It’s your tenth wedding anniversary. You’ve been planning a special dinner for the wife. She’s always talked to you about her dream of dining at that 4-Michelin star restaurant owned by her favorite celebrity chef. However, the restaurant has been booked solid the last 3 months. Fortunately, you had the foresight to book a table at the restaurant for your anniversary.
Your reservation is for 7:30pm. It is already 7:15pm. The restaurant’s address that was posted in Google My Business was listed as 2211 West Avenue Boulevard. You are already at West Avenue Boulevard but the street numbers ends at 2112.
A sense of trepidation overcomes you. Nervously, you call the restaurant from your mobile phone to confirm the address.
“We’re sorry to inconvenience you, Sir! The correct address is 2211 East Avenue Boulevard. Unfortunately, no one got around to change the address on our listing.”
What if it was your business that had inaccurate information on the online business listing?
Failure to present accurate information in your online business listing could turn a potential customer into a foregone opportunity.
What Is A Search Directory And Why Should You List Your Business In It?
Before the Internet, the Yellow Pages Directory was the go-to reference to find business addresses and phone numbers. With a search directory, your fingers no longer do the talking. Instead, your fingers will do the tapping and the scrolling.
A search directory is also referred to as an online directory. Basically, it is a listing of websites that are indexed according to category. Think of it as a virtual, online version of the Yellow Pages where you can find the contact details and other important pieces of information of businesses which have subscribed to its services.
So why should you list your business information on a search directory?
A 9-year study by Pew Marketing showed that online search is the primary activity of 92% of Internet users. Almost 4 Billion consumers scour the Internet every day; looking for information that can address their needs and concerns. With the continued growth of mobile technology, online search has become easier and more convenient.
When it comes to online search, consumers trust search directories as a valuable resource. A study by Google revealed that 80% of Americans used search directories to find local businesses. Furthermore, the Google study disclosed that 50% of Americans that found the business on the search directory, visited the store on the same day – and 18% of the visits resulted in a purchase!
What Information Is Published On A Search Directory?
A search directory will require you to publish information that will help interested parties find your business and learn more about the products and services you offer.
This short list of information will include the following:
- Website URL
- Contact Numbers – landline and mobile
- Directions (via Google Maps)
- Operating Hours
- Days of Operation
Although a search directory is similar to the Yellow Pages, it offers you other interesting features that will make your business more enticing to potential customers.
You can upload photos of your products and create a compelling profile on your business. Likewise, it will allow customers to post a review of your business and give it a rating.
Thus, listing your business on a search directory will motivate you to do better and keep your customers happy every day! After all, you would want them to give your business a solid review and a 4 to 5 star rating.
Top 5 Reasons Why Your Business Listing Information Should Be Accurate And Regularly Updated
Because of the popularity of search directories as a search tool for consumers, it is very important to make sure your online information is accurate and updated.
1. Inaccurate or Out-Dated Information Can Be Deal-Breakers
According to a study by Localeze, 76% of searchers identified “Hours of Operation” as the piece of information that they would expect to find in a search directory.
Likewise, 61% of the study’s respondents said “Hours of Operation” helped them decide whether to visit the business or not. The results of the study are understandable because not all businesses follow the same operating hours.
For example, many bars and fine dining restaurants are closed in the afternoon and resume operations at 7:00pm. Similarly, there are clinics that have limited hours of operation especially if the doctors hold office in other locations.
2. Makes It Easier for Customers to Find You
In the same study by Localeze, business address came in as the second most important information in a search directory.
This is especially true for first-time visitors to your business. Like in our earlier example, if the restaurant did not serve 4-Michelin star food, the entire experience would have been a forgettable one for the couple celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary.
Posting an inaccurate address or failing to update your current one will not only cost you potential sales. Likewise, it will leave an unfavorable impression on your customers.
3. Creates a Strong, Professional Impression About Your Business
Customer experience does not begin when the customer enters your business establishment. It begins when the customer first comes across information about your business especially on a search directory listing.
Think about it. Your customer could have chosen any other establishment to explore but instead, chose yours. The information that is posted on your business listing will determine whether the next step – visiting your store – will be a pleasant one.
Thus, customer experience is about the journey not the destination. The end result is a consequence of a series of actions that the customer takes in order to find your business.
When you post accurate and well-detailed information on your business listing, it highlights you as a true professional who cares about the overall experience of your customers.
4. Gives Your SEO Strategy a Boost
The information that is posted on your business listing can also give your SEO strategy a boost. SEO strategies are designed and developed to help your website get found by potential customers.
Information such as website and social media URL will encourage people to learn more about your business. They might decide to visit your website and read through your content to get a better idea of your products and services.
And if the customer enjoyed the experience and gives you a positive review then Google will know your business is a trusted and trustworthy establishment that deserves a boost up the search rankings.
5. Increases Your Online Presence
There are many outstanding search directories on the Internet where you can list your business information at. Among the best and most popular are Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Places For Business, Yahoo! Local Listing, and yes, Yellow Pages.
Not many people know that search directories tend to pull information from other search directories and post these details on their own website. Thus, if your business information is listed on the popular search directories, you may end up having these details posted on other search directories as well.
Having your information lifted can actually be a good thing as it will increase your presence online. You will just have to regularly track and monitor your listings to make sure the business information is accurate and updated.
A search directory will give you a proven and effective channel to market and promote your business; however, listing inaccurate and out-dated business information will turn opportunity into a double-edged sword. Instead, potential customers may end up becoming certified critics.
Whenever information about your business is changed, don’t put off updating the details posted on your website, social media accounts, and search directories. Update it right away.
Double-check to make sure all of the information listed on your online platforms are accurate and the same across the Internet.