Why incorrect business information can hurt you
We may have all run into this in the past: incorrect business contact info. For example: you go to your search engine, you search for a business. You call, and you encounter an intercept message saying the number you dialed is not in service! You click another online source, and there is a different number, so you call it, and you’re connected with someone not related to the business.
Perhaps you pull out your phone, open Yelp, find a restaurant near you, and begin driving without calling ahead only to find that the address on the Yelp profile is outdated, and that location is closed.
If you’re like most consumers, who are presented with many alternative choices within that industry both online and offline, you would move on; find another business.
Having incorrect business information scattered online can drive your customers away and otherwise tarnish a long-established brick and mortar business. You’ve essentially turned away business before they even walk through your door or engage with your product.
It’s important to ensure you have the correct business info.
What information should you publicize?
Make sure your business name is consistent across all sources! e.g., “Nutshell” (correct) vs. “Nutshell CRM” (incorrect) vs. “Nutshell LLC” (incorrect)
Some people choose to use tracking phone numbers to measure conversion, and this can lead to misinformation over time. Do your best to be consistent with the numbers and limit the amount of temporary numbers available to your audience.
Physical Address (if applicable)
If you’re a brick and mortar business, it’s important that you have the correct info so your patrons can find you.
If you’re in an industry where your hours change during the holidays, take the time to update them. Google My Business allows you to change your hours for holidays or other periods.
If you want a public-facing email address, make it apparent, consistent across your platforms, and easy for people to remember. (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org)
What is the best way to get your info syndicated?
Let’s start with the most obvious and easy to update sources:
- Google My Business
- Bing Places
- Yahoo! Local
- Facebook for Business
Where should I start?
Start with the platforms readily available (i.e. The platforms you use on a daily basis). Remember, some sources like Google and Bing may require you to verify your business using a pin code sent via mail, which can add to the time it takes to verify your business.
Things to remember:
Avoid duplicate listings. Be consistent. Those with limited experience and power users alike should consider the 4 major data aggregators:
Acxiom, Factual, Infogroup and Neustar Localeze are regarded as the most important data aggregators, and they allow you to push data to hundreds of sites. There are TONS of sites out there that collect your business info, so it’s important to cover your bases. Moz Local provides a wonderful breakdown of just how powerful they are and how they comprise the The U.S. Local Search Ecosystem.
The Internet is a big place and you likely have competition. Just imagine: you and your competitor offer the exact same services, products, have the same patron count…the only difference is that one business has consistent business information and one does not.
Which do you think will be more successful?
If you can ensure your business information is consistent, you can focus on the things that really make your business successful: offering great products and services to your customers and potential customers.