By John Allen
How many times have you used the internet to find “Thai restaurants near me” or asked for “the best inbound contact center in Miami”? Okay, maybe you haven’t asked those specific questions, but chances are you have used a search engine to look for a product, place, or service local to you.
These questions pull up a plethora of nearby companies for you to choose from, meaning that, as a firm, you need to optimize your listing on maps to ensure you’re getting the most custom you can.
A huge number of people use the Apple Map app for directions or to find a local business – around 23.3 million people in the US every year, in fact. So, it’s well worth investing time into getting yourself listed.
Here’s how to optimize your business listing, allowing you to see where your customers are and, more importantly, letting them see where you are.
Set Yourself Up
First things first, you need to set yourself up on Apple Maps. You don’t have to be a budding developer to do this as it’s very straightforward. All you have to do is create an Apple ID and password and use the Apple Maps Connect tool to register your business.
There may already be something set up for your company, but if you want to close more sales through Maps, now is the time to add as much information as you can about your firm. When doing this, add as many details as possible. This includes supplying your business name, address, and phone number.
You may also want to include your website or social media page so people can find out a little more about you. List any details you think people will need to find out what kind of company you are and where you are based.
It helps to think about what people might be searching to find a firm like yours, so include any popular keywords. Say, for example, you offer customer support solutions in Springfield, Illinois. You could add keywords like “service” or “communication.”
Remember to add in the city or state, specifically. Otherwise, you may have a lot of people in Springfield, Missouri looking for a customer support business that doesn’t exist.
Finally, don’t forget to include your opening hours, and keep any changes up to date or you may end up with some disappointed customers turning up just as you are locking up.
Some of these details may need to be verified by Apple, so make sure they are correct. Updates can take up to a week to change.
Add-In Social Media and Reviews
If you don’t have a social media site for your firm, now is the time to make one. Control over Apple Maps is relatively autonomous and things like reviews or company social media need to be added by the owner of the Apple ID.
To help your company climb the results rankings, ensure you are set up across a range of platforms. So, before you set up on Apple Maps, create a Facebook, Instagram, and Yelp page too. Doing this is a great way to get reviews for Maps and communicate with customers to let them know more about your firm.
A good business strategy is to add reviews to your business on Maps to encourage people to pick your place over the competition. These can come from sources like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and so on. Again, you may need to set this up separately to optimize your business listing.
Keep Everything Up-To-Date
Just like you should be doing with your business in general, it’s important to keep your Apple Maps listing up to date. Doing this will not only help with optimization but aid in creating a more accurate description of your business, especially as Apple uses GPS and mobile voice search to enhance a customer’s digital experience and provide the most precise information it can.
When using Maps, people are looking for immediate answers and locations near to them, which makes it important to keep the information up to date. Whether you are changing your hours, location, or the products you sell, altering these details on Maps saves disappointment. It also avoids annoyed customers and angry reviews that reflect badly on your business.
Maybe you are a business intelligence firm that has moved to a bigger office around the corner or a vegetarian restaurant that has turned 100 percent vegan. You might be a café that has extended your hours one day and shortened them the next. Whatever changes you’ve made, update customers via your listing to get the best reviews and optimize your business in every way you can.
To make the most of this point, make sure you are updating information across all communication channels. So, if you say on Facebook that your hat store closes at 5 pm but on Maps it says you close at 6 pm, change them to be the same. Otherwise, you may have some very confused customers on your hands!
In the digital world, we rely on online maps to find us what we want straight away, and to fight off the competition, your company’s listing needs to be the best it can be. This means setting up a profile, staying consistent across platforms, and updating details. Doing this will result in happy customers and a successful and profitable business.
John Allen is the “Billion Dollar SEO,” known for effectively scaling enterprise SEO teams. With over 14 years of experience and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs he currently directs all SEO activity for RingCentral, a global UCaaS, VoIP, and contact center software provider, globally. He has written for websites such as BigCommerce and Nextdoor. Here is his LinkedIn.