How Multi-location Brands can Leverage Apple Business Connect (formerly Apple Maps Connect)
Krystal Taing

What is Apple Business Connect?

Business Connect is Apple’s newest interface and workflow that enables local businesses and brands to claim, manage, and measure their listings’ performance on Apple Maps. Apple Business Connect launched in early January, is available to global businesses, replacing the previous version known as Apple Maps Connect.

What are the options for managing locations on Apple Business Connect?

Apple provides 3 ways of managing locations within Business Connect. Apple provides an option for single locations, an option for Enterprises, and an option for Third Party Partners that manage locations on behalf of other businesses and brands.

What does this mean for multi-location brands?

The new Business Connect is a much-welcomed development for multi-location brands. Apple defines enterprise brands as those that have 25 or more locations of the same brand, that are not franchises. If you have less than 25 locations, you can still use Apple Business Connect, you will just have to add and verify your locations individually. Qualifying enterprises will be able to delegate their account to an agency that can bulk add and update their locations via API. This will also give the enterprise the ability to see all of its locations under a single login. Apple Business Connect currently does not offer any bulk capabilities to upload, edit, or publish content to listings. This functionality will all have to be managed on a single-location basis, or via one of Apple’s partners.

How can you set up your multi-location brand on Apple Business Connect?

The process to get started with Apple Business Connect is just a few steps and not much different from managing a single location. You can choose to either go through the setup and claiming process for all of your locations individually. Alternatively, if you work with one of Apple Business Connect’s third-party partners, you will be able to verify your brand, and then allow the third party to help claim your remaining locations.

If you are a third party that manages listings on behalf of businesses, you can refer to this guide to get started.

Businesses with 25 or more locations

For Enterprises getting started on Apple Business Connect, you will need to set up and verify your organization even if you previously had a Maps Connect account.

When you navigate to Apple Business Connect, be sure to select the Enterprise option to be transferred to the correct onboarding workflow.

help people find your small business across apple

You will next need to sign in or create an Apple ID. If you are creating an Apple ID, remember that this will be the registered owner of your Apple account so ensure it’s an email that will not be deleted.

Once you’ve successfully signed in, you will be directed to set up and verify your Company first before adding your business.

Add your company details to apple business connect

You will need to provide:

  • The legal name of your company
  • Your corporate address
  • Your headquarters’ phone number and website
  • Your D-U-N-S number, which can also be found here

Next, you will need to just add one of your businesses to the account. Your business represents the brand you manage, typically sharing the same name and category. For example, if you operate a financial organization, one of your businesses would be your bank locations, a separate business would be your ATMs, and a third business could be your financial advisors. You will have the option to add more businesses later so you can begin with your primary business.

add one of your businesses to apple business connect

Next, you will need to verify your business with one of 2 options. You can leverage domain validation by hosting a TXT record on your DNS server that Apple will be able to validate. Alternatively, you can provide business documents showing you have the authority to represent the business. These documents can be anything from a business registration to a utility bill or lease. If you do not have access to these documents, you can also initiate a request to have a coworker provide this documentation.

verify your company on apple business connect

Your verification can take up to 5 days for Apple to review and approve or request additional details. Once your business is verified, you will have the ability to manage your business and add locations manually, or you can provide access to an agency that can do this on your behalf.

Within your dashboard, you will have left-hand navigation.

provide an agency access to verify on your behalf

For enterprise accounts, you will first see the ability to toggle between all locations you have access to. Below this, you will see your verified company. Next, you will see the businesses you’ve verified or have been granted access to. The last option shows you the team members associated with your company. You can grant users access to see and manage locations as an Admin, Read Only, or Developer role.

In order to share access with a third party, once you have clicked on your company, you will need to navigate to the ‘Shared’ tab, where you will have the option to add an agency to all or some of your verified businesses.

You will need to have your third party or agency’s Organization ID to complete the invitation. If you create additional businesses, you will need to invite a third party to each business you create.

In some cases, Apple will have already associated some locations with your business. You will see these appear in your account once it has been verified. If there are locations missing or details that need to be updated, you can either add locations and update them manually. Either search and click on the location to edit, or click ‘Add Location’ in the top right of your dashboard. In order to add locations, you will need to be logged in as a user that has an ‘Admin’ role.

There is no bulk editing or uploading options within Apple Business Connect, bulk options can only be supported by the approved Business Connect Third Party partners. At launch, this list was limited to 5 partners, Reputation, Rio SEO, SOCi, Uberall, and Yext, however, this list will likely grow to include more companies and agencies in the near future. If you are partnered with one of these companie, once you’ve created, verified, and delegated your businesses, they will be able to update and add all locations on your behalf.

What else can multi-location brands do with Apple Business Connect?

Once your businesses and locations have been verified, you can optimize them with additional details you may not have previously had access to.

  • Add rich and relevant images to your listings. Make sure to follow Apple’s photo guidelines, all images can take up to 72 hours for approval.
  • Take advantage of showcases in order to communicate new and exciting features or promotions for your business. Showcases also take up to 3 days for approval so keep this in mind with your planning. You also have the ability to schedule showcases within Business Connect if you want to add regular content and have this approved in advance. Showcases will expire in 30 days unless you set a shorter date, and you can publish the same or unique showcases across your business locations.

Please note: showcases are currently only available to businesses in the United States.

  • Add rich information such as attributes and a local business description.
  • See and download your insights data. Insights data will be available 72 hours after your business and locations have been verified. Apple Business Connect provides the following insights data:
    • Search taps module: The number of taps on your location in search results.
    • Search type module: What people searched for before tapping your location.
      • Name or brand search: A customer searched directly for a business name or brand related to your location.
      • Category Search: A customer searched for a product, service, or business category related to your location.
      • Other: Searches for places like cities or addresses as well as unclassifiable searches.
    • Spatial insights module: Where people were located when they tapped your location in search results.
      • Heat map view: Interactive visual representation of search activity that allows you to change the zoom level, as well as view the map in Standard, Hybrid, or Satellite mode.
      • List view: Tabular ranking of search activity for your location by zip code, displaying up to a maximum of 10 results.
    • Place Card views module: The number of views of your location’s Place Card from people tapping your location in search results or on the Map, as well as referrals from Apple or third-party apps.
    • Action button module: How many times have people completed the following types of actions when viewing your listing (click on each action type to see more).
      • Directions: A customer taps to request directions to your location.
      • Website: A customer taps on your website link.
      • Call: A customer taps on your phone number.
      • Share: A customer taps on the Share button.
      • Business actions: A customer taps on a business action, if present. Examples of business actions include reserve, order, and view menu.
      • Showcase: A customer taps on your location’s Showcase, if present.
    • Spatial insights module: Where people are routed from when they requested directions.
      • Heat map view: Interactive visual representation of routing origin activity that allows you to change the zoom level, as well as view the map in Standard, Hybrid, or Satellite mode.
      • List view: Tabular ranking of routing origin activity for your location by zip code, displaying up to a maximum of 10 results.

Apple Business Connect is a much-awaited development for multi-locations businesses to manage and measure their listings on Apple Maps. If you want to learn more, you can find more guidance from Apple or share your questions on the Local Search Forum.

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Krystal Taing is an expert in SEO and e-commerce with a specialization in local strategies. Over the past 10 years, she has helped multi-location brands overcome their marketing challenges by enhancing organic visibility, search rankings, and online-to-offline traffic. She is a highly respected authority in local search and a valuable resource for marketers and businesses.

Krystal is the Director of Pre-sales Solutions at Uberall and a Google Business Profile Product Expert.