So far, we have written a lot about Google Maps and the importance of listing your business to rank high in local searches. Now it is time to focus on Apple Maps for local SEO. While less popular than Google Maps, you cannot ignore consumers who use this app.
According to recent statistics, 41.4% of smartphone owners in Australia use iOS devices, that is, iPhone or iPad devices. And on these devices, Apple Maps is the default app, not Google Maps. Thus, small business owners should not ignore such a large group of consumers when it comes to mobile marketing.
How Can You Use Apple Maps for Local SEO?
From the point of view of access to meaningful insights, Apple Maps for local SEO may not seem a good fit. The app does not offer small business owners useful details, like Google does for its interconnected services.
But this does not mean that you cannot leverage Apple Maps to rank in local searches. First of all, Apple Maps is used by Siri to make various recommendations. And many iOS users rely on this digital assistant, using voice search rather than typing texts when they need information.
Secondly, Apple Maps is connected to Yelp. Thus, if a business is listed on Apple Maps, users will see the latest Yelp reviews in the details panel. We will explain later how you can use this feature to your advantage.
How to List Your Business on Apple Maps
The first thing you need to do in order to list your business on Apple Maps is create an Apple ID. You do not have to own an Apple device (iPhone, iPad or Mac computer) to create this ID.
Simply open a browser on any device you own and navigate to https://appleid.apple.com. Fill in all the details requested, including a valid email address. This is where you will receive the verification code to validate your registration.
Once you have the Apple ID, you can start the listing process, as shown below:
1. Access Apple Maps
Visit https://mapsconnect.apple.com and login using your Apple ID.
2. Select the Relationship You Have with the Business
In Apple Maps you can select one of the two possibilities:
- You are the business owner
- You are authorised by the business to create/claim the listing
3. Create or Find Your Business Name Listing
Since iOS relies on information collected from users to populate its maps app, it is possible that your business is already listed, so you have to claim it. Once you have established your relationship with the business, you can do so.
4. Fill in Basic Contact Details
Just like in Google My Business, fill in the NAP details for your business. Make sure that you type in the full address because Apple Maps will automatically create a Pin (red pointer) once you add the address of your business.
5. Verify Your Phone Number
The last step is to verify the phone number you provided in the listing. You will get a call from Apple containing a PIN number. Type it in the registration form in the appropriate text box to complete the registration.
Once you completed this process, your business will be listed on Apple Maps for local SEO in about a week. However, if you prefer to list your business using a third-party syndication platform such as Axciom or Localeze, it may take up to 3 months to see your business on Apple Maps.
Leveraging Apple Maps for Local SEO
Here are a few simple things you can do to help your business get found by iPhone owners in local searches:
1. Optimise Your Content for Voice Search
As we stated above, one of the perks for iPhone users is interacting with the digital assistant Siri. This AI entity has an engaging personality that makes phone users rely on it for completing a lot of tasks on their phone.
Thus, your listing on Apple Maps for local SEO will get found easier by Siri if your website has content adapted for voice search, including a well populated FAQ page.
2. Encourage and Review Yelp Reviews
Yelp is the go-to place to find recommendations for various businesses. These reviews for your business will appear next to the Apple Maps listing. Thus, it is in your best interest to have lots of positive reviews.
Make sure that you remind your happy customers to leave a few words on your Yelp page. Also, keep monitoring these reviews and respond as quickly as possible to questions or negative comments.
3. Remove Duplicate Listings
Last but not least, browse Apple Maps on a regular basis to identify duplicate listings for your business. These may be generated by iOS devices when their GPS data vary from your actual business address.
Apple Maps is currently undergoing a massive transformation. Apple will use both data transmitted by devices and their own cameras mounted on cars to create accurate mapping for regions, down to the smallest street.
As such, Apple Maps for local SEO will become a more powerful tool for small businesses. This is why you should consider claiming your listing now.