How do you search for local businesses?
Do you use the browser on your phone, or do use a maps app (i.e. Google or Apple Maps)?
More and more people are using the maps on their smartphone to search for local businesses that are close to them. If they are searching for your business, will the information that they find be accurate? That may be the most important question in mobile marketing today, and most business aren’t even aware that they should be thinking about it.
Local Optimization and Moving Your Business
We recently moved our business within the same city. At first we thought it would be easy to direct customers to our new location using our new address. As it turned out, we had a lot of work to do.
First, while our office is on Old Columbiana Road, our address is actually Columbiana Road, and Apple Maps struggled with the distinction. Second, we were the only business at the new location, and somehow Apple associated our new address with our old address. We had folks that would enter in 2081 Columbiana Road, and the results would still lead them to our old address three miles away. Finally, we had clients that would end up at different points on Columbiana Road with no hope of finding our actual office..
Fortunately for us, we are in the business of helping companies get found online.
We knew exactly what to do to sort this out. We did a local and directory optimization for our new location, and this solved our issues. During all of that time, we never interacted directly with Apple Maps (or Google for that matter). However, that is all about to change according to a big announcement from Apple in October.
Apple Rolls Out Apple Maps Connect
Apple has created a portal for businesses to log directly into their Apple Maps service. You can claim your business profile and make sure that all of your information is accurate. This isn’t just for clients with retail stores. I use maps even when I am looking for a business’ phone number while I am mobile.
Apple has provided an easy tool for claiming and updating your profile. You can access this tool at https://mapsconnect.apple.com/. Their verification process is relatively simple, and it isn’t too difficult to update your information.
The Tip of the Iceberg
Apple Maps is one of the most important online directories, but it is just the tip of the iceberg.
The real question is, how do you find your business profile on 200 different sites that aren’t as easy to use as Apple Maps? Even if you can find the data about your business, how do you claim it and update it?
That is where a company like Uptick can help you. We specialize in Local Optimization. We know how to find your profiles. We know how to claim them. We know how to optimize your business description so that you show up for relevant searches. You can read more about what we do in this Local Optimization post that I wrote for the Infomedia blog recently
Is Your Business Being Misrepresented?
I met with a client last week who was shocked to see that an online directory had a mini-site with content and pictures about their business that completely misrepresented what they do. This directory was showing up prominently in their Google results.
If you haven’t claimed your data online, then without exception, there is incorrect and incomplete information about your business out there. It may be as simple as incorrect store hours, or it could be an incorrect description of your services or your contact info. If there is a lot of conflicting and incorrect data about your business on these directories and sites, Google starts to lose confidence in your business. You will not show up prominently in local search results, and you miss a big opportunity to improve your site’s performance in the search engines.
Take Action Today
Do you have questions about how your business is being represented online? Call us today at 205-271-8446 or just send us your info for a free review of your local profiles.