It seems so simple.  How hard is it to get your name, address, phone number, and website URL right online?

Apparently, it’s not so easy.  A new study by Uberall and reported in Search Engine Journal analyzed 73,000 online business location listings in the Boston metro area.  They found nearly half are inaccurate or missing important pieces of information.

What makes this study interesting is that wasn’t what the study was attempting to find.  It was looking to measure voice search readiness.  What they found was a staggering number of business with problematic listings:

  • Inaccurate business name errors (978,305)
  • Inaccurate website links (701,113)
  • Incorrect location listings (510,010)
  • Incorrect street names (421,048)

In all, almost half of the businesses studies showed issues with their online listings.  This was consistent across SMB, mid-market, and enterprise companies.

Getting the basics right is important.  NAP (Name / Address / Phone Number) is one of the key rankings signals search engines use.  They may be correct on your own website, but what about all the other places people search for you online?  If they are inconsistent across various locations online, it can hurt your online authority.

If your business hours are wrong, or you’re sending traffic to the wrong website address, you’re potentially losing customers.

“These types of business errors turn consumers off businesses and brands every day and cost a business money” – Uberall Study

When it came to being ready for voice search – a rapidly growing way consumers are searching for businesses – the results were even worse.  The study reports that only 4% of the companies surveyed were ready.

Compare that to the latest report on voice search from Google (2016) which said 20% of all mobile searches were voice searches.  Since it’s now 2019, you can imagine how that number has grown with the emergence of home voice activated devices like Amazon Echo/Alexa, Google Home, Siri, and Cortana.  Market Research company comScore predicts that 50% of all searches will be done by voice by 2020.  That’s just a few short months away…