After a brief hiatus from the latest version of the iPhone operating system, the Google Map app is back in action for iPhone users. It’s wildly popular, with more than 10 million downloads just within the first 48 hours of its release. This new launch means that more consumers than ever are using Google Maps on their mobile device to find businesses in their area while on the go. For local business owners, it is now more important than ever to optimize your Google+ Local. That’s because the information on your Google+ Local listing is what populates your business information on Google Maps. With that in mind, here are a few things you need to know about the latest version of the Google Maps mobile app:

Reviews & Ratings Are Prominent

When a consumer searches for a specific business using the Google Maps app, the high-level view of the business displays a limited amount of information, including the business name along with their Zagat rating and the number of reviews the business has received on their Google+ Local listing. This means managing your reputation on Google+ Local is more important than ever, because the rating and number of reviews conveys something important about your business – even if the consumer never reads the reviews themselves. So, focus on building a positive reputation on Google+ Local by asking happy customers to leave you reviews there. Learn more about reputation management.

Business Information is Tied to Your Google+ Local Listing

After a consumer finds your business on Google Maps, they can scroll down to view more of your listing information beyond the reviews and rating. Here’s some of what they’ll see in this expanded view.

  • Business Category – Google Maps displays the primary business category if there is more than one. Your business catehory is something Google decides and cannot be changed at this time.
  • Hours of Operation – The app only shows business hours for the particular day a consumer views your location, so it’s imperative to keep daily hours as up to date as possible on your Google+ Local page.
  • Address – Google Maps app pulls the address from your Google+ Local listing to display in map results. It’s critical to make sure that your address is listed correctly so that you show up properly in Google Map results.
  • Calls To Action – The Google Maps app now provides the option for consumers to save the listing, share the listing via mail or text message, and mostly importantly, call the business directly from the app. Google Maps does not display the number itself on the app, instead, if displays a prominent “call” icon that prompts the user to call the number associated with the business Google+ local page. So, make sure your number is correct on your Google+ local page.
  • Street View Photo – Your Street View photo is provided by Google and cannot be changed.
  • Photos Uploaded by Users – Google Maps pulls in photos users have uploaded to your business’ Google+ Local page. To ensure you have great photos here, you can upload photos to your listing using your personal Google+ account and ask a few happy customers to post their photos taken at your business or place a signage in store that encourages visitors to snap a photo and upload it to Google.
  • Link to Your Business Website – A link to your business website is also provided. This is a great reason to make sure your website is mobile friendly, because Google Maps enables consumers to navigate your website directly from the app.
  • Reviews – The Google Maps app displays the first eight reviews on your Google+ Local page, and then link to the remaining. It shows the reviews from newest to oldest, so if you have any negative reviews on your page, asking customers for positive reviews will help more positive reviews show up first on your listing.

Optimization Is Critical 

Now more than ever, it’s important to make sure you have claimed and optimized your Google+ Local page. Not only does this information directly relate to how local consumers will find your business on search, it is also integrated directly into the Google Maps experience.

Learn how to claim and optimize your Google+ Local page in our free ebook: Your Guide to Google+ Local.