Does your website promote a shop, or business premises where you sell your services or products? If so, I am sure that your customers would find it useful to see a location map. They may be more likely to visit you if they can see at a glance where you are and also get directions whilst on the same web page! I can tell you now, this can be done very quickly and easily, and is totally free!
Many people when looking for directions will just get out an A-Z map, or go to a routefinder website. But did you know that Google have a great map system, and I find it very quick and easy to use. Google Maps can be used by potential customers to search for a business in a specific geographical location. You can add your own business to the listings, so that it would appear in search results, although you don’t need to do this to add a link to a Google Map showing your business location. Google say that their maps cover the following regions:
Andorra, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Istanbul, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Moscow, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and US.
Once you are in Google Maps, follow these instructions to link to a location map from your website:
Enter your post/zip code in the search box. Click search and wait for your map to appear. On the top right-hand corner of the page, right-click on “Link to this page”, Select “Copy shortcut” or you can just copy the URL from your browser’s address bar. Then to add the link on your own website, type a suitable description, such as “Visit our Shop”. Add a hyperlink and paste the url by right-clicking and selecting “Paste”. If you have a photo of your premises on your website, you could also add the hyperlink to the picture. If you wish to add a business listing to Google Maps, so that you may be found in the Google Maps search results, this is quite easy:
On the Google Maps page, at the bottom left of the page, click on “Business Owners – Add/Edit Your Business”. This takes you to the Local Business Center, and you will be asked to log in to your Google Account – if you use Google AdWords or Adsense, you can use the same email address and password. Once logged in, under the “Locations” tab, click on “Add new business”. Then enter your business name, and address. Make sure you enter the full postal address, as Google will send an activation PIN to the address you enter. You can create separate listings for each of your business locations. Click “Continue” You then add your phone number, and have the option to add your email and website address, and a description of your business, which will appear on the listing found by your customers. You have 200 characters for the description, so use keywords relevant to your business. You can then indicate which forms of payment your company accepts, such as American Express etc. Enter your opening hours if you wish (optional). Enter a contact name (this is optional and won’t appear on Google Maps). Click “Continue”. Select a relevant category for your listing – you may select up to 5 different categories. You then see a preview of your listing and may edit it if you wish. Once you are happy with the listing, click “Continue”. You now wait for up to 2 weeks for Google to send you an activation PIN. You then follow the instructions in the letter to validate your listing before it will appear in Google Maps search results. Here is the link to get you started with Google Maps: http://www.maps.google.com