There are more Internet users than ever before. Not only are there more people using the Internet today, but more people are also searching for local businesses in their area. This means that you need to be paying more attention to how your business information or location data is presented online. When was the last time you checked your business information across all the local directories?
According to a study conducted by Yext, various problems were uncovered as they reviewed the directory listings of 40,000 US businesses. The December 2012 study revealed the following problems with local business listings:
- Incorrect or missing address: 43%
- Incorrect or missing name: 37%
- Missing website link/URL: 19%
- Incorrect or missing phone #: 18%
- Missing listing: 14%
Other issues that could arise:
- Businesses with similar names (this is where accurate addresses help)
- Some local directories pull information from other directories, so if the information is bad on one, you may end up with many bad listings due to the domino effect.
You may think having incorrect or outdated information is not a big deal, but when you think about it from the customer’s perspective, it could easily be a deal breaker. Let’s go into the mind of a potential customer.
If you’re a customer and you’re searching for a local business online…
- How would you feel if a business had incorrect, missing, or contradictory information?
- How about if the company has several different variations of their company name online?
- What if you couldn’t find a business’ contact information, or what if the listing had a phone number that didn’t work or an email that keeps bouncing?
If any of these things happened to me and I were a customer, I would definitely not feel confident about buying anything from that business.
Remember, your business listing or website is the virtual representation of your business on the Internet. It only takes a few seconds for a customer to get the wrong impression. So, make sure you are doing your best to present the most accurate and up-to-date information everywhere, especially across every business directory.
What are challenges for small businesses?
The biggest challenge that small businesses face is the time factor. Most small businesses don’t have a dedicated marketing person to keep track of all their business listings. Secondly, it can very overwhelming for small businesses to correct all these listings if they are not Internet savvy.
By using a service like Yext or SinglePlatform, you can manage all your business listings in one place. These bulk listing management services may not be the cheapest option, but if you value your time, it may be worth it for you. You can also consider hiring someone to manually manage all your listings for you, but do the math on which option is more cost effective.