Today, 48% of smartphone subscribers own an iPhone. And, since mobile searches are quickly reaching those of PC searches, it’s increasingly important that you show up in local mobile search. This includes Apple Maps, which is now the standard map service for iOS devices. But how do you ensure your business not only shows up when consumers search there, but that they are seeing updated and relevant information about your business? We’ve outlined five easy steps to optimizing your local business listings so that consumers can find your business on Apple Maps.
There are five major sources across the Web that help generate Apple Maps business listings. In order to optimize your listing for Apple Maps, you will need to claim and optimize your business listings on the following directories: Yelp, Localeze, TomTom (Tele Atlas), InfoUSA, and Acxiom.
Each of these business listings is free to claim, but will require some basic verification and optimization. But, making sure your business is present and verified on each of these directories will ensure that you show up in Apple Maps search results. Without verifying and optimizing these listings, only users that are specifically searching for your business name on Apple Maps will be able to find your listing.
The true art in each of these profiles comes from the keyword optimization you can achieve with a bit of copywriting moxie. To help you out with this process, here are some general optimization tips that you can apply not only at the Apple Maps directories, but also across your Web presence to enhance visibility.
1. Update Your Profiles Completely
When filling out your profiles on local directories, provide as much information as possible, or as much information that is allowed by that particular directory. Simple things, like the type of payment methods you accept, may seem unimportant at first, but could still affect whether or not you show up in a particular search query.
For example, users may type in phrases into the Apple Maps search feature that are related to your accepted payment methods, such as “Furniture Store that Accepts Visa.” This kind of information can help your overall ranking within Apple Maps and your business may be featured above those that do not include payment information on their profiles.
2. Keep Business Details Consistent
In addition to filling out your profiles completely, make sure all the basic business details listed on your profile is the same across all five directories. This basic information includes your business name, address, phone number, and website address.
By keeping this information identical, the links that drive people to your website will act like votes for the search engines, and boost your organic search listings results. This means that your business will likely see a boost on search engines by coordinating your Web presence and ensuring uniformity across your directory listings.
3. Choose Your Category Tags and Keywords Carefully
When choosing your business categories, select or add relevant category tags that consumers search for most. Several of these directories have specific categories that you can choose from, but a majority of them also allow for free-form category listings, meaning your word choice is very important.
A few great ways to look for business categories are to first use the predefined listing options from directories like Yelp. Also, look to your competitors to see how they have categorized their listings. Finally, check Google for suggestions using Your Google Analytics “Queries Report”. This report shows you specific searches that brought users to your site. Using these popular search terms in your category listings can help to ensure these same types of users can find you in Apple Maps.
In addition, tap into your experience as a consumer. The end result of selecting your business categories is to ensure that you put on your consumer hat and think through what you, as a consumer, would search for to find a business like yours. Ensuring that you make your categories as keyword-friendly as possible will enable you to capture these mobile searches in Apple Maps more effectively.
Remember: just because searchers are using a mobile device, it does not mean their searches will be less specific than they would be on a PC. In fact, consumers who use methods like voice search to conduct a search use phrases that are only slightly shorter than those they use when searching from a computer.
4. Select and Add Relevant Photos
Each of these directories allows you to upload at least one image, so you want to provide some sort of visual representation of your business (a logo at the very least) so that the top portion of the Apple Maps listing is not reflecting the dropped pin when a user views the detailed listings. The more photos you provide, the more credible and appealing your listing will look to potential customers.
5. Build and Manage Your Online Reputation
Once you have built and optimized your business listings, you want to ensure that you have built some sort of online review structure into the mix, especially on Yelp. Apple ranks the search listings within the Apple Maps application based on Yelp reviews, making your online reputation an important part of getting found on Apple Maps.
However, many great reviews on Yelp get filtered. As a result, follow the Yelp Review Guidelines to help keep your reviews visible on your Yelp page. Yelp’s guidelines focus around three key points:
- Personal Experience – When you ask a happy customer for a review, make sure they do not just list general statements about how happy they are with your service. Instead, ask them to list the person(s) they dealt with, what types of services / products they purchased, and what kind of outcome they saw from their unique experience at your business.
- Accuracy – With this particular focus, Yelp just wants to ensure that your reviews are not only thorough and unique, but that the story being published is indeed true.
- Review Updates – Encourage consumers to update their reviews and make sure they reflect any new experiences with your business. And, you should also respond to the reviews you receive in the proper way.
Aside from following these guidelines, ask your customers to fill out complete profiles (or use Facebook to create their account) that include profile photos, locations, and other indications that they are in fact real people to keep these reviews from being filtered.
By following these five steps, you’ll be on your way to a solid mobile search presence within Apple Maps.
Have you claimed and optimized your listings on these directories so that your business shows up on Apple Maps?
About the Authors
Eric Myers is a Dallas-Based Campaign Consultant that works with small business clients and manages campaign performance for a dedicated sales team. Eric is a lover of all things technological, entertaining, and random.
Ashley Stalnaker is a Web Presence Professional and guest blogger for ReachLocal who specializes in SEO, as well as social media and content marketing.