Apple recently launched Business Connect to enable businesses to easily request and optimize their locations on Apple Maps. It only takes a few minutes to get started as a single or multi-location business.
Once you’ve set up and claimed your locations, you’ll have access to view and edit your location maps. This includes:
- Updating your location data.
- Add photos.
- Publishing showcases.
- Review the performance and engagement of your locations on Apple Maps.
Apple Business Connect offers three different workflows:
- Small businesses.
- Corporate brands with 25 or more locations.
- Third-party partners who manage data on behalf of other businesses and may send that data via API.
In this article, you’ll learn how to get started with Apple Business Connect.
Getting started with Apple Business Connect
First, create an Apple ID if you don’t already have one.
Next, go to the Apple Business Connect website, select your business type (small, enterprise, or third-party partner) and sign in with your Apple ID.
If you’re a brand using a third party to send and access data via an API, you’ll still need to set up and claim your first location in Business Connect. You’ll then have the option to delegate your account to an agency that can add the rest of your locations in bulk.
For single locations and small businesses under 25 locations, your first step will be to search or create your location.
For enterprise businesses, you need to click on the prompt at the bottom that says “Register as an Enterprise.”
When you click here, it will take you directly to the business verification page where you must enter your brand information, including your DUNS number. (Apple also has a helpful guide to enterprise onboarding.)
For small businesses (which Apple considers brands under 25 locations), you’ll need to search for your location on Apple Maps and either select the matching business shown in the search results, or select the option to create a new location if your business doesn’t is on the list.
If you’re creating a new location, you’ll need to add your address details and make sure the map pin is above the entrance to your location. You can add the exact coordinates if needed.
In the next two steps, you’ll want to add your main, holiday, and special hours.
Special hours are described as custom or temporary hours, such as periods of time when you have extended or reduced availability.
You will then need to add your primary and secondary categories, website and phone number. (This is a great resource for finding Apple’s complete list of business categories.)
Apple says the additional categories help with search and can be unique by location.
During setup, Apple starts building a preview of your location map. According to Apple:
“When you change location information in Business Connect, it shows in this overview. It may take up to three days for your changes to be published on the Maps location map after you submit them to Apple for review.”
The final setup steps focus on verification. You will then need to add your company details for verification so that Apple can determine if you are the correct contact to manage this location in Apple Business Connect.
To complete the verification, you will need to provide an identifiable business document, such as a business registration, utility bill, or lease agreement, as well as a description of the document.
It may take up to five days for your business verification to be processed.
Once verification is complete, you can begin adding additional information to your place card, including:
- A unique description of your business location.
- Attributes or additional features of your business. Attribute types vary by type of business, but include categories such as:
- Payment methods.
- Booking types (appointment only, walk-in).
- Accessibility features.
- Parking possibilities.
- Types of toilets and availability.
- Technical characteristics (wi-fi and air conditioning).
- Options for testing and vaccination against COVID-19.
- Business models (cooperative, non-profit, membership requirements).
- Safety (cold storage, COVID-19 precautions, shelter).
- Smoking parameters.
- EV charging availability.
- Details about the atmosphere (good for kids, couples, groups).
- What types of pets are or are not allowed.
- A link to an application that supports functions such as ordering, making a reservation, or booking an appointment.
- Photos of your business, including logo and cover, which will remain positioned at the top of your Place Card. Apple advises that photos will be reviewed and may take up to three days before posting. You can find photo guidelines here.
- Showcases to highlight timely updates, new features and products for your business. Storefronts expire after 30 days unless you set it to end sooner, and Apple can take up to three days to review and approve your storefront. Showcases include the following items:
- Photo and image tag (must be added for accessibility and screen readers).
- Short title up to 38 characters.
- Storefront description up to 58 characters.
- One or more calls to action, including:
- “Call Now”
- “Get directions”
- “Share this place”
- “Add to Favorites”
- ‘Rate this place’ – This allows users to provide feedback on the overall rating, food and beverage, customer service and atmosphere. It also prompts the user to recommend this location to a friend or family member.
Note that storefronts are only available to businesses in the United States, but Apple is working to make them available globally in the coming months.
If you manage or own more locations, simply click the “Add” button in the upper right corner of the dashboard to start the process again. You can also invite additional users who need access to manage your locations.
More ways to interact with Apple Maps users
Business Connect is an incredibly exciting and much-welcomed innovation from Apple.
It provides a great opportunity for local businesses to engage with Apple Maps users and is designed in a way that makes it easy for businesses of all types and sizes to get started.
You can find more information in the Apple Business Connect user guide.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily those of Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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