Why Does Searching for Local Businesses Online Still Suck?

80% of Canadians have been unable to connect with local businesses due to inaccurate or outdated information in online or mobile searches at some point in the past 12 months.

A recent omnibus survey commissioned by Yellow Pages concluded that Canada’s small businesses are losing potential clients due to their inability to keep their basic business information updated across the current digital ecosystem of websites, mobile apps and social media platforms.

The same poll revealed that on a yearly basis, over 285 million digital searches for Canadian businesses result in incorrect information.

“Small businesses have neither the time nor the resources to manually ensure they are present everywhere in the digital space or even determine their starting points for each individual website or app,” said Nicolas Gaudreau, Senior Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer of Yellow Pages. “As a result, their business information remains incorrect or outdated and may be causing them to miss opportunities to acquire new customers.”

Canadian digital usage remains the fastest growing in the world, yet Canadian small businesses struggle to keep pace. According to Statistics Canada’s 2013 Survey of Household Spending, the average Canadian household spends $58,592 on goods and services each year, or $161 each day. If consumers cannot find or contact businesses which can fulfill their purchase needs, then that spend will be directed to those they can locate.

According to the Yellow Pages omnibus poll, 97% of Canadians feel the responsibility rests with the business to ensure their business information is kept updated and current. The top three business information elements most often found to be outdated were hours of operation, address and phone number, followed closely by outdated descriptions of the businesses products or services.