Local SEO for Apple Maps
When it comes to local SEO, everyone seems to be fixated on the Google maps search results.
Of course, this is justified considering the scale and marketshare Google Maps has in the local search market.
But I was having a conversation last week with a prospective client and he mentioned something that really, quite honestly, took me by surprise for some reason.
When talking about exposure in the local search, he told me how Apple Maps was seemingly more relevant to his business than Google Maps. Reason being… his customers use the default Siri search on their iPhones, which in turn defaults to the Apple Maps search results.
This is interesting, coming directly from someone who has 12 locations for their business throughout the US.
I realize that when Apple Maps first debuted, it was a laughing stock on the tech scene as users were getting wildly inaccurate directions. But over the past year or so, Apple has been quietly investing in improving Apple Maps on iOS devices, and even as early as last year, integrated transit direction support in iOS 9.
While doing some research for this article, I found where, according to Apple, that Apple Maps on iPhone and iPad is now used more than three times as often as Google Maps. And Apple reported that Apple Maps nows handles more than 5 billion mapping requests each week.
What’s interesting from a local SEO perspective, is that Google Maps users on iOS need to take an additional step to query a local business, product, or service. And that step is would be opening either the Google search app or Google Maps app.
Whereas with Siri, you can technically activate it with voice command and get your search (i.e. “hey siri” and then “dentist in athens”… as an example).
And when someone searches for your type of business in your city, it would be imperative that your business gets found in Apple Maps.
You can get your business added to Apple Maps directly by clicking here.
Or through several other local business directory sources such as Nester, Localeze, Axciom, Factual, and also Foursquare… who Apple recently partnered with for local business data.
How to add your business to Apple Maps
You can get your business added to Apple Maps by:
1. Visiting https://mapsconnect.apple.com/
Log in with your Apple ID and password – this is required in order to get submitted to Apple Maps.
2. Select your relationship to your business.
On the “Add a New Business Page”, which is appear after logging in, you have two options to chose from:
- I’m the business owner
- I’m authorized by the business owner
3. Enter your basic business details.
Otherwise referred to as the NAP — the business name (N), address (A), and phone # (P). As it is with Google Maps local SEO, it’s imperative that this data match exactly to your Google business page and the NAP citations on your website.
4. Verify your business phone number.
Apple will want to call the number you’ve entered and you’ll be provided with a PIN # to enter. This step can also be deferred until later.
5. Confirm your business location.
Here you’ll select your business categories. This list of categories can be extensive, so select the one that is most relevant and applicable to your business. The more direct your category selection, the more authority you’ll build up for that particular space.
6. Confirm your hours of business.
Specify your business hours of operation – including if you are open 24 hours.
7. Add your company website and social media accounts.
Fill out as much of these details as possible – the more the better – to include your website URL, social media profiles, etc…
8. Review your business information.
After you verify that everything looks good, click “OK” and that’s it. The standard given time to appear in Apple Maps is within a week. However, if you use syndication platforms like Axciom, Localeze, etc… then it can take upwards of 3 months or more.