If your site is a non-secure site (HTTP) or does not have a valid SSL ( Secure Sockets Layer)and/or you have not migrated your site to HTTPS ( Hyper Text Transfer Protocol secure), chances are your customer will have a message returned “No results found” even if you have Location Sensor enabled.
Most browsers , and the google map API require sites to be secure to allow the search engine to detect your customers whereabouts. There have been numerous articles written concerning the security changes.
While these new interfaces are cool and certainly make the web easier to use they come at a cost. It requires that all of the little mini-applets that you are loading on a page to show to your users play nicely together. Every single interactive component like that Google Ads sidebar, the Recaptcha validation and maps are all separate programs that are playing in the same “pool”. The problem with this is that it is very easy for any one of those components to “go haywire” and spoil the fun for everyone else.
Use your web browser developer tools. All modern browsers have this functionality and it can give you some clues as to what is really going on. If you see errors in the console you will want to clean this up and see if it resolves the issues with the locator.
Go to Safari | Preferences | Advanced and click “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.
Older versions of Firefox have the web developer tools enabled by default. If you do not see the Web Developer menu option check under the Settings menu a this may be disabled by default in future releases.
Go to Tools | Web Developer | Web Console
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How important is it for people to find a location nearest them? “Near Me” has been a top-ranked search term on Google for the past seven years. This may be the number one reason to use a location sensor. Research indicates that the common phrases of “near me” in Google searches is a top-ranked query. The phrase “handyman near me” might return a cloud based app that in turn redirects the users search to some popular apps but how does your browser, Google Maps or other platform know where you are?
Enter location sensor, a browser-based tool that detects where a user is at the time of search. On GPS-enabled mobile devices it returns the precise location using the device’s built-in GPS sensor. For the Store Locator Plus users the location sensor can be enabled by checking a box under General Settings. WordPress Plugin users will need the Power add on. MySLP service users will need to be subscribed to the Power, Professional, or Enterprise plan.
Using HTTPS Improves Sensor Performance
Google Chrome’s v 50 and higher ( the most popular browser with the largest market share at this time) requires site urls to be served over a secured site before it will allow the location of the user to be transmitted. They have stated that location is sensitive data and determined that HTTPS versus HTTP be required to protect the privacy of your users’ location data. Other popular browsers , such as Mozilla Firefox, may submit a pop-up box asking the user to grant permission for their location to be known.
In short, if your site is using the location sensor feature it must get an SSL certificate and be serving pages on an https address. Many browser disable multiple features if you are not a secure site, including the location sensor. It won’t be long before ALL browsers disable location sensor support if you are not hosting an https site.
Location Sensors Can Increase Sales
If you have a physical location that counts on people walking in the door to make a sale, adding Google Maps and employing the location sensor can have a notable impact on your walk-in traffic. Your first step is to get an SSL certificate on your site so you can serve secure pages; This also helps boost your Google search rank. Once you have that completed put Google Maps software that supports the locations sensor on your site. Add a couple of posts to your site that relate to your business such as “Boutique Near Me” and drop the map code on that post. It won’t happen overnight, but as your site starts to generate traffic the map will lead people to your store.