When a Google Map is NOT enough…

When a Google Map is NOT enough…

Location is obviously important to businesses like Hotels, Lodges, Restaurants and Retail Stores. Your guests coming from far afield need to be able find you, easily.

Website owners are quickly realizing the importance of being on Google Maps and subsequently embedding Google maps onto their websites.

BUT, is a standard Google map enough?

Just having a standard Google map embedded on your website is great, but it only shows location.

An embedded Google map does not offer user-friendly functionality to mobile users. Sure, they can zoom and pan and try figure out the route to your location, but 3D voice navigation can be tricky to find. Thus, the the map doesn’t help them much and there’s a pretty good chance they will leave your website, frustrated.

Start voice navigation on a mobile device, immediately.

A standard Google map on a mobile website is not really navigable to on-the-go mobile users.

IF they click “View larger map” (a standard link that comes with embedded Google maps), then an identical map opens in the phone browser and, albeit larger, it does not launch the voice navigation app.

In some cases, web-savvy users could find their way to the voice navigation app –  but its a long way around and cumbersome when compared to the solutions technology gives us.

The fix for this is to offer links that launch voice navigation immediately.

This is possible to have this on your website for almost any device, including iPhone and Android.

For instance, your link could be a button that says “Drive Now” or “Launch Navigation” and clicking it will launch the phone voice navigation app into “Driving mode”, instantly.

Furthermore – this link can be set to start from the users location and set to any destination, or your doorstep. In fact, any start address and destination address can be set from your website link

This is essential and extremely convenient to people in transit and in today’s busy world, and it will be largely appreciated.

Besides the obvious benefits to your users, your website will experience increased user-retention and decreased drop-off rate (People leaving your website immediately).

Set various Navigation Modes: 

Conveniently, a website link can be set to launch the phone navigation app into different modes if needed. These include “Directions mode”, “Route mode” and “Location mode”.

Avoid Highways, Tolls & Traffic.

A web link can also be formatted to set the navigation app to avoid Toll Gates and Highways if needed.

Opening a route in Google Maps.

A website link  can be set to open your phone navigation in “Route” mode or “Directions” mode.

Additionally, the Google navigation app for phones also now offers 360 streetview photos of points along your route.

Waking or Cycling mode.

A website link can also be set to open the phone navigation app in Walking, Cycling or Transit mode.

Zoom level and Satellite Map Type.

A website link can also be set to set the navigation app to display any desired zoom level as well as any map type – such as Satellite Map or Standard Road Map.

Hand-drawn maps.

Sadly, many websites, especially accommodation-based websites, still have hand-drawn maps. These are fun to look at but very confusing to a busy or “in-transit” tourist.

The technology that offers mobile users quick and and easy navigation on your website is available for free, and you should use it.

Hand-written Directions:

Directions are often typed and included on websites. How often have you followed written directions?

If the text is small, or the directions do not make sense then its even worse. Rather offer your users a link to launch Google navigation in “Directions” mode.

TIP: Properly formatted GPS coordinates for Garmin users

Most websites that display written GPS coordinates will have them displayed in Degrees, Minutes and Seconds (DMS) format, ie:

40°26′46″N 79°58′56″W.

This is all very well and fancy but not always machine or human readable.

It may be advisable to have your GPS coordinates display as Decimal degrees (DD). This will be in the form of:

-26.806497, 32.8652132

Remember to include machine-readable GPS coordinates on your website. The text will be readable on most GPS and GPS-enabled devices as well as websites, Google maps and more. It may also be easier for users to enter a decimal number into a GPS, rather than a DMS formatted coordinate.

In conclusion: It has become essential to offer your website’s mobile users extra functionality like instant navigation and instant calling. The technology is out there and growing. If you want to be ahead of your competitors, it will be essential to consider these options.

Thank you for reading this article.

Related Article: The Importance of a Google Profile for Your Business