4 Reasons Online Data Accuracy is Important to Your Business

Jun 27, 2023

You’ve built a website, your Google My Business Listing, and your Facebook business page are all set. Now you can sit back and watch the magic happen, right? Unfortunately, no. The internet is a live and ever-evolving thing. And unless you monitor it, information about your business can degrade over time. That’s why, today, we’re going to discuss 4 reasons data accuracy is important to your business and how inaccurate information can hurt your brand.

Data Accuracy

How Can Online Data Degrade?

Chances are you’ve created a Google My Business page. But did you personally make a listing for your company on every one of the hundreds of search engines out there? Because whether you made a listing or not, each search engine has a listing for your company, and chances are high it was made without your input.  

Now, think about how many places you have entered information about your business online, like location, phone number, or address. Then think about where a past or future client could have entered your information. With that many variables, you can see that typos or variations between Suite 4, STE4, and #4 could all lead to your business being listed incorrectly. 

Or, let’s say that you’ve ever moved your company, changed your phone number, or updated your business hours. You told Google about your changes, but did you tell all of the other search engines? If not, there is a high likelihood of a listing out there with inaccurate data about your company. Even if you don’t use all the other available search engines, it’s possible that some of your customers do. Let’s delve deeper into how this can affect your business.

1. Your Local SEO

Whenever your potential customers search for services and include the term “near me” in their search—for example, “plumbers near me”—the results often include a list of three to five local businesses near their GPS coordinates, along with a map that shows where those businesses are located.

Google determines which businesses to show in those results based on the accuracy of your business listing. Your business is less likely to be shown in the local search results if you have a missing phone number, incorrect address, or any other wrong information. This can greatly affect your local SEO, impact your overall online visibility, and make connecting with new customers more difficult.

Data Accuracy

2. Your Customer Acquisition Potential

Did you know studies have shown that 80% of customers said they would lose their trust in a business if their local listing information is incorrect? For businesses that rely on phone calls to get new customers, an incorrect or missing phone number can be detrimental to their success. The same report shows that 24% of consumers will call a business before visiting, which means you could be missing out on gaining new customers if your phone number is missing or incorrect in an online listing. 

The same goes for your website’s URL. Roughly 97% of consumers check a business’ web presence before visiting their location or making a purchasing decision. By not having a website for your small business, having an incorrect listing, or even simply forgetting to include your URL in your local online listing, you could be taking yourself out of the running for earning new business among the competition.

3. Increase in Negative Business Reviews

Research shows that 91% of people regularly read online reviews and 84% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That means good reviews are an essential part of a successful small business. But if you have missing or incorrect information in your business listings, it can negatively affect your reviews.

Let’s say a customer has made the decision to visit your business location. They looked you up online and got your address and hours. Then, when they arrived at their destination, the address was incorrect. Rather than spending their valuable time looking for your business, they may get frustrated enough to leave a negative review of your business, which can, unfortunately, impact your visibility in online local directories.

4. Customer Retention

You may think, “Hey, we’ve already won their business; things look good.” But perhaps you’ve had an emergency or an unforeseen circumstance that has caused you to close early for the day. When your loyal customer arrives and finds your business closed when the online listing clearly states that you’re open, you could risk that customer not returning. It’s easy enough to update your early closure for the day on your Google My Business listing, but what about the hundreds of other search engines? Again, Google may be your go-to, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only search engine your customers use.

The Bottom Line

Ensuring your business information is clean, consistent, and synced across all directories makes it easier for local consumers to find and, more importantly, do business with you. 

This is why it’s essential to monitor your local business listings to catch any errors or misinformation before it gets in the way of connecting you with potential customers! But, before you find yourself overwhelmed by the thought of visiting hundreds of search engines, talk to the pros at BCI Media. Our data management tool is designed to keep track of your business location-related information across multiple directories simply and easily. Contact us today to find out more!