This Fall, Apple is kicking Google Maps to the curb and replacing it with the new Apple Maps. Currently, Apple mobile products (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) use Google Maps, but with limited functionality (no turn-by-turn directions!). Google Maps has always worked best on Android devices, so Apple has decided to develop their own maps program to take full advantage of their mobile devices. So take that Google!
Apple Maps will be launched on its mobile devices later this Fall with the next iOS 6 software update and your hotel needs to be prepared! The map will soon be integrated into every Apple mobile device and if your hotel listing doesn't show up in local searches, you'll be missing out on a large segment of potential guests. Considering iPads and iPhones are the top devices for mobile browsing in 2012, according to NetApplications, this mobile search platform cannot be ignored for local businesses.
According to Apple, the new maps and local search includes information for over 100 million businesses with info cards that offer Yelp ratings, reviews, available deals and photos. With that in mind, not only should we be paying attention to our Yelp listings in preparation of this launch, but there are a few other places to check as well.
Here is how to optimize your business listing on Apple Maps
Time to pay attention to Yelp
Yelp has been a major player with Apple since the launch of Siri. For example, when an iPhone user asks Siri to find a sushi restaurant nearby, Siri typically shows results based on number of reviews and star rating on Yelp. This will still be the case with Siri, but these ratings and reviews will also be integrated into searches on Apple Maps. Your Yelp ratings and information will populate your business listing on these maps, so be sure your hotel looks great! Make sure your business name, address and phone number are correct and be sure to respond to any recent negative reviews. Business information and business owner responses can be updated through Yelp for Business Owners.
Check your business listing on Acxiom
Apple Maps will be pulling business listing information from Acxiom as well. You can check your listing on Acxiom for free, but there is currently a fee to make any updates. To check your listing on Acxiom, go to mybusinesslistingmanager.com, click through Learn More, click Get Started and search for your hotel by the phone number.
This will bring up your business listing information:
If your business listing is correct, you're done! If your business name, address or phone number is incorrect, you can claim your listing and make updates through the Acxiom Business Listings service.
Check your Business Listing on Localeze
Localeze supplies business information to a wide range of local search sites, including Yahoo!, Bing, MapQuest and soon...Apple Maps. Updating a business listing in Localeze is similar to Acxiom. You can search for your Localeze listing by business name of phone number here.
From here, you can View Listing and you will have the option to claim your business listing to make any necessary updates
To ensure your hotel is optimized on Apple Maps and for local search across the web, your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) needs to be identical across all online channels. These three items should be identical down to the letter. For example, if you have "Street" spelled out in your address in half your listings, don't have it abbreviated as "St" in the remaining half. This will not only prepare your business for Apple Maps, but will ultimately benefit your hotel's overall online marketing campaign.