Surprise: as you might have guessed, the answer is that your listings and your website both matter — but at different times and in (potentially) different ways based on your business type.
Far too many businesses neglect their third-party listings, focusing instead on branding efforts on their owned properties. These efforts matter, of course, but when it comes to what your customers see first and most often… it's (most likely) your listings.
Our research shows that, on average, business listings receive 2.7x more views than a brand's owned website* (including local store pages and directories). So even if the information on your website is perfect — and it should be! — if the same business facts are not up to date and consistent across your listings on third-party services and directories, there's a good chance your customers won't find the information they're seeking. (Or, they might not find your business at all.)
After all, research shows that the purchase journey starts with online search for a majority of people. With up-to-date, detailed local listings prioritized by search engines in search results, complete, robust local listings are simply good SEO. By contrast, inaccuracies (or inconsistencies) in your information across channels can hurt your local listings, which in turn can damage your rankings and overall discoverability — and your business as a whole.
But that's not the end of the story, of course: your listings aren't the only way to drive search impressions. Your website should too.