When consumers search for products and services in Google, 46% of searches have local intent. In other words, those consumers are looking for local businesses. One of the best ways to help consumers find your business is by adding your information to online local listing directories, such as Google, Yelp, Yext, and more. These listings provide helpful details about your business so that consumers know where they can find you and how they can contact you. However, if the information you’re providing in these directories is incorrect or inconsistent, it can have a negative impact on your business and its online visibility.
Here are some of the biggest issues you can encounter with incorrect local listings.
- Poor Ranking in Local Search Results
- Fewer Interactions with Your Business
- Increase in Negative Business Reviews
Poor Ranking in Local Search Results
Google has seen an increase in local searches in the past couple of years. Whenever consumers search for services and include “near me” in their search—for example, “auto shops near me”—the results often include a list of three to five nearby businesses, along with a map that pinpoints where the businesses are located.
How exactly does Google choose which businesses will show up? While there are several local search ranking factors that can impact where and when your business is show in search results, one of the most crucial factors is accurate and consistent local business listings. If you have a missing phone number, incorrect address, or any other wrong information, your business is less likely to be shown in the local search results, which can hurt your overall visibility online and make it more difficult to connect with new customers.
Fewer Interactions with Your Business
Did you know 80% of customers said they lose trust in a business if their local listing information is incorrect? This is yet another reason why having accurate, updated local business listings is necessary.
For businesses that rely heavily on phone calls to get new customers, an incorrect or missing phone number can be detrimental. In fact, 24% of consumers will call a business before visiting, which means you could be missing out on gaining new customers simply because you didn’t have a good phone number available.
The same goes for ensuring that your website’s URL is easy to find. Roughly 97% of consumers check a business’ web presence before making a purchasing decision. By not having a website for your small business or simply forgetting to include your URL in your online local listing, you could be taking yourself out of contention for earning new business among the vast majority of consumers.
Increase in Negative Business Reviews
With 88% of customers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, your small business needs good online reviews to get noticed by consumers. But if you have missing or incorrect information in your business listings, it can have a negative trickle-down effect on your reviews.
Let’s say a customer goes to visit your business location, looks up your address in your local listings, and the address is wrong. Then, they go to call your business to get the correct address, and your phone number is missing or doesn’t work. That customer might get frustrated enough to leave a negative review of your business, which can unfortunately impact your visibility in online local directories.
By making sure your business’ information is accurate and consistent in your local listings across the various business directories online, you make it easier for local consumers to find you and do business with you. This is why it’s good to monitor and update your local business listings frequently—that way, you can catch any errors or misinformation before it gets in the way of connecting you with potential customers!
Need help claiming, updating, or managing your local business listings online? Local Search Fuel by Hurrdat can help. Our local search optimization solution was designed specifically to help small businesses improve their visibility in local search results so they can reach more customers online. Sign up today!