Nothing is more frustrating as a customer than finding out that you have been given the wrong information about where a business is located. As a customer, how likely are you to give this company your business? Not very. In fact, according to Placeable, 73 per cent of consumers stated that they lose trust in a brand when the online listing shows incorrect information.
- Hours of Operation Matter Most
In a study conducted by local data aggregator Localeze, hours of operation were noted as the most helpful feature in selecting a business during local search. 76 per cent of respondent reporting that they expect this information when searching and 61 per cent believe that it is a feature that helps them to select a business.
- Business Listings are the foundation for strong SEO
While most people would assume that the number one reason people do a search online is for the address or location of a business, the address is actually behind hours of operation as the second most desired information.
It bears repeating that if a business address is incorrect on listing sites such as Google or Bing, then customers will not be coming to your door. A simple thing such as the wrong number on a street address, or even the wrong town, can mean that a customer cannot find you.
- Mobile Matters
According to Localeze, mobile-phone-based searches drive in-store purchases with more than 75 per cent of searches ending in a purchase—if a business has their listing details correct. Now if half of the people searching for a business listing on a local search engine, such as Google Local/Maps, can’t find the store’s business listing details, then the business is going to lose 100 per cent of their business.
- Listings Need to be Linked to Websites
More than 60 per cent of online searches on platforms have a similar chance of ending in a purchase.
While mobile searches are becoming more of a standard in where a customer searches, a business owner should not discount the power of a complete, consistent and accurate listing that is reflective of the business website.
- Cross Device Search Consistency is Critical
The most important part of those mobile searches is accuracy.
If someone cannot find your business in a local search or find inaccurate results while out and about, then your business has lost the chance for that browser to become a customer. So having those listings correct in all of the device formats is a must as we, and our technology, continue to evolve in the way we interact with local businesses.
- Lead in Local Search Results
Last but certainly not least is the fact that local search results are considered the most trustworthy. In a study by Neustar, it was determined that these searches, such as “used cars Nanaimo”, are what people do the most since they put that trust in local business more than big box, big website stores.
Local searches lend themselves to instant gratification and that interaction between browser and salesperson will convert that browser from someone who might get just the minimum to a loyal customer.
Those interactions are what lead people to local searches and the absolute necessity of getting your listings correct. Trust leads to loyalty, which leads to more business, which leads to happy customers and business owners.
And it all starts with that correct listing in that customer’s local search.
John MacDonald is the Director of Business Development with the Business Examiner News Group. Call him at 604.751.0819, or email BEDigital@businessexaminer.ca.