When last did you look at the Google Map on your website? If you haven’t already, check it now. Bear in mind that some websites have maps on multiple pages like the homepage, contact page and location or store pages, so check them all.
We’ve noticed that a number of companies haven’t been informed about Google’s recent change. The results are thousands of websites displaying an error message, instead of the intended helpful directions.
Google Maps have recently altered their billing methods for the use of their maps. And by altered I mean they’ve gone from Free to Not Free. If this is the first you hear of it, firstly you’re not alone, Google aren’t the loudest when it comes to rolling out change. And secondly, if you’re seeing an error where your map should be, it’s really straight forward to fix.
There are multiple ways to setup a Google Map on a website – some methods remain free, while others require payment. Websites displaying the latter, without credit card details setup, have had their map disabled by Google.
If you’re unsure which category you fall into, simply check your map – if you don’t see a large error, you’re safe and there’s no need for change.
You have 2 options. You can either start paying Google for the use of their service, or change the method used to display their map on your website.
The budget friendly news is that there is still a way to use Google Maps for free on your website. The even better news is that it’s the easiest method of simply using an iFrame. You can replace the API or WordPress/other-cms-type Google Maps widget with the iFrame code copied from their website.
2. Click on your business name so that your details appear on the left hand side
3. Now click on the Share icon
4. Select Embed a Map
5. Choose your preferred map size (small, medium, large or custom size)
6. Click Copy HTML to get the code needed for your site (some cms’s won’t like this code, have a go, but you might need your web development companies help)
The steps to follow all depend on whether you have a CMS or hardcoded site, the type of CMS being used and the method within that CMS. Check in with your web design company if you’re not sure, or let us know if we can help. In theory, you need to remove the current setup and replace it with the new iFrame method.
Some websites use an advanced Google Map with customisation like unique icons or expandable information for multiple stores. In this case, swapping to the iFrame method will lose this additional functionality. Websites that need to retain this functionality will need to review Google’s amended pricing structure, as the API will more than likely still be needed in these cases.
Feel free to reach out if you’re experiencing a variation of this error so that we can help.
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