What Are Apple Maps Place Cards? Do You Need One?

April 4th, 2024, 09:00 AM

Back in January 2023 Apple launched Apple Business Connect, which is essentially the company's own version of Google Business Profile.

Apple Business Connect allows businesses to claim their Place Cards (basically their Apple Maps business listings) using an Apple ID, giving them greater control over how their business information appears on Apple Maps and helping them connect with more iOS users.

If you're a local business owner or an SEO professional working with businesses on their local SEO strategies, it's important to understand exactly what Apple Maps Place Cards are and how they work.

In this article, we'll give you a rundown of everything you need to know about Apple's (relatively) new Place Cards for Apple Maps, including what special features they offer and how they stack up against Google Business Profile listings for Google Maps.

A Brief Introduction to Apple Maps Place Cards 

A business's Place Card primarily serves as a business listing for Apple Maps, but Place Cards can also appear across several different Apple apps, including Siri, Calendar, Messages, and more.

Like Google Business Profile listings, Apple Business Connect Place Cards contain all the key business information that customers might need to find, such as a business's contact info, address, hours, website, and other basic details.

If a Place Card is unclaimed, Apple Maps pulls this business info from third-party sites, such as Yelp and other listing platforms.

But, after claiming their listing on Apple Maps, businesses can modify their info, ensuring it is up to date and correct. They can also optimize their Apple Business Connect listing by adding photos, categories, attributes, and other special modules, which we'll go over below.

What Special Features Do Apple Maps Place Cards Have?

Beyond the standard business info fields, Place Cards offer a few unique modules that businesses can take advantage of to improve their listings for Apple Maps and even promote specific offers, products, or services to local customers.

Action Buttons

One powerful feature that Place Cards offer business owners or listing managers is the ability to add custom Action Buttons

Action Buttons are special links that appear on Place Cards and prompt users to take a specific action.

Some examples of actions these buttons can encourage users to take include calling, getting directions, ordering, making an appointment, or buying a ticket.

Apple Maps will automatically select an Action Button that makes sense for your business if there's one available, but you can also choose a custom option if you want something else for your Place Card.


Another unique feature of Apple Maps Place Cards is Showcases. Place Card managers can create Showcases to highlight offers, products, or services they want to promote to users, and include a specific CTA button that aligns with the Showcase.

For example, if a restaurant is promoting a 2-for-1 deal on hamburgers and fries, they could include a CTA button for ordering.

Ratings and Photos

Users can sometimes rate Place Cards directly through Apple Maps, as well as upload their own photos to enrich the Place Card and help other people decide whether or not they want to choose a business. Note that these features are currently only available in select areas.

If ratings are available for your business, it's a good idea to encourage satisfied customers to leave a rating on your place card, which could help it rank higher on Apple Maps. 

If ratings are not available, Apple Maps may pull reviews from other listing sites, such as Yelp, so getting ratings on third-party sites could potentially still boost your Apple Maps ranking.

Apple Business Connect Place Cards vs. Google Business Profiles: Which Is Better?

Apple Business Connect Place Cards are very similar to Google Business Profiles in many ways. 

Indeed, Apple Business Connect is clearly inspired by Google Business Profile, which has been around far longer (if you count its former life as Google My Business).

So, if you're familiar with optimizing Google Business Profile, many of the things you need to do to optimize your Apple Business Connect listing should be familiar, including filling out business information, adding categories and attributes, and writing a business description.

However, the similarities between Apple Maps Place Cards and Google Maps business listings don't mean that you should choose one or the other. 

Apple Maps Place Cards have the potential to expose businesses to a whole segment of their target audience that prefers to use Apple Maps over Google Maps on their iOS devices.

Sure, Google Maps still has a huge monopoly on local search, but the number of Apple Maps users has been growing in recent years, especially since Apple is now clearly committed to improving its native iOS navigation app.

Because Google is still the undisputed champ of local search, deciding how you should prioritize listing platform optimizations in your local SEO strategy is simple: start with (and focus on) Google Business Profile, then work on optimizing Apple Business Connect, and finally optimize any other relevant online directories.

Prioritizing listing optimizations this way will ensure you're focusing most of your efforts where it still matters most — GBP — but setting yourself up for long-term local SEO success by not overlooking Apple Business Connect and other smaller listing platforms.

Wrapping Up

Apple Maps Place Cards, managed through Apple Business Connect, offer businesses a valuable opportunity to enhance their presence on Apple Maps and increase their visibility among iOS users. 

By claiming their Place Card, businesses can control and optimize their listing with accurate information, photos, and unique features like Action Buttons and Showcases to engage with customers and drive conversions. 

While Google Business Profile remains the dominant platform for local search, optimizing Apple Maps listings can help businesses reach a growing segment of iOS users. Prioritizing Google Business Profile while also optimizing Apple Business Connect and other relevant directories can set businesses up for sustainable success in local SEO across multiple platforms.

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