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.
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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