Author | Chatmeter TeamDate Posted | December 29, 2018

Survey Reveals Why Local Listings Management is a ‘Must’ for Businesses

It’s estimated that $10.3 billion worth of sales are lost every year because of wrong, missing, or incomplete local listing information. Local listings management is the foundation that ensures a business’s local data is accurate and complete wherever customers search online.

Customers rely on local search sites to get them where they need to go and the local search sites rely on a number of different sources to obtain the most accurate data to provide searchers. It’s the business’s responsibility to ensure that the data each local search site is providing customers is accurate. Turns out, there’s a steep price to pay on both ends if it’s not.

Bad Listings lead to lower local search rankings

Listings are responsible for 45% of how local search sites determine their local search rankings. In order to supply customers with actionable business information and get them where they want to go, Google and other local search sites need to be confident in the accuracy of their own data. Therefore, they have made the accuracy and consistency of local listing data the most important factor in their rankings.

69% of customers believe that listing/directory sites are at least somewhat at fault when incorrect business information is displayed. Since Google can trust the businesses with accurate and consistent data, it ranks those businesses higher making them more visible to searchers. Those with poor listings are pushed down in the search rankings, where customers are less likely to click on them and Google is less likely to be blamed for providing its users with inaccurate information.

Considering 76% of customers who did a local search ended up at a brick-and-mortar business within 24 hours, Google and other local search sites are huge drivers of online-to-offline traffic and revenue. It is in a businesses best interest to ensure that their data is accurate in order to stay visible in the local search results.

While it is the business’s responsibility to ensure that their data is accurate and consistent, it is not always their fault when it’s not. Due to the number of different avenues local search sites use to acquire and cross-check their data, listings could change as frequently as every 6 days!

It’s a constant battle trying to safeguard your listings from all of the different sources of dirty data. Listings management helps you to easily control and protect your data guaranteeing that it is always accurate.

The “Real World Cost” of bad listing data:

Search engines respond to bad listings by lowering a business in the rankings, a recent survey shows how that same bad listing data is translated into negative responses from customers.

The survey found that:

  • 93% of consumers are frustrated by incorrect information in online directories
  • 80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent information
  • 41% would abandon their search for the business or turn to an alternative if they couldn’t find the location of a local business because the information was incorrect.

Customers have come to expect that the business data they find online is accurate and the consequences are steep for those who miss the mark. Local search sites provide shoppers with plenty of options to choose from. It is this abundance of choice that facilitates a customer’s unwillingness to put up with those businesses that don’t meet their standards for accurate information.

With customers so quick to abandon their search or turn towards another business as soon as they encounter any difficulties or inconsistent information, it’s easy to see how bad listing data can have a serious effect on the bottom line. In fact, 68% of people even said they would stop using a local business altogether if they found incorrect information online.

The hardest part of listings management comes for franchises and businesses with multiple locations that operate under the same brand name. Even if it was a single location that was at fault, 73% say they lose trust in the brand as a whole due to inaccurate business listings.

Most common problems encountered

As you take another look at your listings to ensure their accuracy, be aware of the common factors that would cause a customer to lose trust in your brand:

Additionally, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the most common problems that customers have recently encountered during their searches:

Now that maps have been digitized and the primary mode of navigation and communication exists on the devices found in our pockets and purses, it is essential that businesses control the online local listing data that shows customers who they are, where they are and how to contact them.

Check out our recent blog for tips on how to start optimizing your local listings right now.