Apple Maps is a mapping service developed by Apple Inc. It was first introduced in 2012 as a replacement for Google Maps on iOS devices. Since then, Apple has continuously worked to improve its mapping service, adding features, and enhancing accuracy, leading to a full relaunch in 2023.
“Apple Business Connect” is Apple’s answer to Google Business Profiles. To have your “Place Card” on Apple Maps, like a business can have a listing on Google Maps, businesses need to manage their businesses through Apple Business Connect or partner with listing specialists like DAC.
With Apple’s preexisting “Walled Garden” strategy dedicating its users to Apple’s in-house ecosystem, the improved Apple Maps is already seeing significant user adoption. Many will always use the software that is default on their devices and for those who use Siri and other Apple-connected products, their local results will always come from Apple Maps as well. The new platform is quickly gaining a dedicated user base unique from those which use Google products.
All that said, Apple is now updating the insights included for business Place Cards, letting them not only see their own analytics but comparing it to competitors. Data in isolation doesn’t mean anything and most businesses don’t have a frame of reference on how many hits they should expect on Apple Maps. If they were to compare numbers on Apple to numbers on Google Maps, this would be comparing apples and oranges. With Apple Maps planning to allow businesses to compare to one another, it would give a valuable reference point to how a Place Card performs.
Apple is calling this new insight “Peer Group Benchmarks” and it will show how your Place Card analytics compare to other local competitors on Apple Maps. These insights will include customer actions such as clicking website URLs or requesting directions, as well as search analytics, such as when your business appears for a branded or unbranded search.
This comparison between businesses will be very valuable data once it finishes rolling out, and a key distinguisher from Google. In addition to that, Apple will also be providing a “heat map” analytic. This heat map will show aggregated usage of where customers were located when searching for a business. Business owners can use this upcoming heat map as well as the Peer Group Benchmarks to explore how customers are finding their business within Apple Maps. Apple wrote that business owners ought to “Use this knowledge to add categories and location details to get discovered.” With Apple Maps’ relaunch a new factor for businesses to consider, any help they can get to optimize for its online ecosystem will be a welcome.