Nowadays, not only can people log on to social media websites and check email, but they can also get direction from their phones. Google Maps and Apple Maps are some of the most popular and effective tools for people to find directions and navigate around the city. Since almost everyone has access to mobile maps and GPS, it’s important for merchants to find ways to utilize this capability and make their businesses more accessible to potential buyers.
One of the most popular means of doing this is through online marketing. Using digital marketing to attract and engage customers is rapidly becoming a must for all businesses, regardless of size. And since many people are using mapping websites and applications to find directions and navigate around town, businesses can use this as a natural opportunity to advertise.
Here are ten tools that can be used to create a word map and integrate it into a website:
1. Google Maps
While many people use digital maps and GPS for navigation, many more will simply type in the location they are looking for and click on the first map that pops up. As a result, detailed maps with directions and information are very accessible to the masses. Google Maps is one of the most popular digital maps available, with a massive worldwide reach and billions of page views each month. This makes it a perfect fit for online marketing.
You can utilize Google Maps to create a word map with your keywords and target audience. Simply search for the location you are targeting, click on the first result, and a map will pop up with the location surrounded by a colorful word cloud. You can click on any word in the cloud to visit the corresponding map. Additionally, you can add markers and change the styles of the pins to fit your business.
Since Google Maps is so widely used and has such a high potential for reaching users, it’s essential that you implement a solid SEO strategy when using this tool. Specifically, you need to make sure that your keywords are present in the title, description, and markers for optimum exposure and traffic. You can also take this opportunity to further analyze your target audience and perform A/B testing to determine the most effective messaging and style for your site.
Waze is the #2 most downloaded app globally, with over 400 million downloads. It’s a community-based GPS navigation app that was first launched for Apple iOS users but is now available for Android users as well. Just like Google Maps, Waze allows users to create a word map with their locations and surroundings. Additionally, they can add photos, videos, and even voice notes to individual pins to make them more accessible and engaging. Overall, it’s a simple app to use with a clean interface.
Waze is a bit less popular than Google Maps, so it doesn’t have the same visibility, but it’s still an extremely viable option for online merchants. And since it’s open source, you have the opportunity to see exactly how it works and modify it to fit your purposes.
The early 2000s saw the rise of the Geocaching craze. Though it started as a hobby for outdoorsmen, map and compass gaming became so popular that today it’s an officially recognized sport. If you’re looking for an easy way to engage an audience and create buzz for your product, consider using a digital map to hide goodies and souvenirs inside. You can download the MapQuest app to create a word map and find treasures around your area including hidden beer taps, historical markers, and WWII grenades. (Just kidding.)
The MapQuest app has been around for a while and still offers a basic word map functionality. Because it’s easy to use and has a large audience, many businesses use this tool to create a word map and integrate it into their sites.
4. Bing Maps
Bing is the search engine that was originally developed by Microsoft, powering their web-browser search functionality. Though it’s no longer owned by the tech giant, they continue to optimize it for use on the internet. Like its Google counterpart, Bing maps is a tool built for online marketing. It enables creators to create a word map that can be integrated into a business’ website.
To use Bing maps, you simply need to enter a location and get directions to reach your destination. You can also choose the area that you want to target, set a budget, and choose from a variety of map styles. Once you’re done creating your word cloud, you can upload it to a website with a few clicks or save it to your phone’s gallery for later use.
Yandex is the search engine that was originally developed in Russia but is now a global company with offices in more than 30 countries. It also offers a mapping tool that can be used to create a word map. Though Yandex Maps is a paid app, many people use it for free, including this blogger who uses it to create maps for his travel blog.
Yandex Maps has been around for a while and still offers a basic word map functionality with community features. Because it’s somewhat more popular than Bing Maps and has more features, many businesses use this tool to create a word map and add it to their sites.
6. Baidu Maps
Baidu is the search engine that was originally created in China but now has offices in over 70 countries. Just like the other mapping tools mentioned thus far, Baidu Maps is also an online marketing tool that can be used to create a word map. The difference is that Baidu offers premium services, such as traffic monitoring and analytics, for businesses and government agencies.
Unlike the other tools mentioned thus far, Baidu’s primary function is to help users find what they want. It’s a Chinese version of Google Maps and is immensely popular in the country. Though it seems unlikely that you’d use this tool for digital marketing, it might be a good fit for your next offline marketing campaign.
Sightsee is a San Francisco-based business that aims to make outdoor tourism more accessible to people with vision impairments. Their tagline is, “Tourism for the Visually Impaired,” and they are passionate about ensuring that everyone, including those with eyesight issues, can benefit from experiencing nature.
To create an account with Sightsee, you simply need to provide an email address and click on the confirmation link that they send you. Once you’re set up, you can use their site to find places that are accessible to the visually impaired, including museums, restaurants, and scenic walks. Sightsee is a good option for anyone who wants to create a resource for individuals with vision problems.
8. Facebook Maps
Though it can’t technically be considered a navigation tool, Facebook offers a location-based feature that can be used to create a word cloud. The idea is the same as the other tools: to find your location and see what others are saying about it. However, Facebook’s twist is that you can also use the tool to find places and businesses near your current location.
To create an account with Facebook Maps, you simply need to provide an email address and click on the confirmation link that they send you. From there, you can enter a city and see what others are saying about it. Additionally, you can click on the blue location pin to see more information about your current location including photos and reviews. This is a good fit for anyone who wants to create a one-stop shop for local information!
9. Instagram Maps
Instagram is the popular photo-sharing app with over 500 million monthly active users. Similar to the other tools thus far, you can use the Instagram app to create a word cloud around your current location. And like Facebook, Instagram has a location-based feature that enables you to see what others are saying about a particular place. Additionally, you can add your own photos and videos to the word cloud to make it more engaging.
To create an account with Instagram Maps, you simply need to provide an email address and click on the confirmation link that they send you. From there, you can enter a city and start adding places and things you find interesting or important in that city. This is a great app for anyone who wants to find out more about a specific place and what others are saying about it.
10. Apple Maps
Last but not least, we have Apple Maps. Few tools are as indispensable to digital marketers as Apple Maps, and it has been around for long enough that we can consider it a permanent fixture on our phones. Similar to the other tools discussed thus far, Apple Maps enables users to create a word map around their current location. The only difference is that you can also search for places that are nearby your current position.