When it comes to ensuring that your business can easily be found on mobile map applications, the two mobile operating systems to be concerned with are Android and iOS. Those two combine to make up over 90 percent of the smartphone market in the United States. The map applications for the two operating systems are Google Maps and Apple Maps.
You can create an entry (or claim the existing entry) for your business on Google Maps through Google’s My Business Page. This will allow you to make certain that all of your information and details are correct. It’s important to ensure that the phone number, hours of operation, and address that you list are all consistent through Google Maps, your website, and even on sites like Yelp.
You certainly don’t want to confuse customers, and there can also be penalties to your position on search results for inconsistent information. You can also connect an existing (and verified) Google+ account to the My Business service.
Google Maps Benefits
There are a few benefits to using Google+ and connecting your business to it. Reviews will appear on the Google Maps entry for your business, and by connecting to it yourself you’ll be able to be certain that reviews from prior owners of the location are not displayed. Photos that appear in the carousel of images at the top of searches are often pulled from connected Google+ accounts.
If running a Google+ account on top of your other online marketing efforts seems like too much, consider letting BSG’s social media managers run your social media accounts for you. They’re experts at building quality relationships with your customers and spreading the word about your business online.
Apple Maps began in 2007 and used information from Google Maps. However, in 2012 Apple Maps broke with Google. Google Maps then began receiving map data from TomTom, and was the default map application on iOS. Apple Map occupies a large share of the map application market and most iOS users use it. In the last few months, the company launched Apple Maps Connect, which allows business owners to add content to Apple Maps.
Apple Maps Connect gives you the power to add multiple categories. This includes location, hours, type of business, website, and even your Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp accounts to Apple Maps. What really sets Maps Connect apart is its verification process. An automated call to your listed phone number will give you a code to enter into the Maps Connect site. You’ll immediately be verified. And the information you add to Apple Maps will display earlier than it does on other services. You will also be able to verify your business through an e-mail to your website’s domain, though this takes longer.
It’s important to always seek out new ways to get your business’s information out there. Map applications are one of the major ways people see that information, particularly on smartphones. Taking control of that information for yourself will enable you to ensure that they’re getting the right information. They’re also seeing links to your website and social media in order to really learn about your business. BSG can help you craft an online marketing campaign that reaches all the important audiences, from social media to search.