Building Phase

With your clear call to action in mind and your data in hand, it’s time to start building.

Include layers, but not too many
Layers are a great way to display information on your map. But to increase engagement, try to display only a few essential layers at first and let viewers toggle layers for more information.

Fast layer load times
Make sure your layers are loading quickly. Tracking your layer load times will help ensure your users have a smooth experience interacting with your map.

Design a beautiful map
Designing an intuitive and beautiful map is important for high engagement. Stamen offers some unique map overlays. Consider also you can refine base maps for purpose. Think beyond a generic basemap and refine it for the rest of your web site’s look and feel.


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Conversion Phase

Depending on your map you may find it easier to build it and put it into the wild and start testing your goals and assumptions. When we are thinking about conversion however, we need to consider what that looks like. A common web term to describe this process is a Call To Action (CTA). A CTA might be a button to press: “Submit!” or “Buy!”, in terms of maps a call to Action might be a marker to click, a routing activity, or a “Find My Nearest…” activity. In terms of a story map a CTA might be on the 4th of 5th slide, but are your users reaching this point?

When you are thinking about conversion and CTAs ensure you’re considering each of these steps, below.

If your CTA aims to increase social shares. Try using tools like Click-to-Tweet. The best place for your CTA is the top right hand corner of the map. Clearly identified and unobstructed by any other CTAs.

  • If your CTA aims to provide information and educate users using your map. Track your users average site duration.
  • If your CTA aims to bring a viewer from point A to point B. Track marker clicks and activities.
  • If your CTA aims to increase engagement on items outside of your web map. For example if you’ve built an application you could try using tools like full page heatmaps offered at SumoMe or Google Analytics.

If your CTA goals are simple, tracking the number of conversions that have occurred is relatively simple. Check to see how much time viewers are spending on your map. See if you’ve increased email signups in your database. Look at the amount of accounts you were able to create or even tweets you generated.

Your web map is a living thing. Publishing and forgetting about it isn’t a good strategy for actually increasing conversions. Moreover, call to actions can change over time depending on your goals. But if you’ve gone to all the trouble of building a map, it’s important to track how users are using it over time. Check things like bounce rates and time on map regularly. Use a heat-mapping tool to see where viewers are clicking outside of your web map.

Take the data that you’ve gathered and make changes and improve your map over time. Build a feedback loop which will inform your future business processes and development strategies.


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