If you have a small business and would like to attract customers online, one of the first tools you’ve probably turned to is Google. Setting up your Google Business Profile for local search results is a priority in any business’s search marketing.
What’s the second tool in your search marketing toolbox? Arguably, it’s Apple’s Business Connect.
Business Connect is an additional (and free) feature of Apple Maps that allows users to search for businesses via a local business directory. It works similarly to your Google Business Profile, but it expands your visibility and reach in Apple Maps and other Apple apps.
You control how your information appears on your landing page (your Place Card) and ensure that your information is up-to-date and accurate. You can add photos and useful facts about your location, and you can use Showcases to highlight special offers and events in a blog-like way (equivalent to Google Posts). Using the Actions feature, you can drive customer engagement through calls-to-action, such as calling your location, getting directions, or going to a website for more information. You also get easy access to analytics to help measure and manage the exposure you get through Apple apps.
But I Already Use Google
You may be thinking, But I’m already using Google. Why do I need this Apple thing?
It’s true that Google is the king of search and maps, but your customers also search for you and your information on Apple Maps, Wallet, Siri, etc. Apple Maps gets mixed reviews, but the app continues to improve, and a lot of people use it because a lot of people use iPhones and iPads:
- Apple Maps is the second-most popular maps app for mobile users (after Google, of course) and holds approximately 10–12 percent of the mobile search market. (Washington Post, 2020)
- At least 71 million US adults are active users of Apple Maps. (Local SEO Guide, 2021)
The Business Connect interface is self-explanatory and easy to use, and edits appear almost instantly, especially for logos and cover images. In my experience, it took less than 15 minutes to get the basics done for one location, including the verification process. I spent a few more minutes adding photos and inviting a second admin user. Showcases can be done in minutes as well.
Business Connect has the feel of a product Apple will continue to develop. There are some limits on where CTAs can be placed and where you can direct the clicks, but I think as more people use Business Connect, the more Apple will improve it, just like Maps.
If you’re not already using Business Connect in your search marketing, then you’re missing out on a great opportunity for advertising and marketing your business online for free. There’s no good reason not to use Business Connect.
Need help setting up a Business Connect account? Talk to us! We get a kick out of helping small businesses cut through the clutter and get better results from their marketing.
Apple Business Connect User Guide: https://support.apple.com/guide/apple-business-connect/welcome/web