Survey: Half of Local Listings Contain Errors

Small businessSinglePlatform (ConstantContact) has put out some new survey data (n=350), which I’ve discussed over at Search Engine Land. Conducted in December the survey offers two broad categories of findings: about business listings and mobile.

Business Listings Confusion

Almost half (49%) of the survey respondents said they’d never updated their online listings. Yet essentially the same number (50%) said that they’d seen inaccurate information about their businesses online.

The majority (70%) complained they didn’t have time to manage their listings across the multitude of sites and apps and 77% admitted they didn’t understand the relationship between listings and traffic to their websites and offline locations.

These findings are a metaphor for the confusion that most SMBs feel about online marketing. And listings are the most basic of the basics. We in the “local search industry” make assumptions about what SMBs are capable of that are often simply out of step with their reality and the “facts on the ground.”

Yext has data that confirm what ConstantContact found — nearly half or half of local business listings contain factual errors. And what these businesses are telling ConstantContact is that they don’t have time or knowledge about how to correct these errors.

Mobile Growing in Importance

The following are the mobile-related findings from the survey:

  • 84% of SMBs believe that having a website that can easily be viewed on a mobile device is important to their business
  • 25% of SMBs know how to create a mobile optimized web site
  • 62% of SMBs think it is important to be seen on major mobile apps
  • 85% of SMBs believe that in the future more people will be looking for their business on mobile sites

I would be skeptical even of the 25% who claim to “know how to create a mobile optimized web site.” What that probably means is that they know there are services out there that can create a mobile version of their sites.

Facebook the “Most Effective” Social Site

Last week I wrote about a Wall Street Journal survey that argued small businesses preferred LinkedIn to other social media sites in terms of utility. An SMB survey released last August by ConstantContact found something radically different than the WSJ survey.

Social Media Effectiveness

Facebook was far and away the most effective social site for the SMB respondents. LinkedIn was deemed most effective by 25% of B2B respondents but it was a distant second or third to Facebook. All this begs the question: “What does ‘effective’ mean exactly?” (probably driving new business).

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9 Responses to “Survey: Half of Local Listings Contain Errors”

  1. Malcolm Lewis says at

    The WSJ survey defined an SMB as $1-20M in annual revenues. My guess is the CC survey focused on smaller SMBs (hair stylist, massage therapist, chiropractor, etc.) who are probably more likely to drive new business from FB than LinkedIn.

  2. Greg Sterling says at

    I think that’s right . . . these are different survey populations.

  3. Donna Saliter says at

    I disagree that Facebook is an effective driver of business for most small organizations. Yes, small businesses are on it because their friends become fans and they can engage with those they know. However, as a digital media consultant to about 20 small businesses, I can tell you VERY little business comes out of FB.

    And one annoying thing: I have a client with 5,000+ fans gotten through targeted FB ads. Most of the fans are not quality fans. One time we promoted a post and the comments on that post were not in English – they were from people in some foreign nation who all seemed to know each other. When we run an ad that directs people to the client’s website, that ad won’t be shown at all unless in its own campaign. The TAT score is hovering now at 3%. This isn’t impressive, FB.

  4. Greg Sterling says at

    Donna: There seems to be a widely held view (shared by you) that social media is just not effective at driving leads/sales. However you get survey results like the one above and findings that “being on Facebook” is one of the top interests of SMBs.

    There’s clearly an “ROI problem” (perception problem?) and/or a problem of knowing how and what to do on FB to generate leads. Are you saying there’s no real way to do that?

    Also . . . wondering if you’ve tried custom audiences and what you think of that.

  5. Donna Saliter says at

    Thanks Greg,
    Well there’s definitely a profit margin problem as we see it. If the “return” is in good will then we’re rich col.

    Custom audiences – you mean targeting fans of pages, etc? Or is this a new FB ad feature I haven’t seen yet? I’m intrigued.

  6. Greg Sterling says at

    Custom audiences is here:

  7. Donna Saliter says at

    Thanks Greg,

    This looks very interesting. Hadn’t seen it before; can you believe it? Will try it on a couple clients’ campaigns and report back with any SMB findings 🙂

  8. Greg Sterling says at

    OK. They also released a product called “lookalike audiences,” to extend the reach of custom audiences to others that have a similar profile.

  9. Podcast Aflevering 11 (11-02-2013) - ReputatieCoaching says at

    […] Survey: Half of Local Listings Contain Errors (Screenwerk, 5 februari 2013) […]

  10. Female-Owned SMBs More Upbeat, ‘Socially Savvy’ than Male Counterparts says at

    […] Survey: Half of Local Listings Contain Errors […]

  11. nicolafinn says at

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  12. Constant Contact Info | Top 10 Autoresponders says at

    […] Survey: Half of Local Listings Contain Errors – Screenwerk SMB survey released last August by ConstantContact found something radically different than the WSJ survey. Social Media Effectiveness. Facebook was far and away the most effective social site for the SMB respondents. […]

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