PSA: CHECK YOUR ONLINE LISTINGS and information.
It’s a shame if potential customers can’t find you, don’t know how to contact you, or think you are permanently closed due to misinformation or missing information that YOU can control.
Ensuring Your Online Listings are Correct
This is a Florida marketing story.
It’s stone crab season here in Florida, something that I definitely like to take advantage of during season. It’s hit or miss as far as availability here at the beaches. The other day I had a big craving for it and decided to look up the local seafood markets to see who had some in stock. So I popped open my computer, popped open my browser and typed in the nearest seafood market to my house.
A few things I noticed right off the bat.
Number one, their Google My Business listing was inaccurate to say the least. They had no information. Their phone number wasn’t listed there. Their website wasn’t listed and their hours weren’t even on there. So obviously they hadn’t paid any attention to their Google listing.
The second thing was really the fact that that website wasn’t attached to their listing. So I went into the organic search, found their URL, clicked on it and the website was down! I tried to key it in a few different times and even went to a few different browsers, because I wanted my stone crab, but I could not get to the website. So it was obviously something going on with her hosting – the site was down. I decided to go out on trek and they were on the way to a few other ones here at the beach. So I figured I’d at least stop by since they are less than five minutes away. I pulled into the parking lot and really there was no traffic, no cars there, but I happen to see some people walking around inside. So I walked inside and it was actually the owner that was working at the seafood counter. I told him,
“Just to let you know your website is down and I couldn’t really get your information. I didn’t even know if you guys are still open”
and his response was pretty shocking. He said “I really never look at that thing and I don’t even care about the internet. I don’t know how long it’s been that way. We’ve got some company that supposed to manage our website. So who knows…”. I told him that’s kind of shocking, that’s what I do for a living – websites and marketing, and he just kind of shrugged it off. Then he went on a rant for about three to four minutes about how he hates the internet. He hates Google. And how used to have a hundred phone numbers memorized and still has most of those memorized.
I walked out of there, luckily with stone crab in hand, and I had a few thoughts – the first was if it wasn’t so close to my house, if they weren’t on the way to several others, I guarantee you I wouldn’t have stopped especially if I wasn’t trying to go for the stone crab, if it was just something else. So the fact that I almost passed them and I went through A LOT to get to them, I can’t imagine how many people are trying to find them and just assuming that they’re closed based on really just laziness. The amount of revenue that’s lost and the amount of customers that they’re losing to others just because they’re listing is incorrect, and quite frankly, it makes them look like they were closed.
The second thing is an old quote from the classic movie “Joe Dirt” when he’s talking to the fireworks stand (his buddy) and he says well, I’ve just got the sparklers because I like those and Joe Dirt says,
”It’s not about you. It’s about the consumer”.”
and that’s exactly what I was thinking about with this seafood market owner. It’s not about you and the fact that you don’t like the internet or you don’t care about your website. It’s about your consumers. It’s about the people that are trying to find you not just stone crab, whatever they offer – either dine-in or carry-out, and people can’t get to it just because you don’t really care about it just made no sense to me. People are looking for your business, whether they’re looking for you, your business or the things that you offer. You have to accommodate them. I don’t care if YOU don’t like Google or YOU don’t like Facebook or YOU don’t like whatever. If your potential customers are there and they’re looking for information and it’s inaccurate or incorrect or just not there at all that is hurting your business.
So please! make sure your website is working. Go out there on a regular basis and just make sure it’s up and live and that you’re hosting is current. Make sure that your listings are correct, that your website, your address, your phone number, your hours are correct. Make sure people can find you, make sure they can contact you, they can buy from you and they can find everything that you offer online before they come in. Don’t let YOUR laziness or YOUR dislike of websites or almighty Google or social media be the reason that your business is losing customers. So please, make sure your stuff is current.