Google Maps has undergone some big changes recently, and a few of the tools have been moved around. Let's take a look at how to share specific maps with our Google Plus audience and other people.
Finding a map
There are a number of ways you might find a map that you'd like to share or use, but they all lead to one place: A Google Maps page. It's from a Maps page that we're able to share that location. Before we move on, I'd just like to touch on how maps might commonly appear for your customers as they find your business via search.
Maps in Google search results
Below we have a screenshot showing the first result for the phrase "dash media" on Google. As you can see, in addition to our website link, information about our business is being pulled, and displayed, from our Google Plus Page. This information includes images, contact information, hours of operation and Google reviews. It also includes our Maps listing. By the way, check out Jon's article on all the ways having a Google Plus page can help your business.
So, let's tie this in nicely with our topic for today. Perhaps you've searched for a local business using Google's search engine, clicked a map listing like this, and would would like to share this map with others. How do we do that?
The Maps page
When you select a Google Map link you'll be presented with a page that looks a little like this.
Let's break this down:
In the top left hand side of the screen, you'll find a search box, and results for your current search (in this case, "Dash Media").
In the centre of the screen, you can see the map marker showing the location of our subject.
In the top right, you'll find your sharing options for your currently logged in Google Account.
In the bottom right, we have options for exploration, directions, zoom, and a "cog" icon for sharing and embedding. This cog will come in handy a little later.
Map sharing options
We have a number of options on a Google Maps page for sharing our currently viewed map.
Share a map on Google Plus
By selecting the "Share" button, in the top right of the screen, next to our Google Account avatar we can attach the currently viewed map to a Google Plus post, or send an email with a direct link to the map.
To create a Google Plus post:
- Be sure you're logged into the correct Google Account that you'd like to post as.
- Click "Share".
- Use the "Share what's new..." box to add your message (you'll notice that your map has already been added to the post).
- Choose who you'd like to share this post with. This can be individuals, Circles, or everyone (leaving this box blank will post publicly on your profile).
- Hit that "Share" button!
Use "Share" to send a map via email
The other option from the "Share" box is to send an email, containing the message and map link, to one or multiple people. This process is the same as above; however, instead of selecting another Google Plus user, or Circles, you'll be entering in the direct email address of the person(s) you want to send the map link to.
By the way, if you're wondering about the little "person+" icon clicking it will provide an easy way to search and sift through your contacts.
How to get a direct Google Maps link
So, what if we don't want to share a link through Google Plus, or have Google's system form an email for us? Can we get access to the direct map link so we can copy and paste it as needed? Sure can!
Remember our little cog icon friend? He's about to save the day.
- Click the cog icon at the bottom of the screen.
- Select "Share and embed map".
- Use the "Short URL" check box to transform that awfully long link into something a bit more manageable.
- Copy and paste to your hearts content.
With the current version of Google Maps, you can copy and paste the URL directly from your browser's address bar, but I like the shortened URL's and I think the people receiving your links will as well.
Today we've taken a look at the Google Maps page and the different ways we can share a map through our Google Plus network, email, and direct links. Getting used to the different ways you can share a map with your audience is a good idea. Whether you're sharing your store, or office, location with a customer directly, or giving your entire audience the location of your next event, Google Maps provides some powerful tools for sharing places.