How Online Listings Affect Your Business

There is no question that search engines have transformed the way businesses approach their marketing strategy.

“According to a Local Consumer Review Survey, 97% of consumers used the web to find a local business last year”

It’s no surprise that having accurate online business listings is more important now than ever. Inaccurate business listings create more problems than you may be aware of. A slight error in your address means that customers may not be able to physically find your business. Even worse, they may show up ready to buy from your business only to find an empty parking lot, locked doors, and dark windows.

Not only is having incorrect online listings inconvenient for your customers, but it also takes a significant toll on your search results ranking and SEO. For example, if your online business listing information is inaccurate and a customer decides to report it, Google will take measures to protect their own brand and severely penalize your listing. This can push your business down to the bottom of page rankings and make your business nearly invisible to new customers looking for you. Everybody loses in these situations – except for your competition. If customers can’t find you, they may just look at the next business in their search results and take their business elsewhere.

“But my information is already up-to-date”

This may be true, but online listings stored in business directory sites are changing constantly. Your business information can change as often as every week!

Tracking changes on a local business listing over the course of a year. This awesome illustration courtesy of our friends at Intrepy.

While all of these changes can seem inherently dangerous, there is one way this works in your favor. Many of these listing sites are constantly searching the internet for information on *other* sites about local businesses. So, if you target a primary site or listing database, chances are high that the correct and updated information will make its way to another listing on a smaller site.

Even if you focus on just a few primary sites, it can be a part-time job monitoring your listings each week for accuracy.

The Importance of Visuals

One thing many business owners often overlook is the importance of adding visuals to their online listings. Adding photos of your business and examples of your products/services significantly increases your monthly impressions and interactions (calls, in-store visits, etc.). Google reports that “businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t have photos.”

Having accurate, in-depth information on listing sites may seem like a relatively small thing, but it can have a very real effect on the flow of customers to your business.

Small Changes, Huge Impact

Very few business owners have the time to maintain a consistent online listing management schedule. Even then, finding a quick and easy solution can be confusing and complex.

Business Warrior is a solution for business owners who want to control their listings but don’t have the time to devote to constant monitoring. With Business Warrior, owners and managers can visualize where their listings are incorrect and act fast, without the tedious time it takes to research each individual search engine listing. Once you’ve made optimizations and updates to your information, you’ll get a weekly alert when something changes – so you can adjust as time goes on without added stress. Most customers are going to search for your business before they visit your physical location. If 97% of consumers are going to use the information they found on the web, make sure it’s accurate.

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