Yell, one of the biggest providers of digital marketing in the UK, has discovered the vast majority of solicitors (94%) it researched have wrong or inconsistent information online[i], including basic details such as a phone number or email.
Feedback shows 89% of customers say they will try another company if the details listed online for a particular business are incorrect[ii], suggesting many small businesses, including solicitors are missing out on a lot of potential custom.
Yell conducted research into how the 11,311 solicitors in its UK database appear online, also asking customers nationwide about their online habits and expectations. The results paint a gloomy picture pointing to some basic errors in small businesses’ approach to reaching potential online customers.
- 51% of customers said when they were looking for a new service, the most important source of information was a website[iii]
- Having inconsistent or non-existent information online means small businesses are missing out on potential custom with 54% of people relying on positive online reviews when deciding on a new local business or service[iv]
- There are 2,019 solicitors whose name contains the phrase “& Co”
- There are 165 solicitors whose name contains the word “Family”
- There are 40 solicitors whose name contains the word “accident”
- There are 52 solicitors whose name contains the word “claim
“If a company’s information online is wrong, it’s arguably worse than not being online at all,” said Mark Clisby, Yell’s Marketing Director. “Not only is the company effectively invisible to customers, it can also seem careless or even untrustworthy. This often happens because companies don’t always know all the listings sites where they appear, or when they move they forget to update their information. It’s easily done, but can be incredibly damaging for business.
“A lot of small businesses tell me they get all their business from word of mouth and don’t need to be online. However, they’re ignoring the fact that word of mouth has moved online, with more than half of all customers choosing a local business based on online reviews. That’s a lot of work to be missing out on,” concluded Mark Clisby.
To support small businesses, Yell has launched Connect, a service recognising the importance of connections, word of mouth recommendations and referrals. It helps business owners make their details visible online and get in front of the people looking for local products and services.
Connect uses smart technology to automatically list and update business details everywhere they need to be online, accurately and consistently. Details include company name, address, telephone number, logo, opening hours and payment methods on sites such Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and 100s’ of other high profile sites. As part of the service, Connect also helps set up social profiles on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Foursquare. A centralised dashboard enables customers to view analytics, monitor and respond to online reviews, and post both real-time and scheduled updates on their social networks, as well as update their business details online at the click of a button.
Yell is offering small businesses in the UK the chance to try out Connect by completing a free scan of their business online. By entering the business name and address, Connect is able to identify how visible a business is online and, most importantly, report on how accurate the information is. On average, over 240 people a day are running the free Connect scan to check business details online [v].
Additional interesting insights revealed by Yell’s research into small businesses across the UK within its database showed that[vi]:
- 5,612 small business names include the phrase “& Sons” or “& Son” but only 30 contain the phrase “& Daughters” or “& Daughter”
- The most popular letter for small business names in the UK to start with is ‘A’, with 1 in 10 starting with ‘A’
- The first five letters of the alphabet, A-E, account for 40% of the first letter of all small business names in the UK
[i] Research conducted by Yell – March 2016. Using Connect, Yell analysed the online presence of 2,433 solicitor businesses in the UK across sites including Bing, Facebook and My Local Services UK.
[ii] Research commissioned by Yell with OnePulse in June 2016. 1,500 UK adults were surveyed.
[iii] Research commissioned by Yell with OnePulse in June 2016. 1,500 UK adults were surveyed.
[iv] Research commissioned by Yell with OnePulse in March 2016. 1,943 UK adults were surveyed.
[v] Yell internal data collected during April 25 – June 13, 2016.
[vi] Research conducted by Yell – March 2016. Yell analysed 428,710 small businesses in the UK.