Google Maps have launched a new update in their ‘Local Context’ feature allowing users to update information layers upon demand. This new update will improve customer experience, and will allow you to have more creative control of the information your customer receives.
What is Google Maps Local Context?
Back in June Google Maps announced their feature ‘Local Context’, allowing Google Maps customization on desktop and mobile web apps. With Local Context, users are no longer forced to switch between multiple tabs, in order to find all the information they need. For instance, when looking for a new house, Local Context can assist the user in finding information about the neighborhood such as the distance to local schools and grocery stores.
It is difficult enough to attract traffic to your website, so when potential customers visit your site, it is important to make sure they stay. When users are unable to find all relevant information on your site, they are forced to leave in order to find information elsewhere. This increases the risk of losing customers, as it allows them to seek out other possibilities.
How does the refresh layer update benefit your business?
With the new update, you now have more control over the way in which your customers can interact with Local Context. Now the Local context layer can be loaded either with Google Maps or separately. You can opt for your website to initially only load a regular Google Map, and wait until your customer shows interest in seeing the Local Context information. This can be done by adding a button, for instance named ‘See Local Info.’
To make sure the user is not overwhelmed, it does not automatically refresh when the user zooms or changes location. Instead, the user will have the ability to request a refresh when needed. Similarly, the user will be able to reload the map with different context layers, depending on which type of information, they are most interested in at the given time.
Customized context layers
Now, you can give your users the option to view a certain set of places, and create the filters that will be of use to your customers. This customization is key, as there is a big difference in the information needed for different target groups.
An example could be the hotel/tourism industry, for this target audience information about schools and daycares is often irrelevant. Instead, you will be able to customize the Local Context feature to show filters that cater to people who seek to experience the city such as museums, monuments, restaurants and so forth.
With almost 100 different types of filters available, all within the same feature, the possibilities are endless. For each point of interest, the user is able to get an estimated time of arrival, and is offered information such as place descriptions, price points, ratings and photos.
In this way, you will have even more tools to ensure that your customers are getting perfectly tailored information when using your site. Allowing you to retain more users, and allowing the user to make informed decisions without ever having to leave your platform.
If you want to know more about local context and why your business needs it, don't forget to check our our blog, "Google Maps ‘Local Context’: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?"