6 Reasons Your Local Business Listings Need to Be Accurate
More than ever before, your customers have started their shopping experiences online vs in-store. But did you know that accurate online listings are the best way for customers to find you in the first place?
Doubters are thinking, “Everyone knows my company. We’ve been in the Okanagan for 20 years.” Excellent point, but the new family that just moved from Calgary to Kelowna doesn’t know about your decades-long reputation. And the new generation of customers (AKA Millennials) always check their phones to find your hours, address, and reviews.
It’s 2020. Online listings aren’t optional; they’re a necessity. Accurate online listings allow you to be found in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon… wherever you are in your neck of the BC woods. Being seen is the first step! Your up-to-date business listings bring customers to your door (or make your phone ring or drive people to your website, email you, etc.)
At Twin Creek Media, we know that online business listings are essential for all companies, and especially for retailers or consumer goods & services.
Why should you care about accurate listings?
As a customer, nothing is more frustrating than finding out that you have been given the wrong information like being provided an outdated address for where a business is located. Or they aren’t open till 7 p.m. like it says. Or the phone number is flat out incorrect. Argh.
As a customer, how likely are you to give this company your business? Not very. In fact, according to Placeable, 73% of consumers stated that they lose trust in a brand when the online listing shows incorrect information.
of consumers stated that they lose trust in a brand when the online listing shows incorrect information.
1. Missing hours of operation information can be a dealbreaker
There are things that people look for in listings, whether they are looking at that search engine on a PC or a mobile device. The top piece of information that most people look for is the hours of operation since their search is likely for a business that they frequent quite often.
In a survey conducted by local data aggregator, Localeze, hours of operation were noted as the most helpful feature when selecting a business during a local search. 76% of respondents reported that they expect this information when searching, and 61% believe that it is a feature that helps them to select a business.
Even if people are new to a business, it doesn’t give people a good impression if the business hours are not listed. What if the business was only open from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., Tuesday - Saturday? Imagine that potential customer who is ready to spend their money in-store, but shows up on Monday at 7 p.m. only to find it closed. That customer is likely going to do another search on a mobile phone to find a different store and spend their money there.
2. Put yourself on the (Google) map
The whole point of being in business is to make money doing what you love or selling what you love. And that happens by attracting foot traffic and increasing customer base.
It bears repeating that if a business address is incorrect on listing sites such as Google or Bing, customers will not be crossing the threshold. A simple thing such as the wrong number on a street address, or even the wrong town, can mean that a customer cannot find you.
Canada Post reports that a package will be returned to the sender when an address doesn’t exist or if the address on a package is incomplete.
An incorrect address can also result in loss of money, as the sender may be responsible for the return charges depending on the type of mail.
3. Your customers are on their phones searching online for you right now… are you there?
According to Localeze, mobile-phone-based searches drive in-store purchases with more than 75% of searches ending in a purchase—if a business has their listing details correct. Now, if half of the people searching for a business listing on a local search engine, such as Google Local/Maps, can’t find the store’s business listing details, then the business is going to lose 100% of their business.
For ease of use for potential customers, some of those details need to be as readily available as possible in a mobile-friendly manner. A responsive website that supports cell phone and tablet-specific Google Local/Maps is the best way for clients to find you.
Read our blog on how businesses can bring their stores online with Shopify.
4. Accuracy = great first impression
of searches on PC platforms such as website portals, Internet Yellow Page directories, and local sites have a similar chance of ending in a purchase.
At the same time as mobile searches, more than 60% of searches on PC platforms such as website portals, Internet Yellow Page directories, and local sites have a similar chance of ending in a purchase. While mobile searches are becoming more of a standard in customer searches, a business owner should not discount the power of a consistent and accurate listing that is reflective of the business website.
Any listing should be linked to the business’s website and feature the same information, but more of it. While a website should be enough to entice a customer to visit or buy, if inconsistencies exist, trust that issues will arise in a business’s practices before a customer ever crosses their threshold.
5. Any device, any time… you must be ready
People who search for listings are doing it in many more ways than when the Internet first coalesced into existence about two decades ago. In that time, we went from working on desktops to laptops to PDAs to Blackberries, to Apples, to tablets—and in each iteration, the methods of search have changed.
However, that has slowed over the last five years as web developers realize that they need to be smarter. Rather than designing three different sites for three different platforms, they have created websites that are scalable to the search device. And that has been helped along by the proliferation of types of devices we use every day.
According to Statista, the Canadian smartphone market is amongst the highest in the world with 28 million active mobile internet users in Canada as of January 2019. Approximately 33 percent of online traffic in Canada is conducted through mobile phones and another 10 percent via tablets.
Localeze reports that what we search for varies by the time of day and the device. While we scout for entertainment during work hours on our computers, we search for restaurants during the evening using our phones. Health and fitness searches are more prevalent in the evening using tablets.
The most important part of those mobile searches is accuracy. Your business will lose the chance for a browser to become a customer if they cannot find your business in a local search or find inaccurate results.
Having listings correct in all of the device formats is a must as we continue to evolve in the way we interact with local businesses.
6. Local search results are key to online success
Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that local search results are considered the most trustworthy.
According to Neustar, consumers are more apt to use a local search such as "bike shop Kelowna," putting their trust in a local business than in a big-box or big-website store.
Think about it, would you prefer a local store where you try out a bike in town right now and check out all the options? Or would you rather wait a week plus for delivery, only to find out its not a good fit?
Local searches lend themselves to instant gratification. Interactions such as these often convert browsers into loyal customers who don't mind spending a little more for excellent service. They show why it is necessary to get listings correct. Trust leads to loyalty, which leads to more business, which leads to happy customers and business owners.
And it all starts with that correct listing in that customer's local search.
So what now? Recommended Next Steps
Would you like to get listed on 30+ directories and save 300 hours of work? Twin Creek Media is here to help!
Contact us and leverage our expertise and tools. Your company will benefit from higher search engine results and more accurate listings so people can find you and contact you. It’s an investment that will pay off for years to come.