The whole point of an online presence is to entice potential customers into your dealership so you can convert them to paying customers…which seems pretty obvious, right? Then it should be just as obvious that the information potential customers can find about your business online should be as accurate and user-friendly as possible.
Perfect example—nothing is more frustrating as a customer than finding out that you have been given the wrong information about where a business is located. In that situation, how likely would you be to give this company your business? Not very. In fact, according to Placeable, 73% of consumers stated that they lose trust in a brand when the online listing shows incorrect information.
With that in mind, here are five ways that inaccurate online info can hurt your business.
1. Missing hours of operation information can be a dealbreaker
There are many things that people look for in listings, but by far the top piece of information that most people look for is the hours of operation, since their search is likely for a business that they frequent quite often.
In fact, in a study conducted by local data aggregator Localeze, hours of operation were noted as the most helpful feature in selecting a business during local search. 76% of respondent reporting that they expect this information when searching and 61% believe that it is a feature that helps them to select a business.
Even if people are new to a business, it doesn’t give a good impression if the business hours aren’t readily available. Imagine the potential customer who’s ready to buy showing up Monday at 3:30p.m. only to find that particular business is closed on Mondays. Odds are they’re not going to wait a full day to make their purchase, and will instead find a different store to make their purchase.
2. Local searchers are mobile creatures
According to Localeze, more than 75% of mobile-phone-based searches end in a purchase—if a business has their listing details correct. But if someone who’s searching for a particular business listing on Google can’t find the relevant information, then that business is going to lose the sale opportunity every time.
It’s also important to ensure those crucial details are as readily available as possible in a mobile-friendly manner. This can be accomplished with a responsive website that supports cellphone and tablet-specific versions…like ours!
3. Updated, accurate websites still serve as a first impression
At the same time, more than 60% of searches done on computers have a similar chance of ending in a purchase. While mobile searches are becoming more of a standard in how a customer searches, a business owner should not discount the power of a fulsome, consistent and accurate listing that is reflective of the business website.
Any listing should be linked to the business’s website and feature the exact same information, but more of it. While a website should be enough to entice a customer to visit or buy, if those inconsistencies exist, then trust issues may arise in a business’s practices before a customer even steps into the dealership.
4. Local searchers mix it up across multiple devices, situations and times
People who search for listings are doing it in many more ways than when the Internet first coalesced into existence about two decades ago. In that time, we went from working on desktops to laptops to PDAs to Blackberries to Apples to tablets—and in each iteration, the methods of search have changed.
However, that has slowed over the last five years or so as web developers realize that they need to be smarter. Rather than designing three different sites for three different platforms, they have created websites that are scalable to the search device. And that has been helped along by the proliferation of types of devices in use everyday.
According to Pew Research Center, In 2015, smartphone ownership in America was at 68%, with tablet and computer ownership at 45%. Statista says that almost half of American adults use their smartphones the most to search for local information online, the other half being split between computers (40%) and tablets (11%). According to Localeze, like the types of devices used, what we are searching for varies by the time of day and device. Entertainment is searched for during work hours on computers, restaurants during evening using phones and health/fitness evening using tablets.
The most important part of those mobile searches is accuracy. If someone cannot find your business in a local search or find inaccurate results whilst out and about, then your business has lost the chance for that browser to become a customer. So having those listings correct in all of the device formats is a must as we, and our technology, continue to evolve in the way we interact with local businesses.
5. Local search results are trusted sources of information
Last but certainly not least is the fact that local search results are considered the most trustworthy. In a study by Neustar, it was determined that these searches, such as “used lawnmowers Raleigh”, are what people do the most since they put that trust in local business more than big box stores.
Think about it—would you rather find a local store where you can get the newest 4K TV in town right now? Or you can wait a week for delivery, which is four days past the big game you want to watch it on! Local searches lend themselves to local purchases, which lend themselves to instant gratification for customers. And that in turn leads to positive correlations between customers and your business!
At the end of the day, accurate listing information is the first way to build trust with potential customers online. Trust leads to loyalty, which leads to more business, which leads to happy customers and business owners.
Wondering how your online reputation and information is stacking up? Contact us today for a digital business evaluation!