Do-it-yourself is not a cliche for most small business owners. It’s a way of life. With that in mind, Apple announced this week they have made it a little easier for the do-it-yourselfer at the top of all small business organization charts to put their shop on the map. Apple has launched a new portal for its Apple Maps application designed to make it easy for small business owners to add or update information about their businesses.
Search Engine Journal contributing editor Greg Sterling described the new Apple Maps Connect portal in an Oct 21 post as a user-friendly means of putting business information onto both PC and mobile Apple Maps platforms. The service is free, and requires only an Apple ID and password. For those without Apple accounts, registration for the ID and password is also free.
The catch, and hardly a drawback, according to Sterling, is that only the business owner or authorized representative (read: employee) would be allowed access to the portal to add or update information. Agencies are prohibited from doing the work for their clients.
Sterling wrote that entering business information is a simple process involving seven quick steps:
- Creating an account or logging in to Apple Maps Connect;
- Entering the business name, address and primary phone number;
- Verifying the business phone number (Apple will call back to verify);
- Confirming the business location using a pin locator on Apple Maps;
- Populating a business category and other services offered from drop-down menus;
- Adding hours of operation;
- Adding a website address, and social media information such as Facebook, Twitter or Yelp accounts;
- Review and verify the information.
According to Sterling, verifications occur in real time, with Apple placing automated calls to the user and providing a code the user then enters into the Maps Connect portal. Users can also verify at a later time via an email address provided by Apple Maps Connect.
Apple says new listings and updates will appear within a week of user entry or sooner, depending on the need for additional verification.
Sterling, Greg. “Apple Launches “Maps Connect” Self-Service Local Listings Portal;” Search Engine Land. October 21, 2014.