can make a difference.
Over the course of several months, by fixing bad NAPs online and using a single NAP consistently, you will see an improvement in your Google search engine rankings.