The life of your business depends on people being able to contact and find your business so you can make a sale. All of your advertising dollars are spent at promoting your products and services in as many marketing areas including online business directories. Unfortunately, one little mistake on the listing directory can affect how people find your business. Incorrect names, addresses and other information can frustrate customers trying to seek out the services you provide, as the store doors remain closed and the aisles empty.
Business Listing Errors A Major Problem That Isn’t Being Fixed
During a 2013 survey conducted by ConstantContact, it was determined — out of more than 350 small businesses — that almost 50% of them have online listings showing inaccurate information. And although they have seen the listing errors, close to 70% of these businesses have stated that they simply don’t have the time to manage all the listing sites they use to ensure the information is accurate, according to Search Engine Land.
In a 2012 YQ survey, certain industries are showing more errors in business listings than others. Out of 40,000 US businesses using the Yext listing platforms, the real estate industry had the most incorrect or missing addresses (57%) and website links (24%). The finance and banking industry showed the most missing or incorrect phone numbers (41%), and the insurance industry was at the top for having the most inaccurate or missing business names (64%).
Some of the top errors include:
- missing or incorrect addresses – 43%
- missing or incorrect business names – 37%
- missing or incorrect website URL – 19%
- missing or incorrect phone numbers – 18%
- missing or incorrect listings – 15%
Additional problems have also included businesses being labeled temporarily or permanently closed on local directory sites such as Google Places, according to The New York Times.
Fixing Business Listing Errors
Due diligence has to be at the top of the list to ensure that business listing errors don’t happen. Checking them periodically, or hiring someone to manage your listings, will lower the amount of errors posted online. When you do find an error, you can take the following initiatives to get the listing fixed.
Contact the listing site. You should have all the accurate information ready to relay it to the listing directory site. Keep checking the business listing to see if it is fixed and call as many times as needed until the issue is resolved.
Fix the listing yourself. Some directory sites allow you to log in and fix the information yourself. Double check the information so you don’t introduce additional errors.
Contact law enforcement agencies in regards to suspicious activity. Competing companies and disgruntled employees will try to change listing information to hurt your business. Besides contacting the listing directory site, also get the appropriate law enforcement and legal department involved. You should not have to deal with other people’s unsavory business tactics.
Businesses Need To Act Now To Fix Business Listing Errors
It is a disturbing trend when businesses are spending thousands of advertising dollars to promote their companies online only to have incorrect business listings. Customers depend on correct information. The reasons why these customers are using the Internet is because it is the fastest and easiest place to find what they are looking for at the price they can afford.
It is not the customer’s obligation to know that the business listing is incorrect, or to compare other sites to ensure they are getting the right information. If the customer discovers that the business name, address, phone number or website URL is missing or incorrect, they will simply move on to a different business that has the correct information. Small businesses need to accept this fact and take the necessary time to get the most accurate information out to the public.