Local SEO - Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Waze in 2023
We’ve talked over the past few months about how mobile device usage has exceeded desktop computer usage. Today, let’s talk about how the majority of your customers will find and call your store: mobile map apps.
Originally published early 2022. Updated 1/18/23.
Three Most Used Jewelry Shopper Map Apps
There are three major map apps: Google Maps, Waze, and Apple Maps.
Google Maps is 72% of all maps usage, and Waze and Apple Maps combined are 23%.
Google Maps has 4-6x as many users as Apple Maps in the United States. Waze, which is owned by Google, is the next most popular mapping app. Apple Maps, available exclusively on iPhones and iOS devices, is the third most popular maps app.
Never heard of Waze? It’s a very popular app that’s extremely useful for skipping traffic. Where Google Maps pulls data from partner sources, Waze pulls information from other Waze users in real-time to allow you to best
Google Maps is the most used app travel app. Google Maps, Facebook, and YouTube are used by more people per day than traditional media, 482 minutes per day compared to 318 minutes per day. If your business is not regularly updating and advertising on mobile apps, you are missing the largest percentage of your audience.
Apple Maps Now Offers Business Listings
Apple has pushed a new update for businesses for their listings in Apple Maps.
Similar to your Google Maps and Google Business Profile listings, they've updated Apple Maps to include more relevant things like Showcases for specials or events. Apple Maps is typically a smaller percentage of everyone using maps on their phone, but we'd recommend setting up and claiming your listings if you haven't already.
Business Connect offers a way to upload photos and set cover images and branding on location pages. Additionally, the specific available "Actions" on the card can be customized—for example, a grocery store can add an "Action" to order from the location on Instacart, or a venue can include an Action for reserving a parking spot on SpotHero.
Finally, a section of the card called "Showcases" can be a catchall for highlighted or featured actions or information, like time-limited specials or incentives, or special announcements.
More here -
WAYS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR STORE LISTING IN MAP APPS
Log in and claim your store listings under a shared company owned email address. Avoid tying your listing to a single employee email.
Google and Apple both have websites you can manage your listing, but Waze requires you to download the app, create a profile, and set up and claim your business.
Separate listings per each store. Just like on how websites Google wants to see valuable, well built out separate pages per each store location, so too you need to build and maintain separate store listings in Google Maps, Waze, and Apple Maps.
Updated NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number). If you add a suburb or city name next to your business name, that will help local searchers find your store locations better. Example: “Brooklyn” is more important than “New York City” for a local business. If your business is located within another location, such as a Shopping Mall, Google Maps offers an option to let people know you are located within another building. Note - Updating this location setting may cause Google to request a reverification that you are the owner of the location.
Choose your most important categories. Just like yellow books from the last millennium, map apps need to categorize your business, and often have pre-selected categories to sort companies into. Pick the most relevant ones.
Regularly update your profile with new photos, reviews from customers, and offers. When someone uses Google Maps to find a jewelry store (and if you are using a map app, it knows your location, so there is no “near me” they type), wouldn’t you want your potential customer to know you are using 10% off of Men’s Jewelry BEFORE they drive to your store or call you?
This covers most organic usage for the map apps.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How often should I update my maps listing? Once a month is more than enough. Respond to questions and reviews as they come in, but if you are reviewing your listing quarterly and updating with new offers monthly, that’s plenty for success.
Does Google Maps have any impact on my website rankings? No, Google has been pretty explicit several times over the years that Google Maps has no direct impact on your website rankings. But more visitors finding you and coming to your site shows Google your business is more ‘valuable’ as a search result, and that does influence rankings.
Does embedding Google Maps on my website help rankings? No and yes. This ties into something many call “GEO Landing Pages”. In short, they used to work, but in 2018 Google officially said they have no impact on your website rankings at all, partly due in response to many businesses abusing maps by creating dozens of location pages. Embedding Google Maps on your website is helpful for visitors on your site, but has no direct impact on your SEO or organic rankings. (But reviews, updates, NAP info, all of that does, both directly and indirectly!)
Google Maps has call tracking, should I turn that on? Absolutely. It’s helpful to track how many calls your listing generated, how many were answered or missed, and do followup on the phone numbers later on.
Does Punchmark manage our listings? Glad you asked! By default, we do not manage or set up any of your map listings. However, we absolutely can manage your listings and update them with your latest offers on a monthly or quarterly basis as part of one of our marketing service packages. Let’s talk!
Helpful Links to Map Apps
Google Business Profile - https://www.google.com/business/
Apple Maps Profile - https://register.apple.com/placesonmaps/?redirected=true
Waze Profile - https://www.waze.com/apps
Google provides some additional recommendations in their documentation. https://support.google.com/business/answer/7091?hl=en#zippy=