Apple Business Connect – A Local Listing Service that takes on Google My Business

TL/DR

If you own or manage a business online, chances are you have seen or heard about Google My Business and the importance of keeping it regularly updated and consistent. Apple Business Connect brings a secondary dimension to local listing services and how it could challenge Google My Business. We take a look at this rival competitor, the benefits of using Apple Business Connect and how to setup an Apple Business Connect Profile.

Today’s business landscape is competitive and you must have ways of standing apart from the rest and your competitors. More and more consumers are searching for answers and products online and through Google search. If you aren’t present and have strong SEO then you risk losing out on customers. 

However, there’s also another effective way to increase your presence as a business in local search results. This solution is called Apple Business Connect, which aims to disrupt Google My Business. Learn more about what these marketing tools are and the benefits of using Apple Business Connect for your company. You will soon realise all the reasons why you should be using it at your business if you want to boost your presence online and increase sales.

What is Google My Business?

If you are not familiar, Google My Business is a local listing service that allows businesses such as yours to store information with Google about your company, otherwise known as NAP listings. The type of information you can include are name, address, and phone number as well products and services your business sells. NAP standing for (Name, Address, Phone Number Listings) are synonymous with organic SEO and help Google identify specific details about a business in terms of being up-to-date, concise and relevant when it comes to specific search terms.

It not only improves SEO, as it enables users to see your information at a glance, but businesses can ask clients and customers to leave reviews about their products or services which in turn can help you increase sales.

What is Apple Business Connect?

Apple shares that this is a “free tool that allows businesses of all sizes to customize the way their information appears across Apple apps.” As a business owner, you can manage your place card and take actions such as uploading photos or highlighting special promotions for your audience. You can also allow users to complete tasks such as making a reservation or ordering food directly from maps. 

It’s yet another opportunity, and some would argue a better option than Google My Business, for businesses to increase their presence in local search results. The reason is that Apple devices are quite popular among consumers and users. In fact, according to DemandSage, there are more than 1.2 billion iPhone users in the world as of 2022.

The Benefits of Using Apple Business Connect for your business

There are several notable benefits of using Apple Business Connect and good reasons why you should choose to use it for your business.

For starters, it links to Apple Maps, which is the default map search for Apple device. It is designed to help businesses grow and reach customers, as it complements other Apple services. This means that as a business you can seamlessly collect orders and purchases using Apple Pay, for instance.

Businesses can provide useful information by highlighting ‘quick actions’ for users to take directly from the Maps place card, like making a hotel stay through Booking.com, or reserving a spot for dinner with OpenTable – which offers a unique tailored online experience for your end user.

Other advantages include the ability to add multiple locations – so if you are a multi-site owner then you can easily manage and update your locations with just a few clicks, rather than managing them each individually.

Drawbacks of Using Apple Business Connect

Whilst Apple Business Connect is a relatively new experience for a business owner to master, there are some distinct drawbacks we have experienced when setting up our own profile on the platform.

Firstly as a business you are restricted to just three categories, one primary and two secondary categories within your profile. These categories are generic and there is no room for customisation within your profile to add anymore. Apple states ‘Additional categories help with search and may also be set at each location individually’

At the moment the ability to showcase, offers and promotions is not currently available to UK audiences – but is expected to be rolled out in the coming months. With this feature Apple said, “businesses can easily update the Showcase section of their place card through Business Connect.

Unlike Google My Business where customers can leave a review about someones product or service, your Apple Business connect profile can only be graded by either a thumbs up or thumbs down and a photo of the product or service. We feel this is a limited way of grading a location but hope to see the functionality to add written reviews which can be replied to by the owner further down the development roadmap.

How to Create your Apple Business Connect profile

You will need an Apple ID to setup your Apple Business Connect profile. If you own or operate a Mac or Iphone device the chances are you already have an account setup. However you may prefer to keep your profiles entirely separate, one for business and another for personal use which is completely understandable. If you would prefer to keep them separate, businesses can register their business at businessconnect.apple.com and get started today.

Conclusion

You should now have a better understanding of your options for boosting your online presence through local search listings. While Google My Business is a suitable choice for some, Apple Business Connect is a secondary marketing tool which is already embedded into the Apple ecosystem, home to 1.2 Billion users worldwide and only set to grow as the product and feature expands.

It’s free to get started, so what do you have to lose?

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