Although it’s important for businesses to have a website, potential customers and clients increasingly check online business databases before making decisions. A whopping 94% of consumers say that they used a business directory, which includes Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Instagram, in the past year to get more information about a local business.

And when there are errors or incorrect information, it REALLY turns them off. 63% of consumers say that finding inaccurate information about a business in an online directory would stop them from using it. This problem is more common than you think, as 85% of consumers say they’ve found incorrect or incomplete information about businesses they’ve looked up in the past year.

The issue was compounded during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. 81% of consumers say they visited a business that indicated it was open, only to realize its hours had changed. First impressions count big time, and when a potential new customer has a bad experience like that, they’re unlikely to give that business a second chance.

Why Does Accurate Information in Business Directories Matter?

Having outdated, missing, or inaccurate information in your online business directory is like having your doors locked and a “CLOSED” sign hanging in your window—even though you’re actually open for business. Any mistakes in your online business listing can cost you the trust of the people who WANT do business with you, but some are more costly than others:

  • 66% of consumers say they lose trust in a business if its phone number is incorrect
  • 60% of consumers say they lose trust in a business if its address is incorrect
  • 49% of consumers say they lose trust in a business if its name is incorrect
  • 48% of consumers say they lose trust in a business if its opening hours are incorrect

When a business’s physical address is wrong, nearly 40% of consumers say they would either seek out an alternative business or give up their search entirely. And 76% of consumers say they’ve arrived at a business before it opened or after it closed in the past year because of inaccurate opening hours on an online business database. Imagine their frustration!

COVID-19 Highlighted the Need for Constant Management of Online Business Listings

Many business owners are tempted to think that their online listings are a “set it and forget it” task. But that couldn’t be further from the case, as many found out during the peak of COVID-19. The only constant in the business world is change, and it’s extremely common for businesses to change phone numbers, addresses, opening hours, email addresses, social media channels, and more over time.

And when that happens, the owners may not be ready to make the necessary changes. For every day that incorrect, outdated, or inaccurate information is posted to sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp, more and more potential customers are turned off by getting the wrong answers or not getting the information they need when searching.

Let Us Handle Your Local Search Marketing Efforts

At Big Light Digital, we ensure that every aspect of your business’s online presence is 100% accurate, complete, and up to date. You won’t have to worry about your potential clients and customers driving an hour to see you—only to be met with an empty and darkened building. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and our local search experts will ensure that your business and brand are presented in the best possible light when potential customers find you.

When done properly, optimized local search can be your biggest asset in a crowded and competitive market. But managing it can be time consuming and confusing, especially in an everchanging digital landscape and with so many platforms used by potential customers and clients. Let us handle it for you—contact us today to get started.

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