Google Maps may arguably be the best-known mapping application, but it’s not the only game in town. Millions of people rely on Waze, the community-driven navigation app. In fact, there are around 50 million users in the US alone (USA Today).
These users rely on Waze to help them get around. In turn, they also use the app to find local businesses. The app specializes in delivering hyperlocal advertising to a motivated audience.
Since you look after local SEO for your clients, you know the importance of mapping apps. You’re probably wondering how to add a business to Waze.
Get your free step-by-step checklist for a complete local SEO audit. Download the checklist right here, right now.
Why add a business to Waze?
What is Waze and why should you make sure your clients’ local businesses show up on it?
As noted, Waze is a mapping app with millions of active users worldwide. It is unique because it’s based on user-submitted data. This data allows it to provide real-time updates on traffic, accidents, and construction. It can also provide insights on the best routes to take.
For local business owners, the app provides another space to reach potential customers. Waze users may be looking for a coffee shop or restaurant en route to their destination, for example.
Waze makes most of its money through advertising, but you don’t need to buy ad space if that’s not in a client’s budget. Adding a business to Waze helps boost the company’s visibility for people who are moving through the area.
Two methods to add a business to Waze
People can’t visit a store if they don’t know it exists, so getting your clients’ businesses listed on Waze is a smart move. How do you go about listing a business on Waze?
There are two main methods to add a business to Waze:
- Via the Waze app
- By using the Waze Map Editor (WME)
We’ll go over both methods. Using the app is a little bit easier, so we recommend that for first-time users. However, if you want more control, then using the WME allows more granularity.
Add a business to Waze with the app
First, make sure you’ve downloaded and installed the app for Android or iOS. Then, open the app and login. Next, tap over to the “Reports” menu. This opens up a screen where you can add data to the app.
Waze relies on user-submitted data, so there are quite a few options here. You can add road closures, accidents, and so on. To add a business, though, you’ll want to click on “Place.”
Once you’ve selected “Place,” your phone camera will open. Waze wants you to take a picture of a place to verify the business. This is easy if you’re on site with your client; simply step outside and snap a picture by tapping the shutter icon.
What if you’re not on site with the client? You might wonder if you can upload a photo they’ve sent you. The answer is, unfortunately, no. You can use the WME to get around this issue, though.
If you’re happy with the picture of the place of business, you can tap the two right-facing arrows that appear in place of the shutter icon.
Next, you’ll need to name the place. If you’re adding a business, type the business name. Make sure to list it as a business—Waze also allows people to list residential addresses.
The final step is to add some details about your client’s business. These include:
- Door number
- Business category
It’s important to get business categories correct. The app uses this information to categorize the business, so people who are looking for “cafés” find cafés and not dentist offices. Choose the most relevant business category.
Finally, you’ll confirm the business’s exact location on the map.
That’s it! Your client’s business is now listed on Waze, and users can start finding it.
Add a business using Waze Map Editor
Adding a business to Waze via the app is simple. Using the Waze Map Editor is more complex, but it gives you more control over business details.
You can also add a business using the WME from any device, not just a smartphone or tablet. This gives you the option to upload pictures that your clients have sent to you. If you’re adding a business on behalf of a client from afar, then using the WME is the better option.
To get started, you’ll want to head to waze.com/mapeditor. Keep in mind that the WME only supports the Chrome browser at the time of writing.
You can also reach the WME from the Waze homepage. Select “Login” at the top right corner of the screen. Then click on “Live Map.” From there, click “EDIT THE MAP.” You’ll be taken to the WME splash page, where you’ll log in again.
Once you’ve arrived at the WME, you’ll click on the gear icon at the top left of the screen. This will allow you to select infrastructure from one of four server locations:
Once you’ve selected your server, you’re ready to add a point.
Creating a point
Now you’ll want to create what’s known as a “point” (formerly called a point of interest). Click on the location where you want to add the point.
You’ll need to enter the following details:
- Street name
When you’re finished entering the details, click “Save.”
Edit an existing point
You may not need to add a new point to the map in all cases. Sometimes, a business or building already exists. If that’s the case, you can change the details.
Click on the existing object on the map. Then you can modify its location, its properties, or even its geometry.
Create a permalink
Now that you’ve updated an existing object or created a new one, you’ll create a permalink. To do this, click on the Permalink icon. The permalink allows other people to access that specific map location.
Before creating the permalink, make sure you’ve zoomed and panned the map to show exactly what you want it to show. The permalink includes details like latitude, longitude, and object selection. In short, it will take people directly to your client’s business, provided it’s exact. If your map shows the wrong area, then the permalink won’t help people as much.
A note on editing the Waze map
Because Waze relies on user-submitted data, it means data could be incorrect. Waze has a few safeguards to prevent people from adding false or inaccurate data.
The first is editor levels. Anyone can edit the map via the map editor, but there are different “levels.” A novice editor is level 1, and an editor who is level 2 or higher must check their work.
Higher-level editors have made more contributions to the map. They’re considered trustworthy, which is why Waze asks them to verify data from newer editors.
If all you’re doing is adding a client’s business and you have all your details correct, you shouldn’t have any issues. Since there are more editing options in the WME, you should consult the Waze Editing Manual and Editing Best Practices. That will ensure your editing rights aren’t revoked.
Waze also asks that you’ve visited the place you’re adding within 90 days of creating it on the map. If you need to set up an in-person visit with a client, that can be a great time to help them set up their business on Waze.
If you haven’t visited and don’t have plans to, then you might want to walk the client through the process via a video call.
Finally, remember that Waze doesn’t allow copyrighted external sources. You can upload an image a client has taken and provided. You can’t upload images someone else has taken, such as a newspaper reporter’s photo of your client’s grand opening.
Benefits of adding a business to Waze
Getting a business listed on Waze increases visibility for the business. After all, there are potentially millions of eyes on any local business in the app in a given month.
Some people may contact the business beforehand, such as calling to confirm opening times. They might also ask about stock, say, if they’ve been searching for a specific pair of running shoes. If the store happens to be on their way to or from work? All the better: people love convenience.
Local SEO is key in a world where people turn to mapping apps to learn about local businesses (Search Engine Journal). Adding a business to Waze can boost local SEO, since it provides extra data points for search engines. A local SEO guide can help you optimize listings for your clients.
Help your clients be discovered
Local SEO is all about helping local businesses get noticed by potential customers. When you add a business to Waze, you’re connecting your clients to a highly motivated audience.
Of course, keeping on top of local SEO can be a lot of work, which may be one reason to check out white-label SEO services. You can deliver the SEO services your clients need and trust without falling behind on the ever-changing demands of search engines.