News & Blog Apple competes with Google with ‘Business Connect’ launch
“The world order for (local search) is changed. One feels it in the water. One feels it on the earth. One smells it in the air.”
And exactly that’s what Apple wants you to think. Apple has announced the launch of Apple Business Connect (or ‘ABC’, if one loves an easy-to-remember initialism). Notably, it’s actually a bit of a re-launch of the older ‘Apple Maps Connect’ released nearly a decade ago while they appear to be spinning it as a completely new product.
It is great on paper, but for your business and clients what does that actually mean, is something you’re going to need to spend time tinkering with?
The Apple Business Connect:
In the words of Apple’s own, Apple Business Connect lets you “put your business on the map”. If that is not clear, they go on to say that this “free tool allows businesses of all sizes to customize the way their information appears across Apple apps.”
Many businesses will welcome Apple Maps, something that essentially, Google Business Profile (GBP) for.
At the time of release of Apple Maps Connect, it wasn’t quite as feature-rich or useful to businesses as its direct competitor, now known as Google Business Profile. It is a much more basic product that just lets one list one’s business that appears on Apple Maps.
The Apple Business Connect includes:
The features of new Apple Business Connect:
Fully customizable Place Cards which include:
- Photos, header images, logos, and much more
- A simple and user-friendly interface with easily manageable opening hours
Much like Google Posts, this new Business Connect feature is a way to help businesses promote timely offers and announcements. The Business Connect manages all Showcases, and for those in the US, one will start seeing these from today, before the global roll out of the feature in the coming months.
Call-to-action buttons for customer:
These show on each Place Card, where applicable, and where set up by the business. These include:
- Booking for appointment
- Call or chat with the business
- Food or groceries order through Instacart
- Reservation through OpenTable
- Hotel booking through Booking.com
- Buying tickets, and more!
A better understanding of your customer as Apple Business Connect also offers insights within the app, so you can improve your offering on the platform. You’ll be able to see what people searched before tapping into your location, as well as insights about your Place Card.
The Apple Business Connect could be valuable particularly to businesses and agencies managing listings as Google, rather than developing it further, seems to be removing (and moving) its own Insights functionality.
Benefits for local business owners and marketers:
Updating your Apple Business Connect means you need to spend a few minutes, if you already have one. It’s free real estate on an app that’s used by more people than you may realise if you have one!
Barry Schwartz explains, “Apple Maps is becoming more and more popular, and it makes sense for you to register and maintain your business properly and accurately on the Apple Maps ecosystem.”
Do it now:
It is advised to do it now if you haven’t already claimed your ABC at businessconnect.apple.com. There is a guide if you need help claiming your Apple Business Connect. Once you have, we’d recommend starting to show it the same care and attention you’ve been showing your GBP. Make sure you claim it and that all the basic information is up-to-date and correct.
This is an exciting opportunity for agencies and local SEOs to add another string of expertise to their bow at the very most. Remember, Apple Maps is no longer a second-rate platform, it’s worth spending time with it learning to understand how Apple prioritizes businesses in Maps. Apple Business Connect now provides its visibility via the features that you might be able to impact.
For anyone working on a multi-location business, there is now API functionality to manage multiple listings on Apple Maps. With an offering almost on par with theirs, this update could provide some serious competition for Google Business Profile. Consumers could search for local businesses on Apple devices, without the need to switch to Google.
Apple could prove more for gaining more insights for local marketers about customers on that’s where the audience is, so it’ll be interesting to see whether any shift their focus based on the stats they’re seeing.
And, Apple has certainly made this refresh look pretty great. It looks and feels a little slicker than Google’s business profiles.
Even though it’s technically an update of a nearly-decade-old service rather than a new product, it’s certainly garnered a bit of a buzz across the local search industry. With some particularly positive reviews it’s easier to use than what we’re used to seeing, especially as Google Business Profile.
Optimizing Apple Business Connect:
For optimizing your Google Business Profile, now, you can follow similar steps especially as a lot of the features are similar to that. We’ll be coming back to you with a complete guide on optimizing your Apple Business Connect shortly, to help you absolutely smash your Apple Maps marketing in 2023.
What’s happened and what comes next
- Apple Maps Connect has now been updated which was called Apple Maps by Apple.
- Apple Business Connect is the new product.
- It will allow you to manage your presence in Apple Maps
- A slew of new features like images, insights, and customizable call-to-action buttons
- To make sure the information is accurate, one should claim one’s Business Connect.
This launch being very exciting, it’s also new territory. There’ll be more to come. Update with any further stories on Apple Business Connect would be done and how you can get the most out of it.
It could also be the perfect time for updating your Apple Business Connect to check over your Google Business Profile, too. It could give you insights into what you need to change running a Google Business Profile Audit, and even give you something to consider for your ABC.