Why your business should have a Google Virtual Tour

Google Virtual Tour of salon

Do you market or advertise your business?

With today’s ever evolving technology, people are using their mobile devices to search and virtually visit all sorts of places around the globe,  from tourist destinations to local restaurants and retail stores. How people are searching and engaging online is rapidly becoming intertwined with virtual & augmented reality. Google is satiating this demand with their Google Virtual Tour for Street View, Maps, and My Business .

What is a Google Virtual Tour

A Google Virtual Tour is an immersive digital walk-through of your business. Composed of a sequence 360 degree photospheres taken by a Google Certified Photographer or agency. Typically the photographer will take a photosphere every 3′-5′ starting from outside, through the front door and as far as you would like them to go.

The Agency or photographer will then stitch these photospheres together and create a beautiful virtual walk-through, link to your Google Business listing, and publish to Google Maps utilizing Google Street View technology. Only a Google certified photographer can create a walk-through tour.

Try out a Google Virtual Tour

If you’re a restaurant, banquette hall, or hotel just think what a virtual tour can do for you over traditional photographs. Actually, Google Virtual Tours increase online bookings by up to 85 percent.

Google Virtual Tours works for all of your prospective customers, no matter what devices they use to research your business online and can be experienced with or without VR headsets.


High quality content equals better Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A well optimized business listing is filled with more content than just the business name, phone number, store hours. The higher the quality of content the greater the interaction which translates into better ranking. This is largely due to the increase in both interaction and time spent on your page.

A study done by Google  in exploring the benefits of 360° photos and videos found that 360° photos encourage viewers to interact with the images rather than just watch.

Viewers were more likely to share these 360° photos and they had a much higher click-through rate than the standard video they used for comparison.

This means that the viewers or consumers, are more likely to click on your Virtual Tour in order to see more, driving greater brand recognition.

These factors, consumer interaction, retention, and sharing, are vital aspects in improving your businesses organic SEO.


Your Door’s Open 24/7

A Google virtual tour establishes a connection between your business and customer. With the ability to open your doors virtually 24/7, you now can let the consumer have a visual experience as to what your business looks like. You have invested so much and worked so hard to build, why not share that with an infinite number of potential customers who have yet to visit.

Google Virtual Tour of a wedding hall
A Google Virtual Tour of a wedding hall

That makes one big first impression and can be a deciding factor on whether or not they would like to visit your business or use your service. Customers will feel more comfortable when they visit, because they’ll already know what to expect.


Build Consumer Empathy

Higher empathy leads to stronger financial performance, increased customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and greater innovation. Establishing empathy is a big part of attracting and retaining new consumers and is essential in anticipating and meeting the customers’ needs and satisfaction, it is the driver of successful companies.

Before the digital age, empathy used to be created once you had gotten the consumer physically into the store, where the atmosphere could leave an impression.

With a Google Virtual Tour, you now have the opportunity to build this connection virtually, and build empathy before the customer even walks through the door.


Increase Foot Traffic

Businesses with a Google Virtual Tour are two times more likely to generate interest.

On average, 41% of these place searches result in an on-site visit and you should see a return on investment on virtual tours in less than a month.

88% of consumer local business searches on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours. (Nectafy)

Efficient & Inexpensive

Hiring a Google Trusted Agency or Pro will ensure you have top quality 360 images. Typically, they will charge you an initial price with a certain amount of images included. After which they will charge you per additional photo or in groups. Once the tour is uploaded to google, there are no maintenance or additional fees.

Rates are very reasonable for this service, please realize you’re getting a professional photographer and the amount of time, effort and equipment used to meet Google’s guidelines. Most businesses probably can pay that expense off with one sale.

Increase Market Outreach

97% searched online to find a local business  (Source: Hubspot)

46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information.

44% of the time when searching for businesses, consumers use mapping products.

Most likely your competitors do not have a Google Virtual Tour… as of yet. This gives you a big advantage in driving customers through your door before theirs.


Social Sharing & Embeddable

Google allows you to share your tours to social networks that support 360 like facebook or embed directly on your website or any other relevant websites that will embed your tour.

Businesses also like to embed different parts of the tour on various pages, like a hotel that wants to show off  their banquet hall on a page about weddings or corporate events.  Likewise, a hotel who wants to show off their gym and pool on their amenities page can benefit from a Google Virtual Tour.

The Bottom Line

If you own a business that will benefit from customer visits, Google Virtual Tours are a no-brainer. For a minimal expense, the benefits listed above for your business equates to a huge return on investment (ROI). Get your tour today before you competitors do.

Author Christopher Yin

A creative professional with over twenty years experience in creating content. A School of Visual Arts Alumni, Google Trusted Pro, and a Google Top Photographer. An expert in graphic design, web design, animation, motion graphics, and production.

More posts by Christopher Yin

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