NAP consistency is considered a search ranking factor for local SEO, but should you worry about it?
David: I noticed a directory site picked up a call tracking number that I set up for Google My Business Profile. Is this something I should be concerned about? I want to make sure I’m tracking correctly that these other sites only have the main phone number registered with Google Business Profiles.
David: So, explain what you did here. You have two numbers, one for tracking and one for Google My Business?
Tim: First of all, I get a little confused with this. I’m just trying to learn it. And I’m still learning CallRail. I’ve been using it for years for print call tracking. But as far as integrating it into all aspects of marketing, that’s what I’m still learning. So, I have a website pull setup up with eight numbers. And then I have one set up for Google My Business directly. Yeah. So, that’s what I have. And so, the directory that I noticed that it flagged an inconsistency in NAP. It had the phone number from Google Business Profile. So, it’s like they…
Tricia: They went and saw it and then updated their information with what Google had. On your Google Business Profile, do you have the secondary number in there as your regular number?
Tim: Like the actual real number as the secondary number? Yes, along with the toll-free number.
David: Well, so, there’re a couple of questions here. Number one, is this a problem? And number two, do we fix it if it is? So, number one, there’s the name, address, phone number consistency, the nap consistency, right? That’s where Google and other bodies say, hey, we know we’ve got the right business because the name of the business, the phone number for the business, and the address are all the same. And so, it’s important for what we call NAP consistency that all those are the same. And so, if there are several numbers under listings, then you don’t have NAP consistency among your profiles, and then you don’t have the credibility from that measurement as credibility. Right? And then, you know, this is going to go to a complicated topic, which is NAP consistency isn’t the only ranking factor. It might not be as valuable as it once was? But I suggest it’s worth doing. So, I’d say we probably want to fix this. Now, this is what I do. Although I use CallRail for phone call tracking systems, and I recommend it, I think easy and powerful and integrates well with Google Analytics and all kinds of advantages for it. It’s not even that expensive for phone call tracking, but what I do is I set up a static number. I call that static number, All Local. And I set it up as it’s a print number, just a static number, not dynamically substituted. And I use that number across all local profiles.
David: That is to ensure number one, name, address, and phone numbers are consistent. Two, if I get a phone call from one of those listings, I get to call it a lead because I can attribute it to the source. I can even, with the businesses that allow it, record the phone calls. If a client leaves me and decides to go, because of the way CallRail works, they can keep that number. They just have to start paying for it. So, I feel good knowing that client can keep that number and then doesn’t have to change everything because they moved away from my services.
David: So, ethically, that feels good and responsible.
David: It might be a little bit of work to do that, but it is a good idea. Now, that allows tracking number or phone number consistency against Profiles, but the problem is that when someone calls that, I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know did it come from Google My Business, did it come from Yelp, did it come from Apple? Did it come from something like that? In fact, I will go so far as to hard code that number on my website and then let that be the number CallRail dynamically substitutes with someone visits. So, if CallRail fails, I still get tracking on all phone numbers from the website. I just can’t distinguish how they found us. Here’s an example. I made a mistake with CallRail. And I asked CallRail to substitute a number that didn’t exist on the site. But the number was hard coded on the site. So, guess what? I still got all those leads. I just didn’t know where they were coming from. So, it kind of saved my bacon in the sense that, “Hey, client, I know we don’t know which leads came from this source, but we know we got this many phone calls this month,” because it’s all a hard-coded phone number. So, that’s my way around it, meaning making sure I can have name address phone consistency and also that the name address phone number matches my website. Right? I don’t know how big of a ranking factor that is for Google and as far as Google My Business, but I suggest it’s a factor of verification if you have a different phone number on your website than your Google Business.
Tricia: So, I do know a lot of people that use this. And basically, what Google is saying is that you can have your CallRail, your main number, and if you add your main number from your website as your secondary number, then that keeps your NAP consistency. So, that primary number does not need to match as long as you have that secondary number that does. And because a lot of people are using CallRail and other tracking numbers, Google adjusted for that.
David: So, you’re suggesting that in Tim’s scenario, it doesn’t matter that another listing picked up the wrong number?
Tricia: Well, I think the issue is that this other number picked up his Google tracking number, so that if somebody calls from that citation, then he thinks it’s coming from Google when it’s coming from that citation.
Tricia: That’s the biggest issue that I see with it. As far as the way he’s got it set up, I think that is the way it should be done. I would maybe put in a ticket with CallRail and ask them if they have had that issue and what’s the best solution. Is it a citation that you can actively manage, or is it just one of the millions of things out there that just pulled it in?
Tim: Yeah. It’s some site I’ve never heard of before. I’m trying to get in, but for some reason, my password is not working.
Tricia: Yeah. So, honestly, if it’s something like that, that has a really low-authority website, you know, I would try to fix it, but if it’s not one of the big ones that people are going to find, I really wouldn’t spend a lot of time on it.
David: That’s a good point.
Tricia: That’s just me again. You know, you might want to check… I would check with CallRail and ask them if they have had this issue. And if so, how do they have people address it?
Tim: Right. Because I did try to clean the citation, and I’m just not able to get in for some reason. I have to look at my notes. What it was, I don’t know.
David: When it comes to citations and NAP, Google only looks at some profiles. Right? All these little random ones that just keep popping up, these little directories, Google kind of doesn’t even care about them. And so, as a best practice, I like to keep NAP consistency across them.
David: But it probably doesn’t matter. And as long as the phone number gets to you, that’s probably the only thing that matters.
Tricia: Yeah. And being that it’s something you haven’t heard of and probably most people haven’t, you probably won’t get any calls or many from it.
Tricia: And now if it’s not a place people are looking when they are searching online. You know, if I were in your position, I would look at it and attempt to fix it, but then after that, I’d say, oh well, next.
Tim: Yeah. That’s why I was like, I’ll just move on from this.
Tricia: Yep, but reach out to CallRail and see what they say as well because I’m certain that they’ve had this come up and would have a good answer for you.
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