Google Maps adds new store location feature, Locator Plus, Reserve with Google integration, new analytics and more

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The Google Maps Platform has added a bunch of new features for businesses to add deeper integration with its Google Maps Platform APIs to help those businesses streamline some of their integrations with Google Maps. These include the ability to embed Reserve with Google on your site, a new embed a store location tool, a Locator Plus feature, store locator analytics and more.

Reserve With Google Embed Feature

We have seen Reserve with Google feature in Google Search and Google Maps for a while now. Now, Google is allowing businesses to use the Reserve with Google feature on their own sites or portals.

Google added new APIs to allow you to embed the Reserve with Google on your site and your own maps. Google said this allows for “end-to-end appointment booking flow, and connects users to a variety of services.” It allows your customers who are using your store locator an option for bookings, right within the locator, which creates an easier booking process.

Here is how it works:

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Store Locator Embed Feature

Google also has rolled out a way to manage and publish your store locator using the Google Maps platform. Google said this will allow you to “quickly update and roll out your store locator” on your site. In the Locator Plus solution, you can capture the location of every single store you want to show users – all within one map, Google explained. This can now be done with a simple copy and paste of some embed code and very little API development coding.

Google Locator Plus

Similar to the store locator feature, the new Locator Plus feature allows businesses to easily import business details from your Google Business Profile. This will allow the business details your already have in your Google Business Profile to be reflected in the store locator on your website. The details include include hours, contact information, photos, service options, and more.

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Google Store Locator Analytics

With all these announcements, Google also is rolling out a new Google store locator analytics dashboard. This analytics dashboard should help you better understand the impact of your implementation and generate insights from your data. It shows you how well your site visitors are engaging with your store locator, Google said.

The dashboard helps you measure your performance week over week, including number of views, number of interactions with Google Search and Google Place Details, and overall engagement rate. The dashboard uses anonymized data to provide important benchmarks on how a developer’s implementation compares against other developers using the same solution.

Why we care. All these tools can be useful for large and small businesses to manage their local presence not just on Google but also on their own site. Plus, searchers are accustomed to Google and may find these embed features familiar and be more likely to use them.

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At the same time, this is putting more and more of your data in Google, making you more reliant on Google for management and hosting of this features and data. So keep that in mind before implementing these on your site.

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About The Author

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Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.

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