Online business listings have grown from a “nice-to-have” to a must-have if you want to attract new customers to your brick-and-mortar locations. According to Hubspot, 88% of smartphone users will either call or visit a business they research within 24 hours. Consumers rely on business listings to find services and expect to find accurate information there.
In many ways, local listings (especially on Google) have become the homepage for your business online.
“Consumers are no longer using a business’s website as the source of truth for information that they need,” says Hannah Borchik, Binary Fountain’s Customer Success Manager. “Instead, they are going to that business’s local listing, finding what they need there and not going any further.”
Because of this heavy reliance on listings, having accurate business information is extremely important for customer acquisition. If a user finds inaccurate or misleading information about a business, they are unlikely to re-engage with that business in the future, which will damage your brand’s image.
In this article, we take a look at why accurate business listings matter, as well as how to remove inaccurate business listings. We’ll cover:
- The benefits of accurate business listings
- How to remove inaccurate listings
- How to get buy-in for listings management
- Why you should monitor reviews
Why Accurate Business Listings Matter
Have you ever gone to a dry cleaner for that last-minute drop-off, thinking they were open (because their Google My Business profile said they would be), only to find out they were closed?
Because of inaccurate information, your dry cleaning needs went from an inconvenient errand to an emergency. After going back to Google Maps and finding a place that is open, you are able to get your dry cleaning taken care of.
The next time you have an urgent dry cleaning need, who are you going to visit?
If you are like most consumers, you are going back to the place that helped you in your time of need, even if it is a less convenient location. Why? Because you inherently trust them due to your previous interaction, and other customers do too.
So accurate business listings help you build trust with consumers before they even enter your doors.
Accurate listings also help you get discovered on search engines like Google, where the accuracy of your name, address, phone number (NAP) and hours are extremely important for appearing in local searches. This can impact your visibility in search results and ultimately your ability to attract new customers.
How to Remove Inaccurate Listings
One of the potential issues you can run into is inaccurate business listings online. Typically, you will be able to edit these listings by claiming your profile on each listing site, like Google My Business or FourSquare.
Beyond your NAP, make sure your photos, holidays, business description and other information are accurate as well. The more descriptive and informative a business profile you have, the more likely you are to appear in relevant searches by users.
To get you started, here are the top review sites you need to monitor for inaccurate listings. Many industry-specific sites generate their own listings from larger sites’ directories, so you will want to check those as well.
Once you have claimed your profile, it should be easy to go in and verify that the information is correct. If it is not, edit the profile pages to be accurate to your business information.
Additionally, you will want to remove any duplicate listings of your business to make sure you have one singular point of truth for search engines and directories to choose when displaying results.
“Believe it or not, sites like Google and Facebook will create listings, on their own, based on searches consumers make. So if Google and Facebook are unable to find local listings for your business, they will make sub-par and often incorrect listings for your business, thinking they are helping both you and the consumer when they’re really not,” Borchik says.
The ultimate goal of any listings management strategy is to have the same information everywhere online. Removing or updating inaccurate listings gets you closer to consistency across your brand.
“It’s important to remember that once you create online listings, you are not finished,” Borchik adds. “Once those listings are out there, people will be discovering them and also leaving reviews on them.”
Google and Facebook in particular favor businesses with a high volume of high-quality reviews in addition to accurate business listing information.
How to Get Buy-In for a Listing Management Service
If you need help justifying the expense for listings management to an executive, when you start claiming your listings online we recommend keeping track of referral traffic and engagements.
If you’ve done everything right, you should see a significant increase in referrals from search sites and new leads for your business. These are the kinds of results your executive team is looking for!
Here are some of the metrics we recommend monitoring:
- Referral traffic from search engines
- Click-to-call rates from listings
- Leads coming from sources beyond your website
- Hours your staff spends on listings cleanup
Accurate listings are a “must-have,” not a “nice-to-have” feature of managing your online presence, but that doesn’t mean they’re unprofitable. For more on ROI metrics concerning your online reputation, read our recent blog post.
Accurate Online Listings Aren’t Enough to Get You to the Top
Correcting all this information can be time-consuming across multiple listings, but listing management services like Binary Fountain make it easy for business owners and marketers to control their business’s online listings all in one place. This makes it easy to keep track of NAP, remove duplicate listings and improve your local SEO across multiple directories.
At Binary Fountain, we have an all in one solution for businesses just like yours looking to clean up your business listings as well as monitor and respond to your online reviews. Our customer experience platform lets you edit hundreds of listings online, clean up duplicate profiles, monitor and respond to online reviews and monitor your social media platforms.
If you need more information about improving your online presence, download one of our free e-books or watch our recent webinar on Listings Management.
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About the Author
Content Marketing Specialist