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So who spent all Friday waiting in line outside your local Apple store for the new iPhone 5? At Screen Pilot we’ve not got our upgrades yet but we’ve still been thinking about the new iOS 6 operating system all week. And that’s because of a huge change to the built in ‘Map App’. As I’m sure you know all iPhones previously had Google Maps. This week the new software upgrade replaced that app with Apple Maps which is powered by Tom Tom and has information from various sources including – and most importantly – Yelp.So business owners have been quick to take on the upgrade to see what their listing is like….. most have been disappointed. The new system is beset with problems right now. For example search for the popular English soccer team Manchester United and this is your result:
Sale United are a minor amateur team on the outskirts of the city and not the global mega business of Manchester United. However despite these obvious problems there are still a number of steps to take to ensure your business can be found and is presented in its best light.Step 1 – Ensuring Data is AccurateWork with companies like Localeze to submit complete information to Apple maps and other local search sources. By submitting your information here it helps Apple maps to include accurate information in their results. Address, Phone Number & Website URL are the most vital.Step 2 – Get Help With Yelp!The majority of information found in business listings are taken from Yelp so visit your business listing here and check that all information is correct and up to date. You should also add any favorable photos of your hotel or resort to the listing. These photos take a prominent place within the listing. The photos included go on a rotation in background of the listing header on Apple Maps.
Step 3 – Naming Your ListingIt’s noticeable how your listing name works in a similar way to your page title with Google search results. When you search for Orlando Resorts you’ll see that most of the titles have the words Orlando and Resort within their name. For example if Screen Pilot was a top end resort we might name it: Screen Pilot Luxury Resort Orlando. So whenever someone searches for either Orlando Resort or Luxury Orlando Resort we would give ourselves the best possible hope of being ‘pinned’.Step 4 – Customer ReviewsIf you searched for yourself in Yelp right now would you want to stay at your hotel? What are customers saying? Are there any reviews at all? Now of course you should never, under any circumstances, add fake reviews. But there are 2 ways you can improve your image. First, you should always respond to any negative reviews and apologize for any major problems. If the customer is happy with your response they may even remove the poor review totally. Second, you should encourage happy customers to give you good reviews. Send them an email about reviewing the hotel on Yelp after their stay if they have indicated they enjoyed it.Step 5 – Keep Checking Your ListingBecause Apple Maps is a cloud based platform that’s going to see plenty of upgrades over the coming months it’s vital for you to keep going back to make sure your listing is still looking its very best. Duplicate listings can appear, people can change your listing and make mistakes, bad photos can be uploaded etc. We’d recommend checking your listing once a month.One other thing we've noticed over the last 48 hours is that Apple seems to give priority to a properties dining outlets over the hotel itself. Try zooming in on your property with no search engaged. If your restaurant is showing under a dining symbol rather than the hotel bed symbol then you might be affected too. Let us know if you do.These 5 steps are just the beginning. Once more upgrades are released you’ll find more opportunities. We’ll do our best to keep you informed. In the meantime I hope you’ve moved forward in the queue by now and are closer to your iPhone 5!