Apple Maps has been taking a fair amount of hits as of late, and perhaps rightfully so, its’ direct competitor Google Maps is much more robust. But don’t ignore Apple Maps!
Google Maps is a fantastic product that Google has invested large amounts in over the past six years. Apple Maps has just recently launched, and from a map nerds perspective: it’s actually quite good. It will only get better over time as a large pool of iOS 6 users continue to use it.
When I say large pool, I mean it. Only one month after release, there already over 200 million iOS 6 devices already. Considering over 50% of searches on mobile have local intent, these are users you do not want to miss. If your business attracts customers to a location, pay attention to Apple Maps.
One of the benefits to optimizing for Apple Maps is that it runs in tandem with other Local SEO efforts. To ensure visibility in Apple Maps: here are some data aggregators that directly feed Apple Maps.
Localeze, TomTom, Yelp & Acxiom
Ensuring correct business listing information in these data aggregators is not only going to help distribute business listings all across the internet, it’s going to poise your entry into Apple Maps. Getting into these databases is a tactical discussion, but I have listed some links below for you to check your listing data.
You don’t necessarily have to be in all of these databases, but the more prevalent your NAP (Name-Address-Phone), the more clear it will be to Apple Maps that your information is correct and ready to be served to your potential customers.
Manage Reviews in Apple Maps
The review system in Apple Maps is directly tied to Yelp, so I suggest heading over to Yelp and setting up a business account. Whatever the sentiment may be, you will be able to respond, in addition to getting business information into a product that is directly tied to Apple Maps.
Listen to Apple
As time goes on, Apple will make it easier for businesses to add, edit, and remove their listing from Apple Maps. Outside of submitting your data upstream, there is no official “Method” of getting your data into Apple Maps. However, it appears that there is one way to submit information on a specific location, directly to Apple.
Here’s how: Find where your business should be on Apple Maps and “Report a Problem,” select “other” and explain the problem and submit the claim.
Is this a solution? Not really. Will it work? Possibly. But right now this is the most direct way to communicate information with Apple Maps. It’s likely that Apple will release a product that allows business owners to directly submit and verify a listing, but this has to be done thoughtfully in order to avoid opening the floodgates to spammers. Truly, the best way to ensure visibility in Apple Maps is to get listed in their main data providers’ and strengthen your NAP across the web.
Here’s a great visualization of the Apple Maps Ecosystem.