Why is Apple Maps Connect Such an Overlooked Local Search Asset?

Add Business to Apple Maps for Improved Local Search on iPhone and iPad


Add Business to Apple Maps for Improved Local Search

The US smartphone market continues to be led by Apple’s iPhone.  In fact, over half of US phones are iPhones.  So why is Apple Maps Connect such an overlooked local search asset for small business?

Apple Maps Connect is Local Search’s Best-Kept Secret

About 90% of all small businesses we ask report they are NOT actively managing their listing on Apple Maps via Apple Maps Connect.  In fact, most small business owners have no idea it even exists.

When Apple Maps launched over a decade ago, a collaboration with Yelp! provided the business listings and the reviews.  Today, reviews are still provided by Yelp!, but Apple maintains its own database of business listings, driven by Apple Maps Connect.

Add Business to Apple Maps Using Apple Maps Connect.

Why Your Business Needs to Be Listed on Apple Maps

Apple Maps is the default navigation app on an iPhone straight out of the box.  It stays that way until or unless users install an alternate app.

And if you’re in a situation where you rely on hotel guests, through travelers, or your business draws from a wide radius — you need to be findable!

The most common issue if you don’t have your listing claimed and verified is that Apple has low confidence in the information, and is less likely to show it.  Usually, this means you won’t show up on the maps as quickly as other businesses.  It also can mean you don’t show up at all!

I was once sitting in a client’s restaurant and asked him if he was on Apple Maps.  “Definitely.  The franchise set all that up already,” he said.  I pulled out my phone and showed him that he didn’t exist on Apple Maps.  He was located in an area dominated by Class A office buildings and hotels.  He needed visitors to make the dinner and late night segments economically viable.

But no one sitting in any of the 9 hotels nearby could find him!  No one knew he was there.

He closed a few months later.  Not simply because he wasn’t on Apple Maps, but certainly because he was not building a strong digital footprint for his business that included local search findability.

Why You Need to Own & Control Your Listing

A listing in Apple Maps or any other major on-line business directory is an asset of your business, no different than your phone number or domain name.

If you don’t own it and control it, the Internet will crowdsource it FOR you.  And you definitely don’t want that.  If Apple Maps knows you, and feels confident that what it knows is accurate, it will show you on Maps over and over again.

If it doesn’t…

Major Directories Look at Each Other

Platforms like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are all looking at each other’s information, comparing notes.  We equate this to a credit score.  Your business has a relevancy score, or confidence score being tracked at all times by each of these platforms.

Whenever information conflicts between platforms, especially business hours, each platform loses confidence in its own information.  They don’t want to misinform users.  So they’d rather show nothing than something that proves to be inaccurate.

Ignoring Apple Maps hurts your local search performance on Apple Maps, but is probably lowering your “credit score” on Google, Microsoft, Yelp!, and other major directory platforms where you’re counting on the ability to get in front of prospective customers.

We Can Help

We all have limited time, money, and expertise.  If you’re struggling with how to prioritize local search for your business, or you know enough to know that you’ve got problems — we can help.

Just ask us for a free digital footprint audit — an assessment of your business’ on-line health.  It’s the first step to knowing what’s good, bad, and ugly about your on-line findability.

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Steven Ludwig
After 3 decades as a professional marketer, serial entrepreneur and business consultant Steven Ludwig shares his best practices for small business marketing for owners, managers, and marketers with limited time, money, and expertise. Steven started his professional marketing career in broadcasting in the early ‘90s in Chicago after attending Valparaiso University. After a brief stint at an advertising agency specializing in entertainment and sports marketing where he worked with radio and television stations, movie theatre companies, record labels, musicians, and professional sports teams, he moved to Nashville to form The Marketing Group with his long-time business partner, Jim Wood. Having worked with some of the largest brands in the world, in 2010 he returned to local marketing primarily out of an interest and excitement for working with small business owners to build stronger companies. That desire comes out of early days in radio, where he worked closely with everything from car dealerships to restaurants, insurance and real estate agents, banks, home services companies, and specialty retailers of all kinds. Over the past decade, he has been on the bleeding edge of digital marketing technology, constantly seeking to understand complex strategies employed by giant corporations and then translate those capabilities into tactics small businesses can execute at a local level. Today, in addition to other business ventures with his wife and other long-time business partners, he still lives outside Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee and currently serves as Executive Chairman of EmpowerLocal, a digital marketing company building a nationwide network of digital, hyperlocal news and lifestyle publishers to provide efficient advertising opportunities for local, regional, and national brands.


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