Google tells us that search engine optimization should be about improving your site visitor’s experience. As attorneys, we want to offer enough information on our sites to educate potential clients, and to encourage these potential clients to contact us for personal legal advice.
It follows, therefore, that you should make it easy for your site visitor to contact you by phone, by email and in person. Even if you mostly interact with your clients by phone and email, you should let them know where you are and how to visit your office. Another added benefit: publishing your street address and directions demonstrates to Google and to potential clients that you are a “real” business, with a physical location.
If you have compelling content on your site that establishes you as the “go to” expert, potential clients will come a long way to see you. Therefore you will want to make it easy for these folks to find you.
Google Driving Directions Utility No Longer Available
I recently converted one of my older law firm sites from the HTML authoring program I used to use into WordPress and I wanted to add driving directions capability. In the past, Google offered simple code you could add to your web site that would create a map with an option to create driving directions.
Currently, Google does not offer this code generation utility. If you search “embed code for driving directions” Google will take you to a page to create a gadget for your iGoogle page but not code that you can use on your site.
WordPress Driving Directions Plug-ins
I also ran a search for a WordPress plug-in to add this functionality to my site. There are several plug-is which purport to create maps and driving directions but several of them showed poor feedback. Further, I try to avoid adding plug-ins when I can, as every plug-in uses up overhead with your server account, possibly slowing down your site loading time.
Simple Code Solution
After digging around a little, I found a site that publishes the 7 lines of code that you can add to your site to offer driving directions.
Here is the code:
<form action=”http://maps.google.com/maps” method=”get” target=”_blank”>
<p><label for=”mapsUsSaddr”>Your Address (street, city state)</label>
<input type=”text” name=”saddr” id=”mapsUsSaddr” value=”” size=”20″ />
<input type=”submit” value=”Map It” />
<input type=”hidden” name=”daddr” value=”123 Your Street, City, ST” />
<input type=”hidden” name=”hl” value=”en” /></p>
Make sure to substitute your destination address for “123 Your Street, City, ST” Also, you must use the WordPress “text” editor rather than the visual editor to insert this code.
Here’s an example of what the driving directions look like on my site:
Click here: Directions to Ginsberg Law Offices
So, now you have a simple, lightweight, low overhead method to offer driving directions to your clients and to enhance the usability of your website or blog.
Sources and Citations
Bill Myers Online article about adding driving directions