Google Maps is by far and away the most popular mapping app on the planet, and this is partly thanks to the fact that anyone can use the Google Maps API to enhance the functionality of their website.
So what benefits of this API make it worth integrating and how can it be harnessed to make your site even better than it is already?
Every business website needs a contact page which provides visitors with information on the various ways they can get in touch with the organisation in question. If you have physical locations you want to advertise, then embedding Google Maps to pinpoint your position to prospective customers via your contact page make a lot of sense.
In the past it made sense to create a lot of unique landing pages for different locations, although changes to Google Maps and the way search results are ranked back in 2018, coupled with Google’s decision to start charging for use of its maps API, mean that it is better for your SEO to focus your efforts on a single all-encompassing contacts page.
With mapping integrated in this way, you can easily pinpoint the precise position of your bricks and mortar locations, while also giving visitors the opportunity to find directions to them from wherever they are in the world.
Highlighting points of interest
Depending on the nature of your business, it may also be worth adding Google Maps to your website using the official API because it will let you single out other local amenities, landmarks and attractions that are likely to draw in visitors.
If you run a restaurant or a retail outlet, for example, you may want to use an integrated map to showcase the other points of interest in your immediate surroundings that customers can also enjoy when they plan a trip to your location.
This is also a feature that proves very useful for other types of businesses, such as real estate brokers, since you can specify the kinds of attractions that are picked out on your page to cater to your target audience.
Providing useful data in real time
One of the perks of the Google Maps API is that it can be leveraged in conjunction with data that you provide yourself, letting you create up to the minute updates which are viewable on your website to keep customers in the loop.
The most common example of this comes in the form of delivery tracking that allows logistics firms to show the locations of drivers while they are out on their rounds, meaning that customers who are awaiting the arrival of a package will be able to see exactly where it is and how long they have until it lands on their doorstep.
This will ease the strain on customer support services by automating the process of providing customers with updates during a critical part of the delivery process. It will also make it easier to manage your delivery operations at the back end, while also letting you discover inefficiencies and other issues so that they can be remedied.
The fact of the matter is that Google Maps has become almost ubiquitous in the past decade, so if you do not offer some form of implementation on your website then visitors may be dissatisfied with the features that are on offer.
That is not to say that you should embed it on every page; indeed this could be bad for SEO, as mentioned earlier. Instead you should make limited yet effective use of the Google Maps API to ensure that your site is up to scratch.