How Incorrect Online Business Listings Can Hurt Your Business

July 31, 2018 Peter A. Liefer II

LocationSetting up and maintaining the online presence of a brick-and-mortar business has become incredibly simple thanks to modern technology. Still, it might come off as a challenge especially if you are running to stay on top of every interaction on your social media, blog, pay per click advertising, and even an online store. With numerous things to monitor, one of the most basic and critical aspects of Internet marketing is often neglected: your company’s online local listings.

You Risk Losing Potential Customers

According to a recent survey, inaccurate local business information can harm the trust of customers. Around 73 percent of the respondents stated that they expect less from a brand with incorrect online information. Meanwhile, 67 percent say that they completely lose trust in the business if they get lost walking or driving to their location just because of a wrong given address.

Businesses that fail to ensure the accuracy of search engine location data will not only miss out on potential customers but can jeopardize their relationship with existing clients as well. Even when directories like Yellow Pages and Yelp provide the incorrect information, nearly a third of consumers say they would still blame the brand.

How To Clean Up Your Bad Internet Listings

It is not enough to Google your business occasionally. When you poke around at various mapping websites, social media platforms, search engines, and online business directories, you’ll be surprised to uncover that not all of them reflect your correct business info. You may find missing details, old phone numbers, and addresses, or bad links. What’s worse is that they can even get your business name mistaken.

Once you start to correct these, you will learn how much work it requires and how long it should take. Almost every site will require you to verify your ownership of the business. You can do this via snail mail or a quick phone call. Meanwhile, you have to be mindful of sites that allow just anyone to edit listings as they can put erroneous content that may hurt your business. Consider these tips to clean up those bad listings once and for all:

Select The Proper Categories

One way to secure your spot is to select the right category. The categories might differ from one website to another, but try to be consistent with your choice. A golden rule is to not overreach to categories you don’t specialize in because this will only confuse your viewers and it can even lead to more incorrect entries.

Be Consistent

After establishing the right name, phone numbers, and address of your business, you have to stick with them. Make sure they are formatted and spelled exactly the same for all pages on the web.

Be meticulous when it comes to every entry and make corrections even on the tiniest details, such as word spacing and capitalization. It’s important to note that most of the time, it won’t be a human reading that listing, but rather a search engine bot. Any inconsistency can be seen as completely two different businesses.

Document Your Listings

Your business could end up on literally thousands of places online. While it’s virtually impossible to repair every single one of them, having a record of listings you fixed can help you from making any unnecessary work.

Have a spreadsheet for all the updated entries and include a link to the site. If your business happens to add a new service or move to a new location, you’ll know which sites to edit with a simple click of a mouse. Also, do not forget to take note of directories that feature reviews and ratings so you can go back and check them often.

Add Relevant Content Where Needed

Take advantage of sites that let you add a description for your business. This is your chance to make your brand shine. Use keywords and words that accurately reflect the nature of your business.

You don’t have to overdo it – just try to be concise and clear. If there’s a spot for a video or photo, by all means, upload your best one. The added content will help attract customers to check out your business.

Go Big, Then Go Local

Before correcting local listings, check for the biggest sites first where most of the traffic comes. Start with Google Maps, Google+, and Facebook. Next, hit major search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Fix inconsistencies as they come up.

Your next visit has to do with online magazines, local newspapers, and events in which your business sponsored or participated. Look up news that could possibly mention your brand and leave no stone unturned. Remember that one bad address spread onto many other websites.

Don’t Shell Out Cash

So you want to correct your listing, but the site admin wants you to pay for access to your information – don’t believe it. You should never have to shell out money for this matter. People will not trust websites with inaccurate information, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to let the business correct their listing. Be patient in looking for the link to verify your ownership and don’t fall victim to the gimmick that they would only let you update your info for a price.

Check Reviews and Ratings

As you sift through your several online listings, you may stumble upon sites with reviews and ratings of your business. If you see a dissatisfied customer, follow up in a courteous and professional manner.

One bad review can impair your brand and prevent people from further checking your products and services. Actually trying to address the issue and showing concern for your customer’s feelings and experience, on the other hand, can do wonders for your business’s name.

Appreciate what potential clients have to go through to look for your business. From their initiative to search you online to driving to your location, it will be a huge disappointment for them to be directed to the wrong place.

If you need help with spotting incorrect listings and connecting with your customers online, PrimeView can provide you with a very effective strategy and solution. We can manage your brand’s reputation and tailor the best experience for your clients. Talk to us at 480-970-4688 and we will be delighted to assist you!


Peter A. Liefer II

Peter is the CEO of PrimeView, the leading Arizona Web Design and Digital Marketing Firm. A veteran in the Web Development and eCommerce industry, he is focused on delivering data-driven results. Learn more about Peter and PrimeView on our Profile. You may also reach us here.