We have all done it; found directions to a business after an online search. Or used our phones to find a type of business nearby. Making sure your small business is included in these search results is as simple as getting them listed on maps apps. Not only will it help draw customers to your business, but will also help them find your website.
With Apple’s recent new Apple Maps Connect for crowdsourcing its maps information, we thought we would take a closer look at how it compares to its biggest rival, Google Places and see which platform is better for small businesses to be listed on.
Apple has been making strides to improve its maps application and the recent Apple Maps Connect portal is an important step in that direction. It basically crowdsources local information and relies on small businesses adding their details to the portal. Doing so makes their maps more useful to users and brings more customers to your door.
The Apple Maps Connect portal is a free, self-service data entry portal where small businesses can manually enter information about their company and have it displayed on Apple Maps. The process seems easy enough and basically includes signing in with your Apple ID, establishing your relationship and adding your company information including address and phone number. Once that information has been verified, a process that seems to still be working out the kinks, you can also include your small business’ website and social pages to your profile to connect with searchers even more.
Google has held the maps crown for years and despite Apple’s commitment to improving the user experience, there’s still a clear king of the maps hill and it’s Google. In February 2015, for example, Apple Maps reached 22.2% of the smartphone market in the United States, while Google Maps reached almost twice as much, with a 44.2% reach.
Like Apple Maps, setting up your business on Google Places is free and relies on you adding and editing your business information. In addition to your business name, address and telephone number, you’ll choose a category for your business, an important step that should be the same as the keyword that will pull up your business when people search. Include SEO into your description too and upload some images.
Summary: List on Both
If you’re a small business, you need to include your business on maps apps, and since both Apple Maps and Google Places is free and easy to set up, there is no reason to list on one and not the other. It’s free advertising! And while you should ideally be putting your business on every maps application, focusing on the two biggest players on the market will go a long way to pulling your customers through your doors.