Google Maps – Because Searching Isn’t Always A Good Thing
Does your business have a brick and mortar location that your customers or clients visit regularly? If so, you probably have your address listed on your website, because that’s just common sense. Do you also have an embedded Google Map or a link to a Google Map of the location? Hopefully your answer to that is yes, because that’s quickly becoming as much of a common sense issue as listing your address to begin with.
Many websites have a Google Map embedded on their site – a strong visual cue to let users know that they can easily get directions with a click of the mouse or – especially important – a tap on the smartphone screen.
Why is that particularly important? Let me explain my process when I drive to a location I’m not familiar with. If the location is a residence, I pull up my Google Maps app, enter in the address, turn on audio navigation, and because my phone is synced to my car speakers, the lovely Google lady tells me, as I drive, where and when to turn. If the location is a business, I pull up their website on my phone, and hope that they’ve got either a Google Map or a link to a Google Map on their site – because then all I have to do is tap the map/link and it automatically launches my Google Maps app and pulls up the location. So easy! So convenient! So thoughtful of the business to provide that for me!
When people search for you on Google, that’s good. When they have to search the town for your store? Less good.
Would I choose not to visit a business because they don’t have access to a Google Map on their page? Probably not, no, but I might mutter darkly to myself while I complete the extra steps of finding their address and then manually entering it into my app. Yes, that extra bit of usability can make a difference to your potential customers – maybe not enough to sway their decision about whether to visit you, but you never know. If someone is browsing on their phone for a restaurant or store, then the convenience of finding one vs finding another could tip the balance. Don’t risk it – making a map accessible is an easy measure to take!
If you’ve taken our previous advice and claimed your Google Places listing (and if you haven’t, do it – really – right now – it’s one of the easiest and smartest local SEO moves you can make) then looking at your business on Google Maps might give your users access to more than just directions.
If you take a look at Slamdot on Google Maps you’ll see not only our location and directions but our hours, phone number, photos and reviews (hey, check out all those five star ratings!). So if your potential customers are still on the fence about coming to visit you, maybe your stellar reviews will tip the balance! (Just make sure to keep those reviews positive!)
So if you want people to show up at your doorstep, then make it easy for them. If your business location isn’t exactly a public place and you don’t encourage customers to seek you out, then you can disregard this advice and go on with being a hermit.