What Is Local SEO NAP, and Why Is It Important to Physicians?

Maintaining consistency for your key practice contact details across all digital properties is a significant component to be successful with local SEO.

NAP is an acronym for Name, Address, and Phone Number.

As part of the indexing process, Google scans your website, Google MyBusiness listing, Facebook, and several other directory services. Their goal is to gain as much information about your practice to help it rank well for relevant searches.

When Google finds different information about your practice, it has difficulty determining what is actually the correct information.

What Problems Are Caused By Different Information In NAP Listings?

Lower rankings are the main problem caused by inconsistent NAP information.

There is a study out there that suggest NAP inconsistency can negatively affect a website’s performance by 16%.

Local SEO NAP Listings Improve User Experience

Google emphasizes what they determine to be a good user experience. If all the listings have the same NAP information, Google is a lot more confident that the user will have a good experience and then rank your site higher.

How To Identify Inconsistent NAP SEO

The details matter when it comes to NAP listings. Everything must be exactly the same.

For example, a doctor may have this listing on their website:

Dr. Chris Smith
123 Main Street
Suite 240
Baltimore, MD 21201

But on their Yelp listing have this:

Chris Smith, MD
123 Main St. #240
Baltimore, MD 2120

Essentially it’s the same information, but Google doesn’t see it that way.

Absolutely everything must be consistent when it comes to NAP for local SEO.

How To Fix NAP Listings

The first step is to identify how you want the information displayed. Using the example above, Dr. Smith would use the NAP from his website, and update all listings with this exact information:

Dr. Chris Smith
123 Main Street
Suite 240
Baltimore, MD 21201

The very first place to update would be the Google MyBusiness profile. Following that would be Health Grades, Vitals, Facebook, and the directories such as Yelp, YP, etc…

SEMRush, which is a tool I strongly recommend for physicians who are doing their own digital marketing, has a great listing management feature that makes this process even more manageable and less tedious.

Local SEO NAP Listing consistency is relatively easy to implement, but by not taking steps to ensure consistency, it gives your competition an easy win in online marketing.

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