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Apple Business Connect: lever for the future of local referencing?

Apple Business Connect: lever for the future of local referencing?

While local referencing strategies will have to evolve with the new measures taken by the CNIL against Google (in particular around reviews, the display of Local Pack in search results, etc.), Apple is launching in the local SEO race with its new tool: Apple Business Connect.

What is Apple Business Connect?

A direct competitor of Google and its My Business establishment listings (now called Business Profile), these listings are intended to allow well-established brands to also be visible on the web to users with an interest in their activity. 

A marketing tool launched in January 2023 and designed for the Maps application, Apple Business Connect is a free tool that offers companies the possibility of creating business listings, and filling in a lot of information such as images of their products and services, opening hours, their telephone number, a link to their website… and many other features. Users have the possibility of posting opinions, an essential factor of e-reputation but also a valuable factor at the level of local referencing.

While 24% of USA people own a smartphone from the brand based in Silicon Valley, and the best-selling smartphone in 2022 is the iPhone 13, what interest can this tool represent for your company in terms of local visibility ? This is what we are going to see together, after a reminder on the notion of local SEO services.

What is Local SEO?

Local referencing, as its name suggests, allows companies located in a specific geographical area to be able to develop their visibility on the web. In 2014, Google rolled out a major update called “Pigeon” to improve the relevance of proximity search results. This update had a significant impact on organic search results and on Maps. It has fundamentally changed the way the search engine processes location signals by taking into account a more precise geographical area to offer more relevant search results to users. 

Local businesses were the big winners from this update, as it allowed them to showcase their online presence and get better visibility on local search results. This is measured with various statistics published by Google:

But today, the CNIL wants to tackle local queries with the DMA law (Digital Market Act), aimed at limiting the economic domination of large platforms on the web. Local SEO is set to be modified in depth in the coming months, with an effective commissioning in 2024.

Within the agency, we believe that the Business Profile sheets will continue to exist and represent a major lever of visibility for local players, but that their display will only be based on Google Maps and no longer within the results of the SERP… Time will bring us more precise answers.

All these elements highlight the relevance of using and optimizing your Apple Business Connect form now. But what exactly can you do with Apple’s tool?

Apple Business Connect features

The information laid out on its Business Connect sheet is accessible to iPhone users via Maps, via Messages and even Siri (worth pointing out for voice queries). It is possible to fill in a lot of data about your company to inform the user in detail. 

Among all these useful features for users, we find: 

One of the major advantages of Apple Business Connect is at the level of its “Insights” analytical solution, which makes it possible to collect data related to the actions and behavior of users. The data is daily, weekly or monthly depending on the desired data, and is stored for 13 months.

Among these various analytical data, there is information related to the discovery of your establishment by users. For example, the location of users when they consulted your business listing, what they entered to find your store, etc. We also find data related to the action of users following the consultation of your listing, such as the number clicks on the phone number, the website, the menu… so much relevant data to learn more about the actions of your customers and prospects.

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