Today’s consumer is incredibly tech-savvy and they use any number of methods – apps, online directory searches etc. – to find out about your business and where you are. Having accurate information is the key to getting a...
Today’s consumer is incredibly tech-savvy and they use any number of methods – apps, online directory searches etc. – to find out about your business and where you are. Having accurate information is the key to getting a person’s business. Not having accurate information or out-of-date information will cost you revenue – lots of revenue.
A recent study by the U.S.-based Placeable, a marketing firm that uses location data to drive brand equity, asked more than a thousand consumers and marketers how online searches and information both drive persons to a local business and more importantly what drives them away from a local business. Over 70 per cent of respondents said they use online searches to not only to find local businesses but to research those businesses before going to them. Accurate information is the key to attracting potential customers. If information about your business is inaccurate – location is misstated, for example – that inaccurate information will drive those customers away. This is especially important on third-party sites such as the online Yellow Pages, for example. Yes, your website may have accurate information about you, your services and your location. But if a third-party site has misstated information about your business or location you will not even see that customer.
I’ve seen this many times. Many third-party sites and directories often have inaccurate information about local businesses, from the location of a favorite bakery to the phone number of a local service operation. Sometimes, I see misstated information about who is the owner of the business or a site that is still operating when it is well known in the community that it shuttered some time ago.
This may seem trivial. Isn’t it more important that my information on our company website is accurate? Yes, it is important . . . very important. Just as important as keeping your site updated with fresh information about your services and specials, useful information about vehicle maintenance and highlighting the skills and expertise of your technicians and service writers. But it is just as important that other sites have accurate information about your business. Remember, many people when looking for a vehicle service operation will not type the name of your business first into the search engine at the first go. Most likely it will be something closer to ‘garage’ followed by the general location they are living in. They will get dozens of service shops listed, with postings from third-party directories showing up first on the list of results. Because those results are first, a person will likely click on them first and a decision about whether to take their business to your shop will be made from what they find. If the information is inaccurate in any way, you have lost that business.
This is why we need to focus on more than just putting up a website. We need to invest in better search engine optimization and in ensuring that information about our businesses is accurate on third-party sites. Businesses that fail to do so “run the risk of not only missing out on new customers, but jeopardizing their relationships with existing customer as well,” the Placeable study finds.