If you run a local business, then THE most important information that you need to have is your address so people can find you. After all, what good is it having a website promoting your local business, only to find that no one can find where you actually are! This may seem like stating the obvious, but it happens a lot more than you would think. This is where Google Maps comes in.
Lost In Cyber Space
Whilst I have been on holiday, I have constantly been looking online for places to visit/eat/drink. This can be quite frustrating when you finally find somewhere that you want to go, only to find that they don’t list their address or any type of directions. You could then go and search for it manually on Google, but frankly, if you aren’t making it easy for people to find you directly on your website, then you WILL lose out on business.
This isn’t just abroad, I have seen this everywhere! There are plenty of local businesses in cities, towns and even near where I live that have websites that don’t tell people where they are (or at least make it very difficult for them to find).
You need to make it as easy as possible for people to find you, as that is ultimately how you will get more customers through your door. By far the best way to do this is to place a map clearly on your site for people to see where you are located.
Google Maps is probably the best location software online. Not only is it accessible from Google itself for free, but you can switch between satellite view, traffic info, street view, view it on your mobile and even embed interactive maps onto your website.
These days, if you have a website for your local business, there isn’t any excuse for not having a clear way for people to find you. Let me show you how to embed a Google Map onto your own site.
Embed Google Maps
Now, there are two ways that you can display a map on your site;
- Embed it manually
- Use a plugin (if using WordPress)
Now, as I don’t work at a fixed location, I will use the Tokyo Sky Tree as an example – somewhere that I have just had the pleasure of visiting.
1. Embed It Manually
Simply find the location that you are looking for on Google Maps itself, then click on ‘Link’ and copy & paste the HTML code into your website, wherever you want it to display. If you want to customise the size and look of your map, simply click on the ‘Customise and preview embedded map‘ and get your code that way.
<iframe src="https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Tokyo+Skytree,+Tokyo,+Japan&aq=&sll=35.710768,139.809051&sspn=0.010053,0.021136&t=m&doflg=ptk&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Tokyo+Sky+Tree,+Oshiage,+Sumida,+Tokyo,+Japan&ll=35.710768,139.809093&spn=0.020908,0.055704&z=14&iwloc=A&output=embed" height="300" width="650" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no"></iframe> <small><a style="color: #0000ff; text-align: left;" href="https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=embed&hl=en&geocode=&q=Tokyo+Skytree,+Tokyo,+Japan&aq=&sll=35.710768,139.809051&sspn=0.010053,0.021136&t=m&doflg=ptk&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Tokyo+Sky+Tree,+Oshiage,+Sumida,+Tokyo,+Japan&ll=35.710768,139.809093&spn=0.020908,0.055704&z=14&iwloc=A">View Larger Map</a></small>
Instead of messing around with embedding a map, why not just install a WordPress plugin for your site. With the ‘Google Maps Widget’ you can add a map to your sidebar, that way everyone can see your map on every page that you are on.
Best Of Both
Either of the above methods are great ways to add a map to your site, but why not use both and really make it easy for people to find you.
You could display a little map in your sidebar on each page, yet on your contact page, you could embed a much bigger map on a full sized page (no sidebar) for people to see.
Whichever method you prefer, just make sure that you have some sort of map on your site for people to find you by.
Do you have a map on your website? If not, why not? Do you use any alternative map than Google’s? Please let us know in the comment section below!
Image by ‘Ian Kelsall’ [Source]