A virtual tour is 360° high definition imagery of local businesses that’s hosted as an integral part of Google Maps. In other words, it’s Google street view technology for the inside of your business.
This is an example of what one looks like:
The name of Google’s program that makes these virtual tours has changed several times since 2011. When it was first started, it was called Google Business Photos. Soon after, it was called Google Business View, whereas today it is known as Street View Trusted. This program was designed in an effort to let searchers see inside of local businesses.
Street View photographers go through an intensive certification process to learn how to use Google’s street view technology. This happens to be the same technology that gives you the street view you see on Google Maps when you Google an address.
Any business with a physical presence, such as these and more, can use one of these tours:
Have you ever searched for a business on Google and seen the “See Inside” button on the right hand side? Or perhaps you’ve been clicking around inside of your Google My Business profile and see the “Add Virtual Tour” button.
Google Street View can help grow your business by enhancing your Google My Business profile, offering a 24/7 virtual showroom, getting your business page more clicks, and your business becomes more geographically relevant for search terms. It increases your company’s interaction with your current and potential customers, allowing your business to expand.
Google My Business is a free advertisement for your business on Google, the most widely used search engine in the world, which connects you directly to your customers. It allows you to share all of your business information quickly and efficiently. When a potential customer looks up businesses in a particular area the name of your business could be the first thing that they see. By adding a virtual tour to this profile this possible customer is then allowed the opportunity to see what makes your business unique and why it is the best option for them to go to. It permits your customers the ability to find you quickly and easily even if they didn’t know you were there.
People are drawn to images more so than plain text, so by having a virtual tour present on your profile, your prospective customers are more inclined to pick the link to your business than that of your competitors. By having the tour of your business available you are already building a relationship between your company and product with your soon-to-be customer. This will aid your business in bringing in new customers because they will feel as if they already know the business and feel more comfortable being there. A business virtual tour gives you the opportunity to show off everything great about your company to all possible customers with the click of a button.
When your business is closed there is no opportunity for your potential customers to see what makes your business so great. The doors are locked, lights off, no warm greetings or relationships established to make that customer want to return to your business. Instead of losing that prospective customer, allow them the opportunity to see inside your business. With Google Maps virtual tours, possible customers can experience your business and the ambiance it elicits even after hours. By giving them the chance to walk through your business and see how inviting it is they will feel more inclined to want to visit during operating hours. This 24/7 virtual showroom gives you the chance to invite your customers in to see your location, decor, and promote your business even if you have closed for the day.
It is a 24/7 free advertisement for your company on one of the most visited search engines in the world. Customers will enter your business feeling comfortable, putting them in a better mood and more prone to enjoy their experience at your business, and to return repeatedly. The Google 360 tour makes you stand out from other companies and gives you the unique experience to show off your business right in your customers’ hands. The ability to embed the virtual tour onto your own business website and Facebook page also allows the general public to walk through and see your store in a way that you cannot explain in words. You can produce a great customer experience and welcoming sensation without them having to be in your store.
The point to any advertising is to have the customer see it and then translate that into them coming into your business and buying or using your products. With the internet being so essential this needs to be a main focus when it comes to advertising for your company. When people want to find something out about a company or a product, the first place they go to is a search engine. When someone looks up your company or your business field and they see your Google My Business page with a virtual tour they are more inclined to click onto your profile and take that virtual tour. This gives your company a greater click-through rate which aids in the continuation of your business showing up in those search results and in return getting you more customers.
During NYC Restaurant Week 2013 there were 294 participants, restaurants that wanted to engage their customers and to do this they enlisted the help of Google photographers. Restaurants that had virtual tours saw a 30% higher click-through rate to reservations; visitors clicked through to the reservation page of restaurants with a Google business virtual tour 50% of the time; and 84% of 1,300 surveyed customers said that Business View was a major factor in their choice of business. By having potential customers click on your business and then move further into your website they truly get a feel for your company and are more likely to choose it as the business they want to visit and will stop looking for other potential options.
By having an online virtual tour, companies have seen a substantial increase in click-through rate percentages and with actual foot traffic inside the businesses. A southern California business called Just Food For Dogs saw a 50% raise in their click-through rate from search engines to their site with the addition of a Business View Virtual Tour and has seen a considerable growth in the amount of business they have been doing locally and nationally. The more engaged your customers feel with your company the more likely they are to visit and return to your business. Leekes, a home furnishing store in the UK, saw a 20% increase in foot traffic over the previous year due to their virtual tour.
Google Street View for business uses geo-tagging technology in its virtual tours, that means that it has the longitude and latitude of where the pictures were taken embedded in the pictures making your business and its photographs show up on a virtual map. If people are looking for a business near a certain location and your company’s coordinates are near, your company will show up in the search results along with your virtual tour to show this potential customer all you have to offer. This easily allows people who are not familiar with the area to find you and also promotes your company locally by allowing people near you to see how close you are and what you have to present before they even leave their front door. Geo-tagging gives you another form of advertisement, social media.
People who come to your business can tag themselves on their social media sites at your business, saying that they were there. By doing this all of their followers and friends can now see your business name, and location and you just received free advertising. With social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram becoming increasingly popular they cannot be ignored. Geo-tagging allows you to reach out to those sites and potential customers without really trying. Another big asset to geo-tagging the pictures is that people do not even have to know the name of your business to look you up online they can simply say “restaurants near me” or “clothing stores near downtown” and then see your business and the virtual tour in their search results.
The geo-tagging will tell them where exactly you are and relatively how long it will take them to get to you. If people can search and find your business on the internet then you will have more business in your store, the more ways you can interact with your potential customers the more profits you will see. Geo-tagging your commercial photos allow those customers to find you and want to visit your company. Geo-tagging utilizes the internet in an inexpensive way to grow your presence and the potential success of your business.
Only Google trusted agencies or trusted photographers are able to create these virtual tours. View our certification here. Find one in your area using this page. Ready to get yours? Call us at (801) 505-9125 or fill out our short contact form.
Once you’ve decided that you want a tour for your business, we’ll set up a time to have one of our certified photographers come to your business. We will begin by walking through the premises to help determine how to price your tour. We will sit down with you and discuss and plan the areas we will shoot. From there, we will set a date to come by and shoot the tour.
We ask that business owners clean and organize the business to make it presentable. Remember, potential customers will be viewing your tour to make a decision whether or not to do business with you. First impressions do matter here! We also ask that we come at a time where there will not be people in the business, as we do not want them to be in the tour.
Our photographers will take panoramic photos of your location and 10-15 HDR still photos. These will be used to help you complete your Google My Business profile page.
Contact the top performing Google Trusted Photographer in Salt Lake City today!
Local Place View
3630 S Jordan Pkwy #101
South Jordan Utah 84095