Location matters tremendously for your hearing practice, online or offline, especially for local SEO. Google emphasizes the importance of displaying search results for location-based searches by using the location information on each company website and information obtained from other websites to serve such search results.
This is where NAP comes in handy.
What exactly is NAP?
Simply put, this acronym stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number, the three most important identifying features of any business. The NAP for your practice can be found in a variety of locations on the internet:
- Your Google My Business profile
- Your Facebook Business Profile
- Other social media accounts
- Yelp and other web directories
- Probably on the websites of companies with which you are connected in some way.
What Is the Importance of NAP?
This information is crucial because it enables potential new hearing aid patients to locate and contact you.
However, NAP serves another vital purpose: it provides Google with trusted, third-party signals that show that your hearing practice is legitimate. You have complete control over the information you put on your website and social profiles. Still, you don’t have control over the directories, which have strict verification procedures in place to ensure your information is from a legitimate organization.
As part of your marketing campaign, your NAP details (also known as a ‘Citation’) should be included in as many important and trustworthy business and technical directories as possible.
Your correct NAP information should be listed—incorrect information is not only confusing to prospective patients, but it is also confusing to Google. It can jeopardize your Local Pack rankings. Consistency in your NAP is essential for local visibility: if Google believes you are located in a specific region, it is more likely to include your practice in the Local Pack, boosting your online visibility.
What causes hearing practices to make mistakes in their NAP?
You may be wondering how hearing practices might have incorrect NAP details. Not every practice does, but a surprising number of them make errors when entering data or altering citations when changing their practice name, moving places, or changing their phone number.
Let’s look at each piece of information separately.
An incorrect name
If you’ve changed your company name, you’ll probably find a combination of old and new citations with the same address and phone number but different names all over the internet. Also, keep an eye out for typos! These need to happen once, and the typo will live on for years.
Also, minor misspellings may make a difference. When Google is presented with two separate spellings of your hearing practice, it is unsure which one is correct. It might, therefore, weaken your citation score, making your practice difficult, if not impossible, to rank in the Local Pack.
Let’s say your hearing practice has ever been known by a different name than it is now (whether you rebranded during your ownership or the practice was renamed in the past, perhaps when it was sold to a new owner). If that’s the case, it’s time to look at what non-current citations are still active.
An incorrect address
This is an area of NAP that hearing professionals get wrong, especially if they are building with other businesses. Over the years, staff members of some practices have used variations of their address on printed leaflets, business cards, websites, and online and offline directory listings. Google becomes perplexed after a while, and local visibility suffers as a result.
If you have a simple street address, you probably don’t need to worry; but, if you have a more complicated address or the practice has ever moved, it’s time to scan the internet for inaccurate citations and take steps to delete them.
An incorrect phone number
When it comes to phone number inconsistency, the most apparent issue is whether the practice number has changed. Customers will be confused if you have the wrong address or phone number on a few websites. They will be unable to find or contact you.
You also shouldn’t change your phone number for other reasons. When customers can’t find the correct contact details, you risk losing current and future customers. Changing your phone number takes time and money because you’ll have to update all of your written materials as well as all of the places your phone number is posted online.
Don’t sleep on your NAP!
Both search engine visibility and customer confidence rely heavily on NAP data. It can help you climb the rankings or hurt your popularity in the local pack and voice searches. It can either make it simple for people to find you or frustrate them and weaken brand trust.
Taking the time to ensure NAP accuracy is a simple way to know you’re doing everything you can to improve your search presence and increase the number of hearing patients walking through your door.
Nick Fitzgerald is the President and Owner of AuDSEO. He also serves as the Chief Marketing Officer at Hearing Health & Technology Matters. With 14 years of digital marketing experience, Nick is a highly data-driven marketer, with expertise in search engine optimization, digital analytics and forensics, social media, digital advertising, and web development. He has been involved in the construction and optimization of nearly 1,000 web presences, including some of the largest Fortune 500 companies.