This week Visual People introduces Q&A Friday where we answer questions we get from our clients, friends, blog visitors and Facebook fans. Is there something you’ve always wanted to ask? Don’t be in the dark any longer – take advantage of our expertise to answer your burning Internet business or website design question!
Q. How do I put a Google map on my website?
A. You can embed a Google map on your site easily. Go to maps.google.com and find the location of your business. Make sure the map looks like you want it (zoomed to where you want it, your business centered in the map, etc.) and then click the “Link to this page” link at the top right of the page. A box will come up with an option to “Paste HTML to embed in website.” Copy the HTML code you need and paste that into the correct place on your site.
Google allows you to do this for free, but you need to adhere to their terms of service. You can’t copy a static map image and include it in your website; you have to embed a map as described above. You also can’t stretch or distort the map, or use the Google logo, other than which is included in the embedded map, to imply that you have some sort of relationship or endorsement with Google.
If you find a mistake in your map or listing, you can fix it. See Google’s Fix an error on Google Maps page for more information.
Q. Do I need to use meta tags for keywords and description in my website’s header? I hear conflicting things.
A. The meta tags once gave search engines more information about a website. These were abused so badly that the big search engines like Google and Bing do not use them to factor into your site’s ranking.
Keywords serve no benefit, and we leave them off our sites. There are a couple benefits to including a unique description on each page. First, some search engines use the description when they list your page. Google may or may not use it, but if it’s well-written and strongly connected to the content on the page, they probably will.
As well, some sites take the meta description information when you post a link. Facebook, for example, uses the site’s description – and lots of links get posted and shared by Facebook. No description with a link or a generic description may be confusing. So, it’s best to add a description to each page. Just don’t spend a lot of time focusing on it, other than as a way to encourage people to click a link and read more.
Q. I have a video for my business – how do I put it on my website?
A. There are several options for including video on your website, but let’s focus on the easiest and, for most businesses, most effective: Upload your video to YouTube. According to the latest comScore search rankings, the YouTube search engine gets more search queries than either Yahoo! or Bing. So why not take advantage of that for your video?
Uploading a video to YouTube is easy. Click on the “Upload” button to the right of the YouTube logo or use this link. Most video formats will be accepted. Your video does have to be less than 2 GB in size and less than 10 minutes in length.
Once your video has been uploaded to YouTube, you don’t have to send people to the actual YouTube.com site to see your video. Use the “embed” button below and to the right of your video on the YouTube page to get the HTML code you will need to put the video on your own site. YouTube gives you several options for how your video looks, including whether or not to have a border, what colors to use and what size the video should show at. Once you paste this code to a page on your website, visitors will be able to watch the video right on that page.
Do you have a question about online marketing, website design or any other aspect of using the Internet for business? Ask Visual People anything! Free advice for your small business website, posted every Friday. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a comment here or post to the Wall on our Facebook fan page and we’ll answer in a future Q&A Friday post.