You've heard us talk time and time again about getting your online directory listings in order, making sure your citations are accurate and consistent, and growing your citations across the web. That way, your business is more likely to show up in search results like this:
Energy auditing, home performance contracting, heating and cooling, renewable energy and insulation businesses are all inherently local businesses that people search for online using tools like Google Maps. If your business doesn't show up when people search for your terms, or if it shows up and is bogus, you lose business.
New intelligence from local search experts Greg Sterling and Andrew Shotland drives this point home pretty effectively:
Missing and/or bad small business data costs local businesses $10 billion or more annually.
Asked by the software company Yext to determine the cost of missing business data online, Shotland and Sterling used a combination of consumer survey data, Yext internal data and U.S. government information about consumer spending to estimate the figure.
From the original article:
According to US government figures there’s more than $800 billion in annual consumer discretionary spending in the US (in fact that’s a conservative figure). US retail spending in 2012 was about $4.5 trillion (e-commerce is just over 5%) and offline spending on local services and travel exceeds $3 trillion annually. Accordingly total “local market” spending approaches $8 trillion annually.
We determined that about $369 billion in offline spending is impacted by the internet. This relies a Google figure about online-influenced, offline sales. (There’s a Forrester calculation from a couple of years ago that’s pretty close re O2O retail spending.) There were several other steps in the process (e.g., how many online sources are used by consumers, etc.). But we arrived at a lost potential sales figure of $10.3 billion in the aggregate.
Using other methodologies to check themselves, they came to even higher figures -- so the $10 billion estimate is conservative.
Now, we won't guarantee $10 billion in added sales if you claim your Google+ Local listing, but we can be reasonably sure that getting your directory listings in order will lead to an increase in sales and revenue.
If you need a hand, feel free to contact us here at Energy Circle PRO.