1. Identify Your Audience
When seeking to improve a locator, think first of the audience or audiences the locator is serving. There are multiple reasons a customer may engage with a store locator. They could be looking for directions to your nearest store, contact information, in-stock products or any other specific information about your store. Others may be looking to understand how many stores are available or what regions are covered. Understanding your audience’s objectives is the first major step in creating a store locator that executes the needs of your customers. If your store has multiple audiences, each one will need to be identified, and your brand will need to convey a store locator that can be useful to all of your intended audience members.
2. Make your Interface Aesthetically Pleasing
Companies create branding with brand colors for a reason: to stand out and be recognizable to their consumer base. A locator should be no different, it should be used as an extension of a business’ brand. A great way to incorporate branding and make a memorable locator is to create a locator using your brand’s colors, fonts and imagery.
MetaLocator offers tight branding control including a custom map styles and colors feature to give users the ability to create more colorful and brand powering locators. Many times, locator software has predetermined colors and styles, making it hard to distinguish from map to map. Custom map styles and colors are a solution to that. Users in Pro accounts and higher have the ability to custom control all of the colors in the map. Specifically, users can control five different color elements:
- Water color
- Land cover color
- Global land color
- Land use color
- Transportation color
3. Measuring Performance
Your interface is one of the primary sources of creating new business, yet some locators have no ability to track and report the vital information they generate. The ability to track business inquiries, leads, phone calls and other analytic events in the locator can provide valuable insights into your business. For example, tracking the locations visitors are searching for can give business insights to where they have a solid consumer following or where a location should be established. Essential insights like these can lead to more targeted and effective marketing efforts.
MetaLocator has valuable built-in analytics for users. This gives users the ability to track any events that occur in the interface such as page views, visits, searches, location searches and much more. MetaLocator also tracks more advanced interactions such as clicks to call, website clicks, directions and map marker window opens. Tracking these offers a view into a significant portion of your business’ online presence.
5. Make it Easier to Import Data
Store locators rely on regularly updated information to do their job. If updating the data in a store locator is difficult, it will commonly become outdated, creating a poor customer experience. There are many different ways to create and import data in bulk in MetaLocator. With many automated options for importing data, the information in the locator will be kept up to date without creating extra work.
MetaLocator gives users the ability to import data in bulk in many ways such as, uploading a CSV, Google Sheets, SFTP and more.
6. Check in with Essential Best Practices
Store locator software serves a bigger purpose than simply showing you where each store location is. Every locator should meet essential industry best practices off-the-shelf. For example, does your locator require the user to interact with the page before showing results? Requiring visitors to interact with the page before seeing any results can decrease the likelihood of sale conversion. Forcing them to make a radius selection or prompting for geolocation permission can slow down the time it takes for customers to get results, making the sales process more complicated for them.
Similarly, presenting a relevant number of locations is another example of a best practice commonly missed in store locators. When a locator showcases all of its locations at one time, it can make navigating to the desired location difficult or become overwhelming to the visitor. This is another way to over-complicate the sales process and deter customers.
MetaLocator has a checklist of these and other best practices for anyone with a store locator. Check to see how your locator does against our industry expert standards by requesting a free locator performance score.
7. Use a Well Designed Template
Building a homegrown locator can create many challenges for a business’ IT and Web development staff. One way to minimize the issues with assembling a locator is to start off with a well designed template. A well designed template will already feature all of your basic needs such as: map, location cards, results cards and other various formatting options.
8. Keep up with the Latest on Locator Software
The software industry as a whole is ever-changing, and being ahead of the curve is a great way to ensure your brand’s online presence continues to prosper. One way to do that is keeping up with the latest in locator software by using a hosted provider like MetaLocator.
MetaLocator is always updating and adding new, valuable features for users to benefit from. The best way to keep up to date on the newest developments with MetaLocator is by following us on social media.