How To Map Up Your Business with Google Maps26th Mar 2013 | Posted by Eko S. | 3 Comments
If you’ve been around the Internet long enough, you have probably used Google Maps to find your way to a new address, locate a store, share a route map with your friends, or even to locate your own home or office. Google Maps has transformed how we distribute and consume information, specifically around latitudes and longitudes.
It has become the de facto way to indicate the location of your business on your website. As long as it is for a website, Google allows you to integrate its Maps and Earth code for free. So far, no other mapping software has been able to equal the convenience and accuracy of Google Maps. Not only does it allow people to zoom in or out on your map, it also allows them to plan routes based on traffic and get step-by-step directions to your location from their point of origin. You can customize your map by adding shortcuts and comments, so that people can find you easily. It integrates across most platforms, and therefore adding it to your WordPress site poses no problem at all.
List your business on Google Maps
But before you do that, it is important that you also add your business location to Google Places. This helps people find your business by searching for it on Google. Once you log into Google Places with a Google account that you use for your business, enter the required information and wait for Google to verify your business. It should take a week or so, before your business appears on Google Maps/Places. Even 3rd party apps integrate with Google Places, so it makes sense to get your business listed here. You can now advertise for free!
Add Google Maps to your WordPress Site
In the meantime, you can still add Google Maps to your WordPress site and mark your business on it. There are multiple ways that you can do this.
- Find your business on Maps (how-to detailed later in this post), and then take a screenshot and add your location to your website as an image. This kills the interactive element of using Maps though.
- You could find your business on Maps (how-to detailed later in this post) and use the code provided to add it to any page or post. This will still enable visitors to zoom in and out of the Map on your page and interact with it the way they normally would.
- Use a WordPress location-based theme that enables you to quickly add map information to your site.
- Use a plugin.
Find a location on Google Maps
Navigate to the Google Maps page. Once there, enter the address that you want to mark in the search text box located on the top. Hit the search button. The Map should refresh and you should be able to see the area that corresponds to the address that you entered. Save your map, give it a reasonable name, and go ahead and edit it to place the marker exactly where you want it to appear. Once done, ensure that your changes are saved. To add the Map to your site, click on the link button, copy the URL to insert into a webpage, and paste the URL in the text editor of your blog post or WordPress page. Remember to switch from the visual to the text editor, else your map won’t show up. When it is inserted in text view, WordPress automatically converts it into a recognizable shortcode.
Using a plugin
WP Google Maps is a simple, easy to use plugin that is rich in features. The developers claim that you can literally create a map in 30 seconds and you actually can. I did! You can add as many markers as you need to on a single map. You can drag markers around to place them where you want them to be. You can define the height, width and zoom level of your map. The WP Google Map plugin can also be included as a widget.
There is a paid and a free version. The paid version enables you to create multiple maps and add custom marker icons (even animated marker icons). The paid version also allows you to enable your visitors to find directions to your marker. Both the paid and free versions don’t contain ads, so it really is a clean, easy-to-use plugin.
Add the plugin to your site and then activate it. Once done, ‘Maps’ will be visible on the left menu. You can then modify settings in the settings page or go ahead and add your marker to the existing map. Just enter the address in the area provided below the map and add the marker. Don’t forget to save your map. Once done, you can use the short code to add the map on any page or post.
And that’s really all it takes to plot a Google Map for your WP site. Happy plotting!
Written by Susan – She is with blogVault, a Premium WordPress Backup Service.