Over the years we’ve seen the importance of the humble business listing change. While citations were once considered key link sources and their accuracy a contributing ranking factor for local search, today their impact has waned somewhat.
However, as Moz’s most recent Local Search Ranking Factors survey found, NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) details in business listings and online directories are still considered fourth most important for ranking in the local pack and fifth most important in localized organic rankings.
But not everything is about rankings: accurate citations are still a foundation tactic for any business, as they increase online visibility by placing businesses in the listings and directories in which potential customers are looking for them.
That’s if they are accurate. What happens if they’re not?
Recent research by BrightLocal, in the Local Citations Trust Report 2018, sought to answer this question by polling 1000 US consumers on how they feel and behave when they come across inaccurate business information online.
Today, trust in business and institutions in the US is at an all-time low, and it’s the responsibility of every business owner to make a difference in any way they can – even if it’s something as seemingly small as ensuring business name, location, and contact number information are reliable and consistent online.
According to the BrightLocal research, 80% of respondents felt that seeing incorrect or inconsistent contact details and/or business names online would make them lose trust in a business. With consumer trust in business being such a critical part of the buyer’s journey, this is obviously of great