In the digital age, making your business visible to as many potential customers as possible is common sense.
Letting people know who you are, what you do, and where they can find you is essential, too. If you haven’t already done so, you should be thinking of listing your business on mapping platforms.
Popular map services such as Google Maps or Apple Maps are used across the world, and as smartphones and mobile devices become the preferred medium for internet browsing, people are using the map apps on these devices to find businesses.
Map apps (referred to as mapps from hereon in) ship with every smartphone (and devices like tablets), and while they’re often used for navigation, these apps can also help users to find businesses that they’re interested in.
There are millions of smartphone users across the world, using their mapps to navigate their way around towns and cities. You can list your business on these map platforms to attract potential customers.
One of the other features that comes as standard with mapps is the “Near Me” function, which highlights nearby businesses. These are based on the user’s approximate location, and nearby businesses are sorted by category, like food and drink or shopping.
Giving potential customers the ability to find your business and information such as opening hours and contact information is just another way to improve your business’ visibility. In the future, it may enable you to push notifications to potential customers when they are nearby to your business.
Don’t limit yourself to just Apple or just Google; register with both platforms to make yourself even more visible and easier to find (covering these two will help you reach the vast majority of smartphone users). Find out how you can get your business listed on both.
You can include important information about your business – this will show up in a small widget when people search for your business on Google. This widget will display whatever information you decide to publish.
You should consider putting as much as possible here, including address (an obvious one, as this will help show your location accurately on the map), phone number, opening hours, website and a short description. There is also an aggregated review score, and you can choose to include your busiest hours.
This is easily done. Just head over to Google’s business registration page. There’s and FAQ tab to help you get started.
There are millions of iPhones in use across the world, and we’ll assume that the majority of owners use Apple’s native Maps app for navigation.
This means that at any time someone in your town or city looks at the maps, they could potentially find your business; provided they are also using Safari (Apple’s native internet application), searching for your business name will show a shortcut to the mapp.
This could benefit any business, but in Apple Maps itself, the “Near Me” function even allows users to see restaurant reviews and information, as well as giving the option to reserve tables directly in the app. This represents a genuine avenue of potential custom if your business operates in the hospitality sector. The mapp also displays customer reviews.
To begin to register your business, you can visit the Apple’s Maps Connect portal. You sign in using an Apple ID, which you will already have if you use any Apple devices. If you don’t have one, it’s quick and easy to set up. You then use this to add and edit information about your business.
There is an information page for small businesses to explain the processes involved; you can see that, and how to edit that information, here.
Both these services are free, so there are no excuses to not getting your business listed. If you’ve yet to establish a digital presence, we’ve got some advice here.