True Story: How Bad Local Listings Cost You Business

Recently, I was sitting in a waiting room for an appointment, making use of this unproductive time by checking things off the to-do list for an upcoming birthday party. High on the list: call my favorite local bakery to pre-order cupcakes for the event so I could pick them up on time. Easy, right?

I did what most of us would do in a situation like that. I pulled out my smartphone, opened my Google Maps app, and typed in the name of the bakery. There it was! I saw the listing and clicked to call the local store.

The Missing Number

But – to my surprise – there was no phone number on the listing. In fact, there was little to no information. It looked like this branch of a popular regional store hadn’t claimed this location for their business, which has been open for several years and I’ve used several times in the past (when I’ve had time to drop by the store in person).

No problem, I thought. I might be a little more persistent than your average consumer. After all, I really liked this bakery. So I turned to my web browser’s search bar and typed in the company name. Surely, I could find the phone number for this branch on the company’s website.

But, no such luck. It looks like the business completely forgot to share online one of the most important essentials of any business or store location’s web presence: the contact information.

The Switch

Frustrated and crunched for time, I did the only thing I could in this instance and looked on my app for other bakeries in the area so I could phone in an order. Sure enough, a nearby competitor whose phone number was included on their Google Maps listing popped up when I searched for “bakery.” I checked out the Google reviews that showed up their listing and figured I’d take a chance and call them to place an order.

And just like that, what had been my favorite local bakery had lost my business.

Sadly, my story is all too common for many local businesses. I also recently experienced the same issue with a local automotive shop and a the local branch of a big-chain pizza place. It can be a lot to keep up with all the details about your business floating around out there. In a survey we conducted last year, 100% of the businesses we polled said they had found incorrect information about their business on local listings.

Is this Happening to You?

What if this is happening to your business? A customer or prospect wants to do business with you. They have every intention of buying from you, or of calling to set an appointment. But, when they search for your business on their favorite map app, or in local search, you don’t show up. Or maybe you show up, but your phone number or address isn’t listed, is inaccurate, or is impossible to find. Or perhaps an old address or phone number shows up, and you’re not sure how to fix it.

The Simple Solution

Thankfully, it’s a relatively easy problem to fix. By claiming and managing your local directories and listings, you can make sure that people discover your business via search results, mobile apps, and popular business information sites.

Start by claiming and optimizing your business information via Google My Business. We’ve got a new ebook that will walk you through this process.

Then, make sure you’ve got the right information (and that it’s perfectly consistent and accurate) on your website as well as across the top 50 business listing and directory sites on the web.

If this sounds like a lot to conqueror, consider this: What is the cost of continually losing customers because they just can’t find the most basic information about your business where they are looking for it?

Are you willing to keep losing customers because of this?

Stop Losing Customers 

If you’d like to resolve this issue and save a lot of time managing this yourself, there are services that will manage this process for you, like ReachListings, available from ReachLocal. With ReachListings, we maintain accurate and consistent information about your business on over 50 directories, including Google and Yelp. Learn more, or feel free to contact us about getting started!

 

Tiffany Monhollon

Tiffany Monhollon is an award-winning content, community, and social media marketing strategist who is passionate about helping businesses and professionals succeed online, currently serving as Director of Content Marketing at ReachLocal. She develops integrated strategies from the ground up, incorporating content, community, and social tactics to deliver online marketing, search optimization, social engagement, and reputation management results. She speaks and writes about online marketing and social media for sites like Entrepreneur, MarketingProfs, Small Business Trends, Media Post, Social Media Today, Business 2 Community, and the ReachLocal Online Marketing blog.

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