Google Maps has 154.4 million monthly users as of June 2022, while Apple Maps has 23.3 million users. Because of the sheer number of users, it’s essential to have your Google Business Profile updated and accurate. When you do, you have a better chance of showing up in local search results, especially when prospective patients use mobile about half the time and navigate with maps.
Becoming a Google Maps dentist is a local SEO strategy that many dentists are taking advantage of. But have you considered Apple Maps as part of your local SEO strategy? While there are significantly fewer Apple Map users, it’s not an obsolete platform, and you may find that it helps your local search rankings. You can read more about the basics of local SEO for dentists here.
The Main Differences Between Google and Apple Maps
You may have feelings about which map is better for navigation for your personal use, or you may use one more often than the other simply because of the type of phone you carry. But when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), there are other differences to be aware of.
- Google Maps is the default map for Android users, while Apple Maps is the default for iOS (Apple) users.
- Android users’ voice assistant pulls information from Google, while Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, pulls from Bing and Yelp.
- Google Maps gets business information from the Google Business Profile, and Apple Maps gets business information from your Apple ID and Yelp.
- Google Maps has a lot of business information, while Apple Maps’ business information is limited.
Try This Google and Apple Maps Local SEO Strategy
Failing to show up in local searches plagues many niche dentists.
If you’re a TMJ dentist, you likely want to advertise that your primary service is TMJ treatment. However, that can be confusing for search engines because, to them, a dentist does cleanings and general dentistry as a primary service. It’s possible your office may be confused with an informational blog or website like WebMD instead of a local dentist. Getting your office to appear in local search results is challenging when this is the case.
Dentists will need a local SEO strategy that should involve becoming a Google Maps dentist and an Apple Maps dentist. Showing up on the map as a local business will help raise your overall search engine rankings. Follow this step-by-step strategy to improve your local search rankings.
Step 1: Show up everywhere your patients are looking.
If you’re a marketing-savvy dentist, you may be familiar with the “4 P’s of Marketing;” promotion, product, price, and place.
While this is an old and golden rule, things have changed to expand on what these rules refer to. When you think of ‘place,’ your physical dental office comes to mind. However, you must expand your thinking to “every place.” Every place includes your website, 3rd party sites that house your information, your social media, etc.
An SEO strategy to improve local rankings involves making sure you show up where your patients are looking. Yes, Google Maps is more popular, but you don’t want to exclude those using Siri or Apple Maps. So ensure you show up on both Google and Apple Maps to capture the widest amount of potential patients.
Step 2: Ensure your business information is accurate and up to date.
The second step is to ensure your business information (name, address, URL, and phone number) are correct on both Google and Apple Maps.
This is easy to do with Google.
- Search for your practice on Google.
- If you see an unclaimed profile, claim your practice by creating a Google Business Profile.
- If you don’t see your practice, create a Google Business Profile.
- Add information or make any necessary changes.
Apple Maps has a similar process, but there are a few more steps.
- Create an Apple ID (you don’t need to have an iPhone to have an Apple ID).
- Log in and go to Apple Maps Connect.
- Search for your business on Apple Maps. You may be surprised to find that there is already an unclaimed listing. This is because Apple relies on 3rd party sites and user information to populate its maps.
- If you find your practice, follow the prompts to claim it.
- If you don’t find your practice, click “add new place” and follow the prompts.
- Add or edit your practice information. Fill out all the fields to make your business profile as complete as possible.
- Verify your business by answering the call from Apple and getting the verification code.
Step 3: Optimize the user experience on your map profiles.
Thinking back to the 4 P’s of Marketing, let’s expand on another P; product.
Since you’re a dental office, you may think this doesn’t apply to you, but it does. Your product is your service. But let’s take it one step further and focus on the patient experience instead of just the tangible service you offer. This includes the experience at your office and the experience you provide online, maps, and other 3rd party sites.
You can provide a great Apple Maps experience by having the most information possible available to users. You can improve your experience on Google Maps by updating your Google Business Profile like you would a social media account. Did you know you can post to Google? It’s a great SEO strategy to let Google and potential patients know you are relevant and raise your local search engine ranking.
Step 4: Ensure 3rd party sites have accurate information (especially for Apple Maps).
Remember how we said that Apple Maps gets information from Yelp? While Google has its own review system, Apple Maps pulls reviews from Yelp. So it’s imperative that you make sure your Yelp profile is claimed and shows accurate and consistent information with Apple Maps.
Some dentists find Yelp reviews frustrating because the algorithm doesn’t always show reviews. You can learn about that here. Struggling to respond to negative reviews? Read this blog to learn how.
Step 5: Remain consistent and check your map listings regularly.
Since Apple Maps (and Google Maps to a degree) rely on user information, make sure you don’t “set it and forget it.” Check on your listings so they remain accurate. And if you make changes to your URL, physical address, phone number, or practice name, be sure to update Google and Apple on these changes. This shows you’re a trustworthy practice, and it will help to raise your local search rankings.
One Last Tip: Try Dental Marketing Services
If this is too much of a burden to take care of while you are running every other aspect of your practice, hire a dental marketing company to improve your local SEO, among many other marketing and advertising services. Pro Impressions Marketing specializes in dental marketing that will help you gain more ideal patients. Schedule a strategy call to learn how we can help your practice grow.