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80% Lose Trust in Local Businesses if Online Information is Incorrect



According to the 2018 Local Citations Trust Report from BrightLocal, Your Customers Will Lose Trust in You if Your Online Information Is Wrong.

A recent report says 80 percent of consumers lose trust in local businesses because they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online. That is four in five customers.

Why is local citation important besides potentially losing four and five customers? Local SEO and customer experience. If the citations of your business’s name, address, and phone number are wrong, you will have negative results in the digital world with search engines, and in the real-world, your customers will see little reason to trust you.

For small businesses that can ill afford to lose any customers, getting this information right is critically important, but the mistakes can easily happen. In its 2018 Local Citations Trust Report report, BrightLocal says, “Due to human and program error, mistakes and inaccuracies can slip in and provide a very different experience than intended.”

The Local Citations Trust Report was carried out in March 2018 with a representative sample of 1,025 US-based consumers. The survey looked at gender and ages 18-34, 35-54, 55+ to determine how trends differed within this demographic.

Data From Local Citations Trust Report

The 80 percent of consumer who lose trust in a local business when the information is wrong is made worse by the 93 percent who said are frustrated with the same experience.

According to the report, only 24 percent of consumers will call a business before going to visit. This means 76 percent of consumers are relying on the information available online. And a negative experience with trying to get in touch with your business is not a great way to make that very important first impression.





According to the 2018 Local Citations Trust Report from BrightLocal, Your Customers Will Lose Trust in You if Your Online Information Is Wrong.

The report has even more dire consequences for businesses with the wrong contact information. Sixty-eight percent of consumers said they stop using local businesses because of the wrong information on the online directories. Another 40 percent said they would give up looking local businesses they couldn’t find because the address was wrong online. So how many consumers will not lose trust in a local business because of incorrect or outdated information online, a meager 10 percent.

Other key findings include: 71 percent of consumers have had a negative experience because of the wrong information in the past 12 months; 31 percent of consumers are likely to blame local businesses for incorrect listings, and 90 percent of consumers look for details of a business before they visited for the very first time.

This report has some great data about the importance of getting local citation right. You can read the rest of it here.

Getting Things That are Easy Right

Running a small business is not easy, and there are many things that are time-consuming and complicated. However, getting local citations right is not one of them. By simply ensuring your contact information is right at all times you can prevent many of the frustrations consumers experience when the data is wrong.





As the report concludes, “The blame for incorrect local citations tends to lie with the business. These errors can be reason enough to deter potential customers, and sometimes even send them into the arms of competitors.”

Images: BrightLocal 5 Comments ▼


Michael Guta


Michael Guta Michael Guta is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends focusing on business systems, gadgets and other small business news. He has a background in information and communications technology coordination.

5 Reactions

  1. As they say “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

  2. Aira Bongco

    This goes to show that having inaccurate reviews can really hurt your business. This means that going after fake reviews is really just a waste of time.

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