Why Business Listing Accuracy is Important
Business Name. Address. Phone number. These 3 – jointly called as “NAP” – are the holy trinity of information.
Your business name, address and phone number are of utmost importance for those who may plan to buy from your physical store or those who may want to contact your office prior to visiting your store.
An example of a business listing or business directory is Google My Business – a free business listing or directory offered by Google. This business directory integrates 3 Google products: Google Maps, Google Search and Google +. It allows consumers to find your business or organization’s contact details. It also shows your customers how to get to your store or office with its travel directions for a variety of transportation modes.
Benefits of Accurate Business Listings
Based on the Google-Oxera study (PDF), accurate business listings result in the following:
1. It can help your organization’s online reputation.
The Google-Oxera study showed that businesses whose listings are verified, specifically on Google My Business, are twice as likely to be considered “reputable” by consumers.
2. It saves time.
The Google-Oxera study revealed that consumers save 0.74 minutes per record when they see a verified business listing. The study estimates this time-saving consequence to be worth around $9 for each consumer over a year for every type of business they locate using Google.
3. It increases homepage clickthroughs.
The Google-Oxera further found that accurate business listing produces more consumers’ online activity. The study found that accurate business details generate at least 30% increase in homepage clickthroughs.
Prevalence of Inaccurate Basic Business Information
Inaccurate business names, addresses and phone numbers are prevalent on the internet. A Yext survey revealed that 65% of large businesses in the UK have incorrect addresses listed online. This problem isn’t limited to large businesses, as 67% of smaller businesses have incorrect addresses listed online. The inaccurate information doesn't stop there, according to Yext, as 33% of large organizations in the UK list incorrect phone numbers, and 61% of small businesses face the same problem.
A Mediative and Placeable (PDF) report showed that 80% of Canada's top retailers have inconsistent, inaccurate or missing basic business information online.
Negative Effects of Inaccurate Business Listings
1. Inaccurate business listings can drive away customers and contacts.
A Google and Ipsos MORI survey (PDF) revealed that 4 in 5 smartphone and computer/tablet users conduct local searches on search engines, specifically about local store address, directions to the local store and business hours.
The survey further revealed that 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within 24 hours, and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same. Despite the growth of online retail, therefore, the truth remains that offline spending on products and services aren’t losing ground.
Imagine a customer driving all the way to your supposed store address, only to find a notice that you’ve moved to a new address or said customer simply can’t locate your store as it’s the wrong address. Or picture a customer, who after finding your organization’s phone number online, contacts you with this number and said customer can’t contact your company because that number is an old one or the number is simply wrong.
The responses for these two scenarios are immediate: inaccurate address and phone number drive away would-be customers and contacts. Even your existing customers will turn their backs against your business if you don’t update your new address or phone number.
2. Inaccurate business listings result in financial losses.
According to the Mediative and Placeable report, if 5% or 100 branches of a 2,000-branch home improvement store with $57 average daily ticket, 5,000 local searches a month and a 1% click-through rate (CTR) have inaccurate phone numbers, it could mean an annual loss in revenue of $1.6M from customers who opt to shop elsewhere.
3. Inaccurate business listings can do damage to your business’ search engine optimization (SEO).
According to Moz’ 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors, the following inaccurate and missing business data negatively impacts your business’ SEO:
If search engines notice that your organization has incorrect and conflicting business addresses and phone numbers, your organization’s website is less likely to rank high on search results. The reason for this demotion is that search engines are simply trying to protect their reputation as well. If their search results show incorrect and misleading information, their customers would similarly leave them.
"Inadequate syndication of location data across the third party ecosystem leads to poor placement in search engine results and the loss of online site visits," the Mediative and Placeable report said.
The following factors are responsible for basic business data inaccuracies:
1. Change in Location and Phone Number
Inaccuracies of location and phone number can stem from a recent transfer to a new address or a change of phone number.
2. Typo Error
Many inaccurate business addresses and phone numbers are the results of typo error or mistakes in typing the words or numbers.
3. Substantial Number of Business Addresses and Phone Numbers
Specifically for large organizations – those with hundreds and even thousands of branches, manually ensuring that addresses and phone numbers are accurate can be burdensome.
4. Substantial Number of Business Listings
In today’s digital economy, your business name, address and phone number don’t appear on one site alone. Depending on your location and type of business, your organization may have to deal with hundreds of business listings within niche based categories. New sites could also pop-up anytime and existing sites could get your business name, address and phone number from several sources.
5. Lack of Time to Claim and Regularly Update Business Listings
Claiming a business listing like Google My Business takes time. Aside from Google My Business, there are other business listings that are equally as important like Bing Local, Facebook, Apple Maps and TripAdvisor.
Connect with us today and we will show a simple, automated way to keep your listings up-to-date, attract new customer, and win against competition.
ReputationMart.com - passionate digital marketing team.