In my last blog: Getting the most out of Google Business Maps I told you about some ideas for making a Google business map. Here are the nuts and bolts of what to do.
- Sign up for a Google Account: I know this is a bit obvious but if you don’t have a Google Account set one up now, it’s free.
- Select “Maps” tab: This should be in the upper left side of your browser.
- Select “My Places” button: This is in the upper left just under the “Google” logo. This is where you also find your maps after you create them.
- Select the red “CREATE MAP” button: Give your map a distinct title and description. This will be viewable by the public so do a good job. Under the description box you can choose to make the map “public” or “unlisted.” Choose “public” and select the “Done” button above and to the right of the “Title” box.
- Edit the Map: Select the “Edit” button for the map you just made. In the upper left hand corner of the map you will notice 3 icons: The “hand” lets you navigate around the map; the “marker” pinpoints locations; and the “drawing tool” lets you make lines, shapes or draw along roads. This is great if you want to show directions.
- Add Businesses: Search the map for locations and businesses as you would normally in Google Maps. To add a business to your map select one of the business on the left that resulted from your Google Search. When you select the listing a white box pointing to the business will show up on the map. Along the bottom of the box will be links for “Directions,” “Search nearby” “Save to map” and “more.” Select “Save to Map” and pick the map you want to save this location to from the drop down box. Then click “Save.” A blue location marker will now appear on the business location. Do this for as many business as you want on your map.
- Add Locations: To add a location that is not a business click the blue location icon in the upper left and drag it onto the map and place it where ever you like. Once you have a location a dialogue box will open where you can give the location a title and a description. In the description you can enter the information in “plain text,” “Rich Text,” or “Edit HTML.” When you choose “Rich Text” you can format the letters and include URL Links. This is where you will have the opportunity to link back to your web site or to any URL you choose. You can also change the default “Location Icon” by selecting the icon in the upper right hand corner of the dialogue box. When you are finished select “OK” in the bottom right corner.
- Edit Business Description: After you’ve entered in a business simply select the listing in the left hand panel while in the “edit” mode. You will get a dialogue box where you can change the title and enter in a description just as you were able to do in step 7. Again, you have the opportunity to ad in hyperlinks back to your web site and descriptions. On the bottom half of the dialogue box you will see “Place details.” By selecting “Edit” on the right you can edit the details of the business listing.
- Finish: Simpley select the “Done” button in the upper left side and your work is saved.
- Share and Post: In the upper right corner of your bowser you will see icons to print the map, e-mail it or link to it. When you select the link icon you have the option of selecting the URL, a short URL, or the HTML code to embed the map in your website like this:
View Weddings by the Sea Locations in a larger map
Once you are finished you will have a customized map for your website and a link like this: http://g.co/maps/5hcp7, that you can e-mail, post to Facebook or tweet to your followers. You can change it and update it when you need to and best of all its free courtesy of Google. If you want more information visit Google's Map User Guide.
What are some uses you can think of for this application? Let me know in the comments section below and send me examples of your maps.