If you’re a local business owner, then you know that online listings are important. They can be the difference between someone finding your business and not. In fact, incorrect information in local business listings can even decrease trust in your business. And if people can’t find you, they can’t do business with you. So it’s essential that your business listings are accurate and up-to-date.
Here are five reasons why accuracy is so important for local businesses:
1. Missing hours of operation can be a dealbreaker
If your business hours are not listed accurately, you could be losing out on customers. Many consumers won’t even consider using a business if its operating hours aren’t listed. This is especially important for businesses that have irregular hours or are open late.
Think about it. If you could find a business online but couldn’t find its operating hours, you wouldn’t know whether or not the business would be open when you arrive. Time is our most precious resource, and people don’t want to risk wasting it. Eliminate this risk by making sure your hours of operation are included in all your listings.
2. People can’t find your business without an accurate address
If you don’t list your address, then potential customers won’t be able to physically find your business. This is especially important for businesses that are location-specific, such as restaurants, retail stores, and service providers.
What’s perhaps even worse than having no address listed is having the wrong address listed. A listing with the wrong address could cause people to drive all over town looking in the wrong place for your business. That isn’t great customer service.
3. Mobile searchers are ready to take action
Well over half of all Google searches come from mobile devices. More and more people are using their smartphones to search for businesses. And many of these searchers are ready to take action.
According to a study by Google, 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a physical place within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase. This means that having accurate local business listings that appear when people are searching for you can directly impact your business’ revenue.
4. Local customers search in different places at different times
There are dozens of different platforms and directories that your business could be listed in. You never know which directory your potential customers will use to search for your business. That’s why it’s important to have your business information listed in as many places as possible.
Sometimes they may type your name into Google, other times it will be more convenient for them to use Yelp. That’s why it’s important for all of your local business listings to be accurate, no matter where they are. You don’t want your customers to find different information in each listing because this will decrease trust in your brand.
In addition, potential customers will search for businesses at different times and in different situations. They might search for a restaurant while they’re at work, or search for a retail store while they’re at home. This means that you need to be visible in as many situations as possible.
5. Local search results are a trusted source of information
Nowadays, people go to the internet to answer most of their questions. It is our primary source of information.
When people search for local businesses online, they trust the results that they see. Therefore, if they search for “steakhouse in lexington” and your restaurant doesn’t appear in the results, it might as well not exist to them.
Accurate and consistent listings for your local business help ensure that your business appears in the places that consumers trust most.
Your website is your most important listing
Your company’s website is its online home. It should always contain updated and accurate information about your business.
Like any good listing, the business name, address, and phone number should be readily available for users. You don’t want to make it difficult for potential customers to get in contact with you.
You should include a link to your website in every other online listing that allows you to. This will help increase the prominence of your website and aid in search engine optimization efforts.
Your website as a first impression
If someone searches for your specific business name, chances are your website will show up near the top of the search results. This is a chance to make a strong impression on users to start changing them from searchers to customers.
Unlike other listings, you have complete control over your business’ website. You should take advantage of this! The website design should reflect your company’s brand and identity.
Since we know so many searches happen on mobile, it’s important for your website to be responsive. A responsive website looks good no matter what device it’s being viewed on.
The five reasons that your online listings need to be accurate are:
- Missing hours of operation are a dealbreaker
- People can’t find your business without an accurate address
- Mobile searchers are ready to take action
- Local customers search in different places at different times
- Local search results are a trusted source of information
If you want your business to be found online, then you need to make sure that your local business listings are accurate. This is the only way to ensure that potential customers can find your business and trust the information that they see. So take the time to update your listings or find a listings management solution today. It could make a big difference for your business tomorrow.