National poll conducted by digital marketing and communications firm Lumentus shows how important it is for businesses to pay attention to what the web’s search engines have to say about them.

Here are key findings from the nearly 800 U.S. business decision-makers earning more than $100,000 who were polled using Survey Monkey in early May:

  • Christina BertinelliChristina Bertinelli

    Almost 70 percent said they consider online search results to be a key part of their decision-making processes.
  • More than 80 percent avoid a company or individual on the basis of negative search results.
  • Nearly 75 percent have actually rejected doing business with companies as a result of negative search results.
  • 75 percent will dig deeper if they find negative information about a company they are researching.

Lumentus senior partner Christina Bertinelli explained to O’Dwyer’s that her firm’s poll amplifies recent studies of website traffic data that show nearly two-thirds of a company’s website visitors originate with a search. “Even when visitors know the company’s URL, or specific website address, they use their search bar,” Bertinelli said.

Pitfalls of many company websites include outdated content, infrequent press releases and incorrect third-party business listings, according to Bertinelli.

“Active management requires developing and executing a digital strategy, ensuring the accuracy of other content and careful monitoring of third-party news and blog coverage,” Bertinelli said.