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Study Shows Consumers Trust Websites More Than Google My Business

New research reveals local business websites hold more weight than Google My Business listings when it comes to consumer trust.

A comparison report was put together by BrightLocal examines how consumers use GMB listings, local business websites, and business directories to find information.

Here are some key findings from the report.

Google My Business vs. Business Websites

Search behavior

When asked which types of local businesses they search for in Google, consumers responded:

  • Restaurants and Cafés (56%)
  • Grocery stores (37%)
  • Clothing stores (34%)
  • Hotels and B&Bs (34%)
  • Medical practices and healthcare (28%)

Consumer expectations

When asked which source is expected to have the most accurate and up-to-date contact information, consumers responded:

  • 56% expect local businesses’ websites to be most accurate.
  • 32% believe Google My Business has the most accurate information
  • 12% trust directories to have the most up-to-date information

Commonly used GMB features

When asked which features of Google My Business they have used, the top responses were:

  • Checked opening hours
  • Found directions
  • Read reviews
  • Visited the business’s website
  • Looked at photos of a business
  • Booked a hotel room
  • Viewed a business’s Popular Times
  • Booked a table in a restaurant
  • Called a business using the ‘Call’ button
  • Left a review

Checking websites before visiting a local business

When asked how often consumers check local business websites before using a business, the responses were:

  • 22% of consumers check websites every time they are deciding on a local business
  • 76% look at local business websites at least half of the time
  • Only 8% of consumers never look at websites when choosing a business

Biggest website errors

When asked what would make consumers less likely to use a local business after visiting its websites, the top responses were:

  • Out-of-date contact information
  • Poorly written content and typos
  • Out-of-date pricing information
  • Lack of prices
  • Difficult to find in search results

Data in this study is based on responses from an independent panel of 500 US-based consumers.

Category News Local Search
SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

Study Shows Consumers Trust Websites More Than Google My Business

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