Many businesses are implementing Google Maps into their websites, including WordPress sites.
They use them to help visitors locate their brick and mortar locations, get directions to destinations or for fun activities.
Some business owners don’t use this API because they’re not sure how it will look or if it’s really useful. These examples of sites using Google Maps showcase a wide variety of ways to use the feature on most any type of site.
Maps on Volkswagen’s website are not featured on the homepage. Instead, the auto maker implements the feature in a natural way. They want visitors to the site to be able to find the closest retailer to their location. On their Find A Retailer page, visitors enter their location and a map appears with locations for local retailers. The nearly full screen map is easy to see, even on mobile devices. Visitors can zoom in or out for more detailed maps to help them find local dealers.
Takeaway: Google Maps doesn’t have to be on your main page. Make it fit in naturally on a page where visitors would need a map most, such as an About Us, Find Us or Locations page. Professional developers know the best place to add maps to optimise use.
Airbnb provides a unique way to help travelers see the world without staying in a hotel. The site uses Google Maps to show visitors exactly where they’ll be staying. All you have to do is enter your desired location, such as a city or borough, choose your check in and check out dates and you’ll see a list of rooms for rent and their locations on a map. You can find areas located near attractions you might want to see or restaurants you may wish to try. By adding the map, it makes the more friendly travel option seem even more local.
Takeaway: Implement maps into your site to guide visitors and help them make the right choices for them. Maps let your visitors go beyond a few images and see their destination based on what else is around them. Consider using a professional developer to help you add in maps to help your own visitors.
University Of Manchester
Large campuses are hard to navigate, especially for new students and visitors. The University of Manchester provides uses Google Maps to help with navigation. Visitors can select specific buildings or search by items such as Student Information and Car Parks. The selections appear on the half page map. You can zoom in and out to find streets or buildings you recognize to help you better find your desired location. It’s easy to use and helps everyone on campus find classes, food, parking and more quicker.
Takeaway: Maps don’t have to be about gaining business. They can also simply be a tool to help those who have already invested in your business, such as students. Add maps to guide or aid your visitors in some way. Showcase the best parking areas around your business or related businesses, such as a dessert bar if you’re a restaurant that doesn’t serve dessert. Use a professional developer to help create filtered maps for your own site.
The travel site Expedia helps visitors find hotels around the world. By adding maps, travelers are able to determine the best places to book a trip based on the availability of hotels, restaurants and attractions. Maps are accessible from several different pages to focus on exactly what the user is looking for such as hotels, attractions and more. Adding maps encourages more users to book using Expedia because they see actual maps versus just an address or city.
Takeaway: Use Google Maps to help visitors make better informed decisions. For instance, Expedia uses maps to help visitors find the best hotels based on where they want to travel and what they want to see. Consider using a professional developer to help implement maps throughout your site.
Google Maps isn’t just for finding your way between one destination and the next. Adding the feature to a website gives businesses the opportunity to help visitors find new fun places, get reviews, see travel details, exercise and much more. The maps can be tailored to meet most any business’s needs.
Ready to add Google Maps to your site? Contact StuartMedia today to implement the Google Maps API into your site.
Image: Duncan Hull