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Add Google Maps to Your WordPress Site – Why and How?

“Everything is online these days!” We say and accept something said like this almost blindly. And it is proving truer and truer by the day. But, if you look closely you will find that more than what we would believe is still brick and mortar. Sure people can order their dinner online, but they still enjoying eating out – whether it is street/fast food or dinner at a nice restaurant. There is still a lot of charm in that outing, whether it is with friends, family or partner.

Similarly, a movie in a theater is a movie in a theater. All the home theaters in the world can neither substitute the smell of popcorn and soda nor the experience of going out there. If one has a flat tyre or a car breakdown in the middle of a road, they need a garage right then, as quickly and as close as possible. And we can think of umpteen possibilities where physical location of your establishment becomes important.

More importantly, if you have one of the businesses like the ones mentioned above, people in need have to know where you are, when they have that need.

I repeat, people in need have to know –
– where your business is located and
– when they have that need.

Why Have Google Maps on Your WordPress Site?

Did you know?

74% of adult smartphone owners ages 18 and older say they use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location.

~ A Pew Research survey of phone usage in the US

So, as a business, you want to end up on organic search results for keywords that are specific to your business. At the same time you want to show up along with your location on websites that aggregate businesses in your industry. Like say, a Zomato for restaurants. For, if people head out for dinner, without knowing where they are going to eat, you want to end up on the list they find from their search engine. And when I say “find”, I mean exact location and not just find your website.

More important to local businesses:
Having accurate information about your location becomes more important, the more local your business is. If you have multiple locations, all those locations are as important. Your site as well as the industry aggregator should have location information for all your branches. You might want to consider adding your business to Google Places. This gets you on Google search engines whether your customers are looking up their regular search engine or maps or google+. This is a short process and is free, indeed.

Makes you more accessible:
If you use the net to look up places or directions to a particular place, you know how frustrating it is to not have that information available within a click or two of reaching the business’ main page. The last reason you want to lose out to your competition on, is that they made their location easy to locate – because it is simple to do and costs little to nothing.

Part of your Social Media Strategy:
If you are using social media as a marketing tool and you have a physical product/service that can be availed of only physically, you have to incorporate your location information because that’s the information your customer is looking for on your Facebook page or Twitter bio or Google+ profile.

Customer Service:
You are reducing a pain point for your customers – asking for directions. You are making it easier and more convenient for them to reach your doorstep.

Easy to do:
What do you have to lose by adding your location on your site? Nothing. If that is not a good reason to add a map to your establishment, how about we tell you, it is very easy to do it! There is a plethora of plugins and widgets available to pick from. And like mentioned earlier, they are either free or have a minimal price.

Features of a map plugin/widget/embed code

Whichever method you use to add a map to your site you could allow your site’s visitors to interact with the map. Your address would obviously be marked on the map you show. In addition, the visitors could –
– place additional markers on the map, or
– ask for directions to the location(s) marked on the map you provide from their current location or elsewhere, or
– search of another location.

You could also have a map that is static and allows no interaction. What features you want your map to have completely depend on the nature of your business and what you want the visitors to do once they reach the map.

How to Add Google Maps on Your WordPress Site?

Manually adding a Google map:
You can add a map to a specific address manually. You’d want to do this if you want the map only on one page or post.

Just follow these simple steps in this step-by-step guide to embed interactive maps on your site made by Google Maps. You can embed the code based on whether you want to allow place markers, directions between two points, or search. You can also have just a “view” mode where the map is not interactive but provides the required information.

Plugins and Widgets:
If you want your map to appear on all your pages, you are going to need a plugin to help you with that. Plugins allow you to place the map either on a post/page or in your footer or sidebar. You can add it in as a widget too. Almost all the plugins you would see from a search for “add maps” or “Google Maps” in the WordPress plugin directory or in  your blog’s  panel will have the basic features that a map would need – a marker, capability to add search box, etc. But there are three that stand out for the ease and comprehensive features that they offer.

CP Google Maps offers unlimited markers, many languages and you can configure the widget/frame the way you like it with lots of options.
Google Maps CP Plugin

WP Locate Google Map WordPress Plugin on the other hand gives you the option of having a static image too, instead of just an interactive map. This might come in handy when you are operating in low bandwidth conditions. In addition you can tinker around with the size and color of the marker, thus color-coding and/or size-coding the markers on your maps.

WP Locate

Comprehensive Google Map Plugin on the other hand has everything up for grabs, free of charge. Among the more unique features, it allows the visitor to add their current GPS location as a marker.

If you are a business that depends on people finding your physical location on the go, on their mobiles, a Google Map plugin is a must. You don’t need anything fancy and there isn’t really too much to it, other than downloading, installing and activating these apps.

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