Denver (PRESS RELEASE – June 29, 2011) – MapQuest, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL), recently launched MapQuest Local Business Center, a free platform for businesses to control and enhance their content for better consumer reach. Located at listings.mapquest.com, the offering allows merchants to deliver comprehensive information beyond industry standards to prospective customers, which is critically important to driving search traffic from MapQuest directly to business locations. MapQuest’s Local Business Center also offers paid upgrades featuring premium listings and distribution on eight additional sites.
“The new MapQuest Local Business Center underscores our mission of accuracy, helpfulness and reliability across MapQuest’s dotcom and mobile platforms,” said Christian Dwyer, senior vice president and general manager, MapQuest. “Providing high-quality and accurate business listing information is critical as consumer behavior has evolved into a search-based world. Consumers expect relevant search results and this new service makes it easier for businesses to provide a quality experience, ensuring they are engaged with and discovered by local audiences on MapQuest.”
Local Business Center: Listing Platform Features & Functionality
The tiered listing platform offers merchants both free and paid services to shape their listing and create greater visibility online.
The free “claim-your-listing” service on MapQuest.com allows businesses to:
- Enter business information such as address, phone number, payment options and hours of operation
- Provide an original business description with up to 600 characters
- Upload storefront and additional photos
- Specify exact location of the business by a drag and drop location marker
- Add multiple URLs such as website and reservation link
- Include parking tips and helpful hints for getting users to the organization’s front door
Paid services include innovative marketing solutions, such as:
- Promotions that appear in-line with MapQuest search listing results and on the details page for a $99 annual fee
- A distribution service that routes their updated business listing information and special offer from MapQuest to eight additional properties, including Citysearch, local.com, Superpages, Yahoo!, Yelp, Yellowbook, YellowBOT and WhitePages for a $399 annual fee
Businesses can create a MapQuest Local Business Center account by visiting listings.mapquest.com to follow a simple and secure verification process. After merchants create an account, they may use it to claim a listing and build a detailed page for their business. All updates and changes to verified listings are live within minutes on MapQuest.com.
The MapQuest Local Business Center beta launch today sets the groundwork for additional features coming this summer, such as video capabilities, image captions, and additional marketing products and services.
“MapQuest’s Local Business Center beta is an important milestone in our ongoing effort to provide the best content and services to our businesses and consumers,” said Vijay Bangaru, vice president of product, MapQuest. “This new product will also provide true content ownership to businesses, while at the same time, serving MapQuest’s great mission to offer robust information in the social, mobile or traditional avenues.”
Local Business Center: Consumer Benefits
MapQuest has long been regarded as a trusted source for maps and directions, and has expanded its consumer offerings to provide a variety of tools that help consumers discover and explore where to go, how to get there and what to see along the way.
“The MapQuest Local Business Center will help merchants connect directly with consumers actively searching for business information and deals,” said Dwyer.
MapQuest users most frequently search for hotels, restaurants, schools, parks and airports, emphasizing the value of the Local Business Center. Businesses can now directly interface with local consumers by providing tailored information, instead of requiring the need to go through an intermediary.
MapQuest partnered with Yext, a leading local advertising technology company dedicated to synchronizing business listings everywhere, to develop the MapQuest Local Business Center.
MapQuest provides Internet, mobile, and business solutions delivering on the promise of helping people research and discover: where is it, how I get there and what’s nearby. MapQuest is one of the leading mapping brands online, offering maps and directions, and reaching more than 42.1 million users in May 2011, according to comScore Media Metrix. MapQuest’s mobile solutions are compatible with a variety of mobile devices, including iPhone and BlackBerry devices. MapQuest, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc., is based in Denver, Colo.