The Best Way to Lose Customers: Getting Your Online Listings Wrong

Posted on by

A survey of 1,000 US adults found that 73 per cent lost trust or confidence in a brand or business when online listings are found to be incorrect (Search Engine Land, March 2014).

Where Do Listings Come From?

While infinitely easier to answer than the “where do babies come from” question, this is still a very complex process. Google gets your business information from an almost infinite amount of sources, including:

  • • Business owners enter their own information
  • • Government sources
  • • User-generated content (UGC)
  • • Google sources (MapMaker, Places, etc)
  • • Data providers
  • This information is all compiled in Google’s server cluster, and can be verified by a Google employee. The most importantly weighted information in the US, however, comes from the four major data providers — Neustar/Localeze, Infogroup, Acxiom and Factual. These providers disseminate their listing information to over 300 listings sites — Yelp,, judy’s book and many, many others. If their information is wrong, your customers won’t be able to find you. And when that happens, customers blame you, not the directory, meaning you’re losing real dollars, real fast.

What’s the Fix?

According to our data of over 100,000 SMBs, the average business has over 68 online listings. You could try to go through each one and update it manually, though you’ll find many of them are un-editable, change back over time, and that new ones are added each day. You may find competitors are changing them so that customers end up at their doorstep rather than yours — the www can be a scary place.

The other option is to pay hundreds of dollars to each of the four major data providers to get your listing right. If you’re not a Fortune 500, we have a better solution.

Each business owner we spoke with detailed this problem. We listened. VendAsta is excited to offer a much simpler and more cost effective service.

We’re launching a new product — Listing Distribution — as a part of Presence Builder (which also allows creating responsive or mobile sites, branded landing pages, and website analytics), Listing Distribution is something every one of our partners has asked for. We’ve been testing it with some of our big media partners — they love it. Soon, we will be formally releasing it.

With Listing Distribution, you or your SMB customer will have to enter a business information one time — just once — and that information will go to all four major data providers and the hundreds of sites that refer to their data.


Stay tuned for more updates on Listing Distribution.

In the meanwhile, sign up for our upcoming 2014 SMB Digital Marketing Benchmarks report

The comprehensive report analyzes over 100,000 SMBs across North America and covers online local listings, online reviews, social media marketing and website marketing trends across different industry verticals.

Nykea Marie Behiel

Nykea is the Director of Content at Vendasta, where she heads up our content marketing team and inbound marketing initiatives.