Any good business owner knows that having customers find you is crucial to the business’s success. That’s why offline marketing tactics such as business cards are still a vital tool to have.

However, when it comes to online contact information, it can be surprising and in some cases shocking as to how and where it’s displayed, resulting in misinformation and, in the worst case scenario, a negative impact for your business’s online reputation. It doesn’t help that a lot of the information online is near impossible to remove without following a process.

If you’re looking to change your contact information, know that you’re in for a world of work. Here’s what else you need to know regarding online directories as well as your business’s NAP.

What is a NAP?

NAP is the short term for describing the Name, Address, and Phone number in a directory. Without any of these features, it’s more likely your company will be considered untrustworthy, both by customers and by search engines.

The finest example of where a NAP comes into play is in Yellow Pages, which is the directory you want to be listed in both offline and online.

Examples of Poor Online Directories

Basically, these are the telltale signs of a directory that’s untrustworthy:

  • No login or sign-in option visible
  • Content consists of lists of website links and nothing else
  • Poor grammar and spelling throughout
  • NO contact information to the website’s developer or owner whatsoever
  • Copyright information that is not recent or up to date

The biggest problem with these unsavory online directories is their lack of a login option or the inability to contact the site’s developer, leaving your directory and contact information vulnerable to spammers. To revise every single directory connecting to your website, especially if the contact information is incorrect or it has been placed in a directory that is spam-related, is no simple task – it takes time, dedication, and above all, patience. This is why it is so crucial to be careful when you’re adding a listing online, because if you don’t pay close enough attention, you could be in trouble.

Directories You Absolutely Need to be Featured On

If you are either a new business looking to expand an audience online, these are the top directories to begin adding your NAP to:

  • Your own website (this should be first and foremost)
  • Google+
  • Angie’s List
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Yelp!
  • LinkedIn

There are many, many other directories out there, and it all depends on the type of business you own as to whether or not you want yours to be included. The aforementioned ones, however, are a necessity if you’re looking to successfully market your business online.

If You Need to Change Your Contact Information…

Things change, and so too does the physical presence of a business. If you are at a point where this change needs to happen for your business’s success, here are a few steps you can take to make this step easy:

  • Revise the Contact web page on your website
  • Announce to your online audience on your website and social media regarding the change in location
  • Log in to each directory profile you’ve set up and apply changes to the account

Some online directories will require you to contact the website’s developer directly, and usually the best kinds will permit you to contact them directly either by e-mail or telephone. This specific step can take some time, depending on the amount of NAPs there are to manage.

If you’re looking to brush up your Contact page or get advice on online directories and marketing, we can help. Contact us at V3 Media and we’ll help you come up with the right solution, whether you’re a new business or a growing one.