Search Engine Optimization | 4.17.14
Here’s an interesting finding about local business directories. According to a recent survey data released by Placeable, the majority of customers (73%) say they lose trust in a local business with inaccurate business listings. And that mistrust is always placed on brands, even though the brand, the search engine, or even the competitor is to blame for the inaccuracy.
Wow, scary, right? But not something that is too difficult to fix. We reviewed the entire study (which can be found here) and have provided you with key takaways to keep in mind in order for business to continue building a customer base, increasing brand loyalty, and driving sales:
Keep Consistent and Correct Information
Maintain accurate location data and incorporate this data consistently across all marketing channels (website, social media, review sites, etc.). Every piece of marketing should have accurate and consistent information. It’s important to realize that customers aren’t just searching on mobile and tablet devices, “they’re using search engines over any other method – app, directory, etc. – to locate businesses and gather information.” Monitoring and updating local listings helps Google decipher whether you are a ‘real business’ or not and helps boost your listings in your search results pages.
We’re Talking to You, Multiple-Location Businesses
Businesses and multiple-location businesses must make sure that information is correct (especially direct contact information such as phone numbers and physical street addresses) for each location. According to the study, “it’s vital for multi-location businesses to preserve customer trust by ensuring absolute accuracy in their online location information. Anything less makes the business vulnerable to constant, ongoing erosion of its brand.”
Placeable further explains that, “brands that fail to ensure the accuracy of search engine location data run the risk of not only missing out on new customers, but jeopardizing their relationships with existing customers as well.”
Don’t Lose Out on New Customers
Having accurate listings is vital for new customers to find you. 71% of respondents surveyed looked up and confirmed the location of the local business before going for the first time. Optimizing the Internet search engine location data helps customers, no matter what stage of the buying process they’re in or if they’re on a desktop or mobile device. It’s always helpful for first-time customer, who actively seek information about a business online, to find a business’s information as quickly and easily as possible. “Three-fourths of customers are researching locations before visiting for the first time.”
Compete with Local SEO Initiatives
Finally, incorrect information wasn’t the only reasons businesses are losing customers, Placeable’s research found that when customers were searching for information, they were also paying close attention to businesses with special offers.
The study mentions, “if a directory or reviews site ranks higher than a brand’s website in search results, the customer may visit the site instead – and can exposed to competitors and special offers.” 60% of customers say they would go to a competitor if they received a special offer from the competitor while searching for a specific business. To prevent this from happening, businesses must be competitive with deploying fully-optimized local landing pages and SEO for every business location to capture search traffic more accurately.
For more information, you can access the full report here.