Website Location Maps

September 6th, 2019

Many of our clients like to have a map or locator on their website. Sometimes it’s to locate one of their distributors or contractors, other times it’s to show service areas or individual branches of the company.

The functionality of a site locator can span a wide range, depending on how your audience plans to use the tool and what information they’re trying to gather. Before we build a locations tool, we like to review the following questions to determine the best approach for development:

  • Who is the audience for your tool? Are these people existing customers, prospects, or vendors? How familiar are they with your company and your offerings? Will different audience groups be looking for unique content from the tool? 
  • What content are they hoping to find from the tool? Is it your service area? Your contact information or phone number? Your available services? We’ve seen maps that have different groups included – for instance: manufacturers, distributors and sales offices. Are you comfortable putting multiple groups on one map, or should they be separated based on audience group?
  • Are you providing your audience with driving directions? If the map needs to provide driving directions, we’ll need to know that in advance so we can set up the plug-in in such a way that it tracks the user’s location. This may also affect your cookie policy on the site, since you’ll be tracking locations data from your users. 
  • Do you even need a map, or can you just list some locations? Depending on your industry, your customers may never need to actually visit your location. Is a simple phone number or contact form for each location adequate for your needs?
  • How do you handle it if your regions aren’t clear cut? Sales regions don’t always stop at state lines, and sometimes they can overlap depending on services or product availability. Again, think about how the tool should function – are you trying to express your national reach, or show actual physical offices of your locations?
  • Will your employees travel outside the existing area of their search? Don’t let your map impose perceived restrictions in the eyes of your customers. If you’re a Chicago-based company but you’ll drive out to Rockford if necessary, make that apparent on your map so users don’t self-identify as out of your service area.

Locations maps can be excellent interactive tools on your website. In order to make them the best tools we can, help us think through these questions in advance and we’ll build something tailored to your needs.

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