I have had a few forward-thinking innkeepers ask me recently, "How can I make sure I will show up in the new Apple Maps?". Due to this great question, this blog post now exists for your perusal.
Optimizing for Apple Maps is not much different than optimizing for Google Places. You need to make sure that your business is listed correctly with the major data providers and found correctly in maps. According to the experts, Apple Maps will depend on Yelp! for reviews, and Acxiom, LocaEze, InfoUSA and TomTom for data provision.
So what to do? Here are some steps:
1- Yelp!- Make sure your listing matches 100% for your NAP+W (name, address, phone and website). Set up a business account (https://biz.yelp.com/support) and keep that info current. If you should get a less than stellar review, make sure you respond to it right away to show care and interest.
2- LocalEze - Check and verify your listing by using this link: http://webapp.localeze.com/directory/search.aspx. This requires a phone verificatton, so make sure you're close to your business phone when you initiate this process.
3- TomTom- Best way to verify with TomTom is to go directly to their source of info, Map Insight by Tele Atlas. Start at this link: http://mapinsight.teleatlas.com/mapfeedback/index.php. You will verify your map location and then add a bit more information.
4- InfoUsa - set up an account and verify your business here: http://expressupdateusa.com/
5- Acxiom - this one is a bit more complicated. You can't go into Acxiom and verify your business listing. *You can pay a fee ($50 per year), to My Business Listing Manager, which is the recommendation of Acxiom itself, and for that *$50, they will not only verify and correct your listing but also distribute it:
Directly to over 80 companies in the Internet Yellow Page and Local Search marketplace
Directly to the largest search engine
250+ distribution partners through online private labeled solutions
Directly to the top directory print publishers
If you don't want to pay
the ransom $50, you can make sure your listing is correct with your local tele-comm provider, as described in this excellent blog post by the delightful Hannah Monroe : http://tophatrank.com/acxiom-data-optimizing-apple-maps-part-2/
*Updated 10/02/12: The $50 fee for Acxiom's MyBusinessListing is only if you are managing five or more listings. It is free for individual businesses.
Those are the required steps to make sure your listing is found on Apple Maps. Making sure that you stay on top of these new search opportunities will help your business live long and prosper in the Webiverse.