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SinglePlatform Survey: Nearly Half Of Local Businesses Never Update Their Online Listings

In a new survey from SinglePlatform, a division of Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT), 49 percent of local businesses admitted having never updated their online listings, whether that’s on a search engine, review site, or mobile app ( tweet this). With consumers relying more on not just online listings, but rich online listings, small businesses are missing a critical opportunity to bring new customers in the door by offering accurate listings with the information consumers want and need to make a purchase decision – menus, products, or services.

The continued explosion of new websites and mobile apps coupled with the growth of smartphone use has dramatically changed the way consumers search. Interestingly, the new data suggests that this disconnect is not a problem of focus or knowledge. In fact, local businesses realize that they can no longer rely on printed directories, local advertising, or foot traffic to attract new customers, and 85% believe it is important to be seen on major search sites and apps, like Google, Yahoo, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Yellow Pages (tweet this).

The fact remains that the number one concern for small businesses is attracting new customers; a recent Constant Contact Small Business Pulse Survey found that 76 percent of small businesses report attracting new customers as the number one thing keeping them up at night. The SinglePlatform survey found that small businesses believe that search sites, like search engines, review sites, and mobile apps, can help them address this challenge with 78 percent reporting that new customers will find their business through such sites (tweet this).

“Consumers are using the internet as a discovery engine and the opportunity for a local business to be found by their next great customer continues to grow,” said Wiley Cerilli, vice president and general manager of SinglePlatform from Constant Contact. “It is important for small businesses to list their products, services, and menus across the sites that consumers use to make their purchasing decisions. Equally important in today’s mobile world is making sure your online content like websites and digital storefronts can be viewed on mobile devices. As smartphone adoption continues to rise, being a mobile-friendly business is becoming a necessity.”

The survey of more than 350 small businesses also uncovered the following key trends:
  • 84 percent of small businesses believe that having a website that can easily be viewed on a mobile device is important to their business (tweet this)
  • Only 25 percent of small businesses know how to create a mobile optimized web site (tweet this)
  • 62 percent of small businesses think it is important to be seen on major mobile apps (tweet this)
  • 85 percent of small businesses believe that in the future more people will be looking for their business on mobile sites (tweet this)
  • Only 23 percent of small businesses have a good sense of how listings drive traffic to their business (tweet this)
  • 50 percent of small businesses have seen listings for their business that are not accurate (tweet this)
  • 70 percent of small businesses say they don’t have the time to manage listings on all of the sites that consumers use (tweet this)

“We know that small businesses are both time- and resource-starved, limiting their ability to update listings on every major site and app,” said Cerilli. “The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a time consuming task. We aim to provide small businesses with a single place to update their business information like restaurant menus, services, products, and pricing, and then deliver that content across the same sites that consumers use to make decisions on-the-go.”

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