Apple recently introduced Apple Business Connect, a service expected to rival Google’s Google My Business (GMB), now known as Google Business Profile (GBP). Apple Business Connect will run as an Apple Maps update, allowing users to get information and photos regarding business locations from the app.
With Apple Business Connect, Apple users can now view business page promotions, photos, and buttons. In addition, add more details to business listings, enabling law firms to update and control their organization’s information from the platform.
Thus, Business Connect will enhance visibility across the 1.5 billion Apple devices globally.
So, what does this mean for your legal practice, and how can you use Apple Maps to enhance your marketing strategy?
This guide will introduce you to Apple Business Connect and explore everything you need to know about this new Apple service.
What is Apple Business Connect?
On the Apple website, they show us how Apple Business Connect allows you to “put your firm on the map.” This new service will enable business partners to input, manage, and update their organizations’ information to make them more visible across all Apple apps.
If you have been an Android user, you will find that Apple Business Connect has similar characteristics to Google’s Google Business Profile (GBP). The rolling out will be a welcome development to most legal firms as attorneys can now market themselves better on Apple Maps.
Over the past 11 years, Apple Maps has been the primary navigation app for Apple users. Businesses have used this functionality to increase their organizations’ visibility to potential clients locally.
Apple Maps augments local search engine optimization (local SEO) by enabling businesses to rank higher on search engine results.
The following are the principal features of Apple Business Connect:
- Fully customizable Place Cards. With this feature, you can add photos, logos, header images, and more to your profile and manage opening and closing hours from an easy-to-use interface.
- Showcases. Apple has integrated a new functionality called Showcases to allow organizations to offer and give their clients incentives. However, the feature is not yet available globally, with only U.S. businesses permitted access.
- New APIs. Apple has also added the Business Connect API, a new Application Programming Interface (API). For law firms with multiple locations across the U.S., these new features will enable the delivery of accurate and timely information at scale.
- Business Registration. Law firm partners or representatives with an Apple Business Connect account can simply log in and add the new business listing information. If not, they can register at businessconnect.apple.com to start with Business Connect.
- Client Call-To-Action Buttons. Each place card allows you to accept client appointments, chat with clients, or allow them to purchase services directly from the platform.
- Insights. With this feature, law firm partners will benefit from insights from within Apple Maps. Insights will allow attorneys to understand their clients better in a move that will improve service delivery. In addition, Apple Business Connect will be seen as a welcome addition to Apple Maps since Google is wiping out its Insights functionality.
Apple Business Connect is an exciting opportunity for legal agencies to market their services more efficiently. The updated app leverages local SEO functionalities to make your organization more visible to potential clients, making it essential to work with a legal marketing company to help you leverage the full potential of Business Connect.
Why Should You Use Apple Business Connect?
In the past, Apple used to rely on data from Foursquare, TripAdvisor, and Yelp to successfully run the original Apple Maps Connect self-service local listings portal. As a result, business information, reviews, and ratings depended on information forwarded from third-party applications.
On the contrary, Google has permitted organizations to manage their business listings on Google Business Profiles since 2005, giving law firm partners the autonomy to customize their firm’s pages on Google.
Now that Apple has decided to revamp Apple Maps Connect by introducing Apple Business Connect, what does it mean to you and your law firm? Will the new features enhance your marketing strategy, or are you better off without Apple Business Connect?
In the following sections, we look at why you should use Apple Business Connect.
Improved User Experiences
Although the introduction of Apple Business Connect will be a welcome move within the legal community, clients and potential clients will also benefit. Gone will be the days when it would take ages for firm partners to update local business information on Apple apps.
You can now seamlessly update your information by using the integrated place cards. Place cards will allow you to maintain accurate real-time data, offering your clients much-needed convenience.
In addition, clients can now learn about your law firm’s areas of specialization on the go, especially at the local level, which was a complicated process with Apple Maps Connect.
You can also use Showcases to avail offers and incentives to your legal clients. By clicking on the “From The Business” tab on the place cards, you can let potential clients know that these promotions or offers are coming from you and, thus, are legit.
So, the next time you’re offering free consultations, include this information on Showcases since this will be visible on Apple Maps and other Apple apps and services.
Apple Business Connect Will Help You Keep Business Listings Up to Date.
Although Apple is not planning to let go of its Yelp integration, law firm partners can customize and add on existing listings. So, for example, if your law firm has some new locations within your city, it will be easier to use the updated Apple Business Connect platform rather than waiting for Yelp to update this information.
The significant benefit here is that you will be more in charge of what you post.
Improved Client Engagements
Due to Apple’s various features integrated into Business Connect, your law firm will benefit from added client engagements. For example, you can invite clients to procure your services or get a quote.
You can also use the new features to communicate important information, especially on the place cards. For example, with Insights, you can recommend specific actions for your clients, such as how to get to your office or a nice place to have lunch while they wait for their appointment. Using insights to your advantage will enhance client engagement, improving interpersonal relationships.
You Can Post News to Apple Showcases.
We have already noted that you can post promotions and offers on Showcases. However, you can also share important news with your clients on the Apple Maps place card, which will help enhance brand loyalty.
This feature will enable you to optimize your reach by understanding what your clients mainly relate to through Insights. Understanding local issues’ impact on client behavior and perceptions will allow your law firm to improve its service offerings or scale to other localities and regions.
Easy Integration to Apple Maps
With the CoreX and Business Connect API integrations, you can seamlessly sync your firm information to Apple Maps. As a result, you can now use Apple Maps as the primary local SEO and business listing system for your legal practice.
The Business Connect API integration, in particular, is the icing on the cake for law firms with multiple business locations across the U.S. The ability to manage multiple listings on Apple Maps means that clients will now not have to switch to Google Maps to find your other locations.
Finally, it is essential to note that these new integrations have made the Apple Business Connect user interface more interactive, meaning you can expect added client interactions.
In summary: What Apple Business Connect Means for Your Legal Practice
In this guide, we have covered the essentials of Apple Business Connect and shown what it means for your law firm.
This article has four main takeaways:
- The new Apple Maps update will enable users to get information and photos regarding business locations from the app.
- Business Connect enhances the original Apple Maps Connect self-service local listings portal. Some new features include fully customizable place cards, showcases, new APIs, business registration capabilities, client call-to-action buttons, and Insights.
- The significant benefits of Apple Business Connect to law firm partners have improved user experiences, the ability to keep business listings up to date, improved client engagements, the ability to post news to Apple Showcases, and easier integration to Apple Maps.
At The Legal Marketing Company, we have 20 years of experience in full-service legal marketing. Call us at 904-385-9124 or schedule an appointment if you want us to set up and manage Apple Business Connect for your law firm today!