What are Google Business Photos?
A few years ago, Google has launched a service to support businesses, called Google Business Photos and Tours.
This feature allows online users to take a Street View style tour around the interior of a business.
It also enhances your search page listing and engages online surfers like never before, allowing them to take an immersive 360 degree tour around your business.
This allows you the business owner to showcase all the fantastic features of your business.
Google Business Photos and Tours are ideal for many types of businesses, can you imagine how helpful it would be to take a virtual tour of a restaurant before booking a table, or take a tour to view the décor within a café before popping down for a coffee with friends?
The possibilities in which this can help a wide range of businesses are almost limitless.
Google Business Photos and Virtual Tours have not been around for that long. Many businesses that have had tours done are just starting to see the benefits from getting the tours created.
I am going to share with you some of the benefits local business owners have noticed since getting Google business photos and tours done.
Increased Size in Search Results
When you get Google Business Photos done for your business, your search listing will be enhanced helping your business stand out from the crowd.
Typically search results are just a couple of lines of text, however once you get Google Business Photos done for your business, your search listings will increase as shown in the screen shot below.
This helpfully provides your business with larger screen real estate and several photos which will encourage online visitors to click through to your website or tour.
The size of the Google business photos and tour thumbs nails vary between businesses.
Increase ‘Foot Fall’ into your shop
Getting a Google Business Tour done for your business will allow you to attract online customers back into your shop.
Imagine being able to showcase the beautiful interior of your store to hundreds of online customers every day, 24 hours a day.
These Virtual Tours provide unique opportunities for small businesses to showcase themselves online attracting new customers to their shop.
Hopefully this will increase ‘foot fall’ and sales.
Increased online business awareness
Google has tried to help small businesses by providing them with a set of mainly free tools to improve their online presence from Google+ Pages to Google.
Google business photo’s requires the business to set up a Google+ Local Page to link the virtual tour too.
This has forced many businesses owners to interact more online with their customers increasing their awareness of other competing brands, using keywords and getting instant feedback through online reviews.
Increased interactions with customers online
Through the creation of Google+ pages business are generally increasing their interactions with customers online.
Online reviews can make or break a small business, having a virtual tour of your business online may help to prevent people being disappointed when they visit your business in the real world.
Online reviews will allow small local businesses to rapidly adapt to changes within the market place.
Increased Web Traffic to your business listing
Preliminary research from our clients have shown that when an someone stumbles upon a business listing which is enhanced with Google Business Photos they are much more likely to click through to the listing.
If a customer clicks on the “See Inside” icon they will be taken on an immersive 360 tour of the premise.
These Google Business Photo and Tour boxes on your Google Business Listing act as a call to action, improving the click through rates onto your Google+ Local Page and ultimately your website.
Embed and Share Your Business Photos and Tour
Once you have had Business Tours taken for your business and they are uploaded onto your Google+ Local Page, you are free to embed them on social media platforms and your website.
The business retains the copy rights of the photographs and tours, Google simply license them from the business.
Currently there is no fee for Google to host your business tours on their servers, just the cost of hiring a certified photographer to take the photographs.