On June 11, 2018, Google changed their Google Maps policy to require a Google Maps API Key in order to display a map on your website. Because of this, you may have noticed embedded maps going down or the previous way you set them up not working correctly anymore.
There are many benefits to using an API key, but there’s also a drawback. Google Maps API now requires billing information on file, with a $200 free monthly credit. Although this equals many more maploads (25,000) than most will need, it’s still an inconvenience and a change in process that you may not want to hassle with. And, if you are expecting more than 25,000 transactions per month, using Google Maps is going to get a lot more expensive.
Thankfully, there’s a way around it: Google My Business.
By now, most marketers/businesses are familiar with Google’s product for online business listings that allows you to house reviews and add info, images, hours, etc.
On search, it looks something like this: Boyden & Youngblutt
On maps, it looks like this: Boyden & Youngblutt
On top of being an online business listing (if you haven’t claimed your business listing yet, I HIGHLY suggest doing so here), Google My Business also provides you with additional valuable insights that you wouldn’t find in Google Analytics, Search Console or from social media, such as direction requests and phone calls from the listing.
It also has a feature we have been utilizing lately that allows us to avoid the need for the Google Maps API Key. Under the “Share” feature from the maps landing page, you’ll see an “Embed a map” option, that gives you the necessary code to add this map to sites without any additional steps.
Clicking on the embedded map from your site takes the user to your Google My Business page on maps, which continues to collect insights on how users interact with your listing. You’re still getting valuable information and feedback on your users without the need to put your credit card on file or set up an account with Google Maps.
Anyone who considers themselves a part of the “digital world” knows that change is inevitable. But for now, here’s an easy solution using a product you most likely already have an account with…or SHOULD!
Have any questions feel free to reach out.