You’ve been on the road all day and you’re running on fumes. Pulling up Google Maps, you ask where the nearest gas station is and follow the directions. You finally arrive on the last whiff of vapors in the tank, only to find the station is under construction.

This is the dreaded scenario Google tries to avoid. Google takes this information from Google My Business, backs it up with your Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) on other business listings, and ranks your Google Maps listing accordingly. If Google tells someone your business is open, they get there and it’s not, not only is the customer less likely to trust you, they could have doubts about the validity of Google’s other data. Google prevents this by severely penalizing businesses with inaccurate information.
 

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This is also why accuracy across listing sites, online mentions, and navigation software is so important. Anywhere your business is mentioned, your NAP has to match. Exactly. No additional suites, names or phone numbers. If your business name in Google My Business is Yellow Brick Road, you can’t list it on a local directory as Yellow Brick Rd, LLC. In fact, according to a Moz survey in 2015, consistency of structured citations ranked second in local map pack factors.

Citation-Accuracy-and-Quality

Google, Bing and other search engines get their information from bots that crawl the net for data. Every time they find a listing that doesn’t quite match, they don’t trust it. And down goes your ranking.

But let’s back up a step. What if you’re not even listed? You’re losing out on valuable customers that don’t even know you’re there. They could be one street away, looking for an auto body shop in the area, and end up driving two streets over to your competitor. Or, you are listed but maybe only in a few directories with no consistency between listings. Your competitor is listed everywhere and as a result, ends up ranked at the top of the local pack on Google Search while you’re all the way at the bottom of the first page. You don’t even get a chance to win the customer.

Before you start loading the internet with your business in every directory you can find, take a breath. First, you need to check where you do have listings, correct them if they’re wrong, and if you can, delete duplicates. In your search engine, use any variation of your business name you may have used over the years, any formats of your address, and your phone number. Use combinations of your partial business name and zip code, business name, and phone number, partial address and phone number, etc.

40% of local businesses have incorrect citations on the internet. You don’t want to be one of them. There’s an easier way than scouring the internet for incorrect listings of your business. Fill out our Listing Sync Pro Accuracy Checker for a free analysis of your listings.

It’s vital to get this right. 85% of customers are less likely to return to a business where the address or opening hours are wrong. And, if there’s somewhere the information is wrong, the data aggregators, Neustar/Localeze, Acxiom, Factual or Infogroup, may use that information rather than the correct information in Google My Business.

When given your business information, these data aggregators distribute it to sites like Bing, Yahoo, Instagram, and Manta. Factual itself provides services to over 4000 sites globally! They’ll then spread this wrong information across all their directories. If this has you thinking, ask AP Digital about a FREE Local SEO Analysis today and we will have our Listing Sync Pro program take care of all the hard work for you!

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