Apple Maps Ratings: Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

Apple released a statement in August 2020 that there will be changes in their Apple Maps rating system. This announcement had stirred up speculations on Twitter about what this new rating solution would mean to users and other third-party review apps. The news regarding the changes in rating system was released after they added new features in Apple Maps, such as indoor maps and favorite locations last February of the same year.

It has been reiterated that the new rating solution would not be reviews but ratings. Beta testing was done on iOS 14 and will shortly be launched worldwide. At present, Apple Maps depends on TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Foursquare regarding review data.

What to Expect

With the current situation, if Apple users would like to learn more about business reviews via Apple Maps, they will be redirected to TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Foursquare. They will be asked to download the app, which is a bit inconvenient to users. That will all change with the new rating solution.

Instead of downloading the app, Apple will have its own rating system. Based on what Apple had released it seems like it is somehow similar to Facebook recommendations where users can rate a business by using a thumbs up or thumbs down sign.

Since they won’t be downloading third-party apps which is a great relief to users, the new rating system will give its users and Apple more control. The way the new rating solution was presented is that a business will be rated in categories, instead of just leaving a thumbs up or down rating as a whole. Users can rate a business’s services and products individually. Apart from that, Apple will allow users to upload their own photos to Apple maps, which is also similar to how it works with third-party review sites.

This is far from how Google Maps works, as users can write a comprehensive review about their experience in a particular business. This setup provides more value and insights into what other people can expect from an establishment, which can help them decide better. Similarly, users can also upload their own photos along with their detailed reviews.

You probably have a lot of questions going on inside your head right now. Like how these changes can affect the future of the review industry as well as the world of local SEO.

How will Apple Maps affect third-party review sites?

Taking these third-party review sites from Apple Maps will certainly have a big impact on them, particularly with Yelp. This may mean that people may be using less of Yelp once Apple Maps rolls out this new rating system. Some people were in favor of this, especially those who are not happy with Yelp’s performance.

However, Cori Graft, a local SEO expert noted that without the help of Yelp, Apple Maps ratings will not earn high stars. It was through Yelp that Apple users get relevant and helpful insights into businesses. So, what does it means to Yelp when Apple gets rid of them through their Apple Maps? Will it mean lesser users and interaction on Yelp? Since based on Statista, there are 23.3 million users (unique) that use Apple Maps every month. This can lessen the number of people who use Yelp. That being said, will this also decrease local SEO focus on Yelp?

Will there be more changes after the launch?

It’s still hard to assess whether or not Apple will stick to its new rating solution by just giving out thumbs up and down and pictures to describe a customer’s experience. Since it hasn’t been launched, Apple will probably do analytics and see how users will react to this change.

Maybe from ratings, they would also change their minds and include reviews as well? People would love to know specific details about an establishment and it’s quite hard to get enough data with just thumbs up and thumbs down even if it’s per category. Plus, there’s more than just a picture, as they say, looks can deceiving.

Considering the current Covid 19 situation, people would like to learn more about how shops, bars, and restaurants follow certain rules and other topics. Customers have a lot of questions all the time, and most people only get answers from other customer’s reviews. But hey, a lot of things can still happen, and can all just hope for the best.

How soon will Apple Maps bid farewell to Yelp?

There’s still no clear date as to when, but considering the amount of data that Yelp provides to Apple Maps, it may seem like it would take a while. There’s still a lot to do before they can bid farewell to Yelp completely and forever.

It seems like this announcement from Apple will affect a lot of businesses and not just Yelp. While it hasn’t officially launched yet, all we can really do is wait until it happens and see how it plays out for Apple, its users, and businesses. So, is this change a thumbs up or thumbs down for you?

6 Ways to Increase Your Business Visibility Online Even on Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic had slowed down many businesses, particularly the small and local establishments. During this time, business owners need to innovate and find ways on how they can continue to reach out to their customers without going against health protocols.

One way to do that is to improve their marketing strategy and visibility online. The only way businesses can survive this pandemic is to adapt online approaches to keep their customers informed. With the help of Glass Digital’s Creative Director Jonathan Birch, he will share how local businesses can continue to thrive in this trying time.

1. Embrace the Changing Landscape Fast

There’s no telling when this pandemic will be over and if businesses don’t act quickly, it can do real damage to their income. With all the restrictions that are happening now due to Covid-19, businesses need to accept and embrace the changing landscape in order to survive.

Obviously, what worked for you before Covid-19 will not work out right now. What you need to do is listen to your existing and future customers’ needs and wants. As an example, you can change how you sell your products or what people can see on your website.

If your current website only advertises the products you sell in your store, then you might want to add an option to sell online as well. It may still be far from your selling volume before the pandemic, but it will surely increase your sales.

2. Focus on Changing Your Online Marketing Strategy

Now is the time to re-examine your online marketing strategy. Your current marketing strategy will not work like how you imagined it during this pandemic. Focusing on remarketing is one way to understand what your customers are currently looking for and this is one way you can convert them into sales.

With the current situation, the right approach would be to retarget a consumer who had shown initial interest in your product or service or an ad similar to yours. This means that the consumer is somehow interested and has a better chance of converting them into sales rather than convincing consumers who have not shown even a slight interest.

You can use numerous tools to help you find these customers. Facebook Pixel is one example if you rely on Facebook to advertise your products or services. This tool can help optimize ad delivery to those who have a higher chance of engaging. In addition to that, Facebook can show the products and related products that potential customers had already viewed on your site. Reminding them of the products they’ve previously shown interest in may lead to higher conversion rates.

3. Collaborate with Other Local Businesses

Remember that you’re not the only one struggling during this pandemic, so why not team up with other businesses and show support for each other. But remember to choose a business that shares the same values as you so as not to confuse your existing customers. Apart from your own values, be sure to consider your customers’ desires as well.

Here are some of the things you can do with your chosen business partner.

• Create a social campaign and host an online event together.
• Run a friendly competition online, be sure to promote it on both of your websites to get more interaction.
• Come up with collaborative product bundles together

When doing these activities be sure to always promote them on both of your websites. The more people who can see your posts, the more chances both of you can gain more potential customers. Be sure that you offer interesting, creative, and worthwhile events, prizes, and packages that both your customers and followers will appreciate.

4. Host Live Events

You may want to get in touch with your customers virtually to break the cycle from what they call the new normal. Your customers will appreciate you taking the time to ask how they are and interact with them even for just a few minutes or an hour.

This is a nice opportunity to learn more about your customers and find out what they would like to see added to your range of products and a good way to announce any business news if any. There are a lot of things you can share at these virtual events. You just need to be creative and think of something that your customers would like to see.

5. Reoptimize Your Keywords

Again, what works before may not work right now, so best to take a look at your analytics and listen to what it’s saying to you. They might be a need for you to reoptimize your elements and see if you need to target something new.

You may need to optimize your site with keywords pertaining to Covid-19. One way to do this is to use Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush.

6. Incorporate a Knowledge Hub in Your Website

If you still don’t have a knowledge hub on your site, this is the best time to do so. You can use keyword tools to find out what people are interested in. You can also use Google’s People Also Ask feature to help you come up with topics to write. Adding this to your site will keep your customers coming back to you.

The effect of this pandemic had pushed businesses to think outside the box and act differently to survive. So, hopefully, these 6 strategies will help your business continue to flourish even during this adversity.