As a local business owner, you’re often the sales team, marketing team, and customer service team all rolled into one. You don’t want all your efforts to be in vain though which is why accurate business directory listings are essential.
Inaccurate directory listings can harm you irreparably and no matter how hard you try, all other efforts to get customers will fall flat. Yes, even the smallest inaccuracy can push your business listing to the bottom of search.
It’s true that 68% of consumers would stop using a local business if their business information is incorrect. BrightLocal has put together 9 statistics why inaccurate business information is dangerous (including the statistic I just listed). This post covers 6 reasons that inaccurate information will harm your business.
The 6 Reasons
Without further ado, the 6 reasons your inaccurate directory listings will hurt your business. Be sure to check out after the list how you can fix all of these issues.
1) Confuses the customer
Having an inaccurate listing for your business definitely confuses your customer. If your address or pin brings your customer to the wrong location, they’re going to get lost.
There’s no worse feeling for a consumer hunting and wandering aimlessly for a business that shows the wrong location. You may know exactly how to get to your location but your customer probably doesn’t.
If your business is inside of a building or a large parking lot, don’t just type in the address and leave it be. The pin where your business is should also be precisely on top of your office.
Consumers should not be confused by seeing a pin sitting in a parking lot out from of an office complex or strip mall. Make sure everything is correct from the pin to a picture of the outside so customers know exactly what to look for.
2) Hurts your search engine rank
Inaccurate or even inconsistent information about your business will harm your rank in search engines. Search engines rely on citations (which is a directory listing) to understand your business and rank it too.
If your information is inaccurate then search engines become confused about what information is correct. Make sure your main business information such as Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) are all identical across directories.
If your main information varies even a slight bit then search engines will get confused. That means your business will not rank as high in search results as it could. Low search rankings mean you’re less likely to get found by customers.
3) Diminishes trust in your business
If a consumer gets lost or can’t contact your business then they aren’t likely to trust you. Inaccurate information will lead to unhappy customers who don’t trust your business anymore.
If a customer visits your business during a time listed that you’re open yet you’re closed, that’s a bad experience. That customer who took their time to go to your location isn’t likely to come back if they’re not even sure when you’re really open.
Lack of accuracy and the customer getting wrong information will lead to diminished trust in your business. It’s best to make sure all your information is accurate, even on holidays, for your business. Otherwise, you’ll lose trust with customers.
4) Lost business without understanding why
Inaccurate business information will lead to a lot of things directly. Indirectly it will lead to a loss of business.
The worst part? You may not even realize why your business is dropping off. It may be easy to blame changes in the season or economy but there’s a good chance it simply has to do with your customers not finding what they need.
Competitors can recommend inaccurate changes to directories. Those changes may be pushed through which will lead to inaccurate information. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of your business listings all the time.
At the very least, check your listing at least weekly to make sure it’s accurate. If you really want to guarantee accuracy all the time, use business listings management software to make your listings always stay accurate with change only you make.
5) Competition gets ahead of you
If your business information is inaccurate and your competitors is not, guess where the customer is going to go.
Customers aren’t likely to wait around for you in an instant gratification world. Your business information better be accurate and your customer better be able to find you or your competitors are likely to capitalize on it.
Once competitors get ahead far enough, it can be hard to catch up without a lot of effort. It’s best to stay accurate and continue to work toward high rankings from the start. Don’t let inaccurate business information hinder your progress.
6) You may get negative reviews
Believe it or not but consumers can sometimes be petty. There are cases of 1-star reviews being left because of inaccurate information.
Yes, customers may arrive at your doors during a time when your Google Business Profile said you were open yet you were closed. They then proceed to leave you a 1-star review because they couldn’t get what they had their heart set on.
It’s a brutal world out there and there’s often no room for an error that can easily be prevented. Customers expect you to provide accurate information about your business, no excuses. If you don’t then there may be a punishment waiting to happen. Whether it’s fair or not, there’s not a lot a business can do about it.
How to save your business from inaccurate listings
Luckily all of these problems caused by inaccurate business information is easy to manage.
You can either slave away every week to check all your information and make changes as your business changes or you can do it the easy way.
The easy way is to use a business listings management platform where you can update your business information on the most important business directories instantly. You can also start with a free business listings scan to see how accurate your listings are across the internet.
Business information changes weekly because of changes and updates that you should be making. In the case of Google Business Profile, make posts weekly. Because of these constant changes, you must keep up with them and communicate accurate information at all times.
Contrary to information that’s promoted out there that citations/business listings are “create it and forget it” affair, they are not. You should not create them and forget about them. They must always be up-to-date and providing accurate information for your customers and search engines.