Whether you are working with ridesharing, real estate, or retail, Google Maps is a powerful toolbox for your business, providing you and your customers with important functionalities.
While some features are an absolute need to have others are nice to have. With more than 10 years of experience as a Google Maps Premier Partner, our Google Maps team and Solution Designers are experts at optimizing your solution, so you get the most value for your money.
Below we have made a list of four things we often discuss with customers. If you are wondering whether or not you are spending too much money on your Google Maps solution, reach out to us and we will go through it together with you.
#1. Lazy loading
If you have a map on your website, chances are it is placed at the bottom of the page. Maps often provide additional information and context, which means that website visitors have to scroll down before seeing the map - but how does this affect your usage?
With the Google Maps Platform you always pay per usage. This means that if the map on your website loads instantly, you will be charged even though visitors don’t scroll down to your map. With lazy loading the map loads “on demand” as visitors scroll down. Like this, you only pay when people actually see and/or interact with the map. Not only does this reduce your Google Maps bill, it also improves the performance of your website.
#2. Directions API and Distance Matrix API
When using the Directions API and the Distance Matrix API you have the option of providing users with real-time traffic information. Results that include real-time traffic information are billed at a higher rate and requesting live traffic information with either of these products means you will be charged at double rate compared to results based on statistical data.
Even without real-time traffic information these products will still provide users with time and travel distance based on physical factors like roads, distance, and speed limits.
If you are unsure whether you are paying for real-time traffic information or if you need help turning it off, reach out to our Google Maps expert in your region.
#3. Places Autocomplete API
With the Autocomplete API you have the option of paying per request or per session. Choosing the option that fits your use case the best can have a major impact on your Google Maps bill.
With Autocomplete per request you pay per keystroke. The cost per character is lower than the cost per character if you pay per session. However, it will become a costly affair if you are validating thousands of addresses each day.
With Autocomplete per session you are charged per session instead of per keystroke. The cost per character is higher, but in return it provides you with an unlimited amount of results throughout one session.
So, what option fits your needs the best?
Autocomplete per request is ideal for use cases where a single entry is enough, such as a mailing address form that a user fills out. Autocomplete per session, on the other hand, is ideal when multiple search attempts are required, such as searches for a hotel or restaurant.
Also, with the session-based Autocomplete the charge includes unlimited keystrokes as well a concurrent lookup with Places Details. To figure out what’s the most economic implementation for you, we can help you look at the number of keystrokes per average user and choose the right autocomplete setup.
#4. Places Autocomplete API vs. Geocoding API
When you are using the Autocomplete API, the service will suggest places as users start typing. When users click on a place, you have two different options:
- call the Places Details API, providing users with the address including metadata: ratings, review, pictures, opening hours, and more.
- call the Geocoding API, providing users with only the coordinates and the street address.
A request to the Places Details API is billed at a higher rate than a geocoding request. So, if you don’t need the metadata, consider calling the Geocoding API instead of Places Details.
Optimizing your Google Maps solution can be a daunting task if you are not a developer or well versed in the platform. Reach out to one of our Google Maps experts and we will help you optimize your solution to fit your needs.
If you want to read more about the benefits of collaborating with a certified Google Maps Premier Partner, you can download our free guide below.