Are the Changes to the Google Maps Platform Hurting Your Business?

Google Maps play a vital role in driving more foot traffic to your business. When someone is searching for your company online, you want your business to appear in search results with a nice display of your location, hours of operation, phone number, website, and customer reviews.
Including Google Maps on the location page of your website will allow you to maximize your online visibility, position yourself as a credible establishment, and earn more local traffic. With Google Maps, users can click on your location and receive turn-by-turn directions to your place of business, which makes a significant impact on your conversion rate. However, many businesses aren’t aware that the latest enhancements to Google Maps are leading to technical problems with their website and any Google APIs that they’re using.

When Did Google Maps Update Its Platform?
If it’s been a while since you’ve taken a look at the location page on your website, there is a chance that you have an issue with the way that your business is appearing in Google Maps. Due to the recent changes to the Google Maps Platform, many businesses are finding that Google Maps and their website are no longer working in harmony.

Back in June of 2018, the Google Maps Platform started requiring all users to enable credit card billing and have an active API key. Without meeting these requirements, businesses will have a low-resolution map appear on their website with the language “for developmental purposes only” across the map. Definitely not something that you want your customers to see when they’re searching for your location online.

What You Need to Know About Changes to Billing
Historically, Google offered users a generous free tier of the Maps API. However, beginning in June of 2018, Google started charging pay-as-you-go pricing for the Google Maps Platform APIs, and this pricing can fluctuate depending on the type and functionality of the map, how many way points it includes, usage, and more. This change in pay structure has many businesses up-in-arms as the price hike is significant for some. Going forward, Google Maps products such as Directions, Geolocation, Places, Routes, and Streetview will each be billed separately.

How to Know if You’ve Been Impacted by the Changes to the Google Maps Platform
If you have an e-commerce website, there’s a good chance that you’re experiencing performance issues with Google Maps unless you’ve proactively taken the steps to enable credit card billing and ensure that you have active API keys.

The challenge is that e-commerce websites can use thousands of Google APIs under the hood. In fact, you might not even be aware of some of the APIs that your business is using. If you’re using any of the following plugins without a valid API key, your website has likely been negatively impacted by this change to the Google Maps Platform:

  • Inventory management systems that involve drop-shipping or multi-origins
  • Store pick-up
  • Maps on location page
  • Autocomplete feature on the address in checkout
  • Routing based on IP

Basically, if your website is using any type of geo-related app that you’ve installed from popular e-commerce platforms such as Magento, Shopify, or Big Commerce, you’ve likely been impacted by this change to the Google Maps Platform.

How to Correct Broken Google Maps On Your Website
Has your business been a victim of the Google Maps Platform overhaul? Considering that the Google Maps Platform has more than one billion monthly users and that your customers are relying on Google Maps to find your place of business, you can’t afford to have a broken link on your website or have non-functioning Maps APIs.

If you suspect that you have performance issues with Google Maps on your website, you should know that making a correction is not an easy fix. Trying to figure out which APIs your business is using and if they have a valid API key requires technical expertise. Instead of trying to figure this out on your own, it’s in your best interest to get a professional developer involved to ensure that your website performance is not being impacted by this change to the Google Maps platform.

How New York Ave Can Help
Our creative team at New York Ave can help to ensure that your website is functioning at optimal performance with locally handcrafted web development. Our knowledge and expertise in the area of web development will give you the peace of mind that your website makes it easy for your customers to find your business online with accurate Google Maps integration.

If you’re questioning if the Google APIs that you’re using under the hood are setup correctly or have questions surrounding the overall change to the Google Maps Platform, we can help. Contact us at New York Ave to learn how we can help you to create function, intuitive interfaces that are designed to convert more of your visitors.

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