It Is Time to Leverage Online Maps for Your Business

Xi Digital Published on 16 Aug

More competition in today’s digital landscape means identifying and maximizing new opportunities are more important than ever. Platforms like Apple Maps, Bing Maps, and Google Maps have become virtual directories that serve as a critical part of the shopping experience for online consumers that consolidate business information in a centralized online space. By integrating online maps into their digital marketing strategies, businesses can create a gateway that connects consumers with local establishments, unifying various marketing efforts such as search engine optimization and paid advertising in a centralized online space. 

Why Rank Your Business on Online Maps?

online maps digital marketingOnline maps have evolved from navigation tools to comprehensive networks that enhance the discoverability and local visibility of businesses. Today, maps play a pivotal role in the decision-making process, where searchers review ratings, assess offerings and promotions. 

Research shows that approximately 84% of consumers begin their search for local businesses on Google Maps. Searches originating from maps result in nearly three times as many clicks as organic listings, with 74% of searches leading to physical store visits. By embracing online map platforms and integrating them with other marketing strategies, businesses can maximize lead generation for local services and stores, strengthening customer connections.

Understanding the Google Maps Advantage

For many years Google Maps has been the dominant map platform; despite the emergence of many other tools, Google Business Profile still boasts more than 1 billion active monthly users. Powered by Google Business Profile, claiming and managing a profile allows businesses to control and enhance how their business is discovered online. In the more than 15 years since its launch, Google Business Profile has gone far beyond simply sharing the location and contact details of an individual website; it gives local customers access to genuine reviews, pictures, business hours, company updates, frequently asked questions and other unique features that provide valuable insights to customers which ultimately boost visibility and credibility. By optimizing your Google Business Profile profile, you are directly supporting your search engine optimization efforts. With a strong strategy and continual attention, you can rank your profile in the top 3 spots for relevant search terms, featured as the Google 3-Pack on the top of the search engine results page. 

Embracing the Opportunities Related to Bing Maps

While Google has often been the dominant search engine with more than 85% of the market share for decades, Bing has trailed as the second for many years. In 2023, Bing’s market share increased by 3%, fluctuating between 8% to 10% due to technological advancements, specifically by establishing itself as a force in Artificial Intelligence. Since the release of ChatGPT-3, more people have been looking for local businesses on Bing, boosting online traffic from the search engine. With growing popularity, there is more opportunity for companies to leverage the platform. To establish a prominent presence, you can work with your digital marketing agency to optimize your Bing Places business listing. Like Google Business Profile, Bing Places is most effective when your essential business information is up-to-date. Using this platform, you can also feature products, services, promotions, and reviews to attract online shoppers. 

Leveraging Apple Maps Connect for Increased Exposure

Apple Maps were launched in the 3rd Quarter of 2019, and since then, the platform has been continually modified to become a more robust business tool for online marketers. In Canada, over 54% of the population and nearly 90% of the US population are iPhone users. Because Apple Maps are the default map platform automatically loaded onto iOS devices, this makes the tool a top choice for businesses looking to access local customers. In many cases, profiles are auto-generated, needing more uniquely curated information to set your brand apart. But with the newly introduced Apple Business Connect, you and your digital marketing team can take control of your Apple Map listing. 

To facilitate online business, Apple Maps can be set up to enable online actions like ordering meals and booking appointments, driving both traffic and engagement with digital listings. By customizing your unique Apple Maps place card via Apple Business Connect and uploading logos, product-specific info, and specifics about your storefront or operation, you can drive leads online and manage your presence efficiently while increasing your visibility online to enhance exposure. 

How Maps Affect Your Other Digital Marketing Strategies

Setting up, optimizing, and managing your online maps is simple with intuitive tools; you can keep your business up-to-date through Google Business Profile, Bing Places, and Apple Business Connect, which reflect in real time. By continually posting, maintaining your services, and encouraging reviews to your profiles, you strengthen the authority and relevance of your listing. Because they are directly connected to your website, this supports your search engine optimization by establishing your company as a local authority. 

You can also work with your digital marketing agency to run ads on the maps. Creating a complete Google Business Profile Profile allows you to leverage Google Ads to sponsor your listing and push it to the top of the results page. This will result in more calls and website business from both in-app and web searches. 

Dominating the Search Results Page

One of the most important goals of successful digital marketing is taking over the SERP or Search Engine Results Page. Depending on the platform, each SERP will look different but comprise a combination of map listings, organic results, search ads, and other features, like shopping ads, where applicable. By leveraging maps using paid listings and organic strategies to rank your business in the map results, you can have your business show up in more spots on the first page of Google or other important search engines, taking over real estate that would otherwise go to competitors. The more places where you show up online, the better your brand awareness, visibility, and lead generation. 

Get Started on the Maps with Xi Digital

To ensure your maps are set up and optimized to maximize your online business, reach out to the Xi Digital team. We can help businesses across various industries not just launch their profiles but rank them, too, with tailored strategies and management that support your entire digital marketing strategy. To learn more about opportunities for you and your business in the maps, contact our team of digital marketing experts today.

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