Since it dropped Google Maps two years ago, Apple has been continuously working on improving its own mapping system, Apple Maps. On October 21st, Apple quietly launched Apple Maps Connect, which could be a major step in competing with Google.
How does this affect your business?
With Apple Maps Connect, business owners and managers can personally add and edit their Apple Maps listings, a tremendous improvement from simply being able to report inaccurate or missing information. This is important because accuracy and consistency of listings can affect your Google SERP rankings. Therefore, utilizing Apple Maps Connect will improve your Local SEO! Additionally, Apple Maps displays the store's Yelp rating under its name and provides a link to Yelp reviews. This is another reason for you to make sure your information and links are accurate!
Photo Source: Design-Laorosa
Why is this important?
- As of March, Apple’s share of smartphone subscribers is 41.4%, according to comScore. This equals about 68 million people who are exposed to Apple Maps, the default for navigation on iPhones.
- In a ranking of the top 15 apps, Apple Maps placed 12th with 24.8% reach, although Google Maps placed 6th with a reach of 42.5%. However, with improvements by Apple, those numbers could begin to change.
Apple Maps Connect is easy to use. Simply log in with your Apple ID or create a new one to get started, and follow the steps to completing your listing.
You’ll be able to add:
- Place Name
- Phone Number
- Open Hours
- Facebook page
- Twitter handle
- Yelp page
A new system is bound to have a few problems, and Maps Connect is no exception.
- In order to submit to Apple, you must be able to verify your phone number with a PIN. This can be a problem if you have an automated system. Additionally, if the phone number is wrong, customers will not be able to reach you. Although there is yet to be a direct solution, if you face this problem you can create a new listing with the correct phone number; a duplicate listing will be better than an inaccurate phone number.
- Some companies have had their listings rejected by Apple. It is suspected that Apple does not accept all business types.
- It is difficult for large companies with many locations or outside agencies with multiple clients to use on a large scale.
- So far, it only works for U.S. companies, but Apple says more countries will be added soon.
An exciting new feature that Apple is unveiling is indoor mapping through iBeacon, which may help Apple Maps further compete with Google Maps. The technology will be able to transition automatically from an outdoor display, showing the usual roads and buildings, to an indoor display. Some examples of the uses of indoor mapping are finding available parking spaces in a parking garage and finding a specific store in a mall. If this isn’t enough for you, the technology can even display menus for nearby restaurants and sales at nearby stores!
Be sure to take control of your listing with Apple Maps Connect!