Google virtual business tours are a fascinating extension of Google Street View and Google Business Profile listings. Google has long been the go-to resource for both individuals and companies looking to research local businesses. Whether they are looking for new office space or a new business partner, your Google presentation is essential to make a strong first impression.
Google Virtual Tours make use of 360-degree photography that has taken the real estate industry by storm, creating a virtual walk-through experience where online ‘visitors’ can actually look up and around while virtually exploring your office space. When your business’ interior design is a major selling point, you have every reason to show it off to future customers and/or clients through this immersive new trend.
The Many Types of Businesses that Benefit from a Google Virtual Tour
You might be surprised to discover that many different types of businesses benefit from publishing a Google Virtual Tour.
For retail stores, a virtual tour allows potential customers to explore the ambiance and at-a-glance selection of your shop before they plan their trip. In a time when in-person shopping is done for the experience rather than convenience, presenting a beautiful storefront and allowing customers to virtually explore your displays can be a persuasive way to get people through the door for their shopping-spree relaxation time.
Restaurants also thrive on building a reputation for ambiance and on-site experience. Guests looking to plan the perfect date, business meeting, or family get-together may delight in the ability to explore the restaurant virtually before they book a reservation or put you on their list of places to dine on a whim. You may even cultivate specific requests to be seated near the fountain or the window with a view from guests that have yet to visit in person, but have fallen in love with your virtual venue.
As we enter the corporate realm, the appeal of virtual business tours becomes more nuanced. Business services, in which your clients visit the offices for consultations and collaborative projects, can present a more appealing and personable face by posting a virtual tour with their website and business listing. Your future clients and partners will know that they find your offices welcoming, elegant, and suitable to their caliber of business.
Corporate Real Estate
Many corporate real estate properties are already using virtual tours to show off the space to potential business tenants during their initial research phase. Why wait for tours to be booked in person – and risk losing your tenant to a competitor – when you can first show off what your space has to offer through an immersive virtual tour?
Just as individual retail venues benefit from showing off their ambiance to future shoppers, shopping centers like malls and marketplaces can attract both vendors and shoppers with a virtual tour of their aesthetically designed spaces.
Lastly, event venues can showcase the beautiful ‘blank canvas’ spaces available to future clients without booking a live tour. Much like real estate, event venues benefit from helping clients fall in love with the space before they even have a chance to see it in person.
Hotels have also begun using 360 virtual tours to help future guests explore a preview of their rooms and delight in the grandeur or coziness of the shared spaces before they choose to book.
6 Reasons You Should Have a Google Virtual Tour of Your Business
Each type of business has their own reasons for creating and posting a virtual tour experience. However, all businesses can benefit in five unique ways from a Google Virtual Tour on their business profile page.
1) Attract Clients During the Research Stage
By the time a client or customer sees your location, they have already gone through most of their decision-making stages. When it comes to restaurants and retail, arriving is the final step. A Google Virtual Tour makes it possible to attract clients and win them over with beautiful decor and an appealing ambiance during the initial online research phase. From the moment your Google business listing appears, potential clients can click into an immersive virtual tour and may become enchanted, persuaded, or tempted by your space before they have a chance to research your competition.
2) Provide a Pleasing Preview of On-Site Experiences
In many cases, clients and future customers are deciding where to spend their carefully chosen on-site experiences. Whether for business or recreation, an appealing on-site experience is more valuable today than ever before. With online shopping and services readily available, a pleasing preview of your location can be what helps clients make the decision to visit in person rather than going through remote channels.
3) Become Accessible to Distant and Remote Clients
At the same time, a virtual tour makes it possible to sell on-site experiences to clients who don’t have the chance to visit for a tour in person. For example, a couple planning a destination wedding can explore an event venue or hotel without having to make a pre-event flight to check out the space. This makes it possible to begin planning services and events without the need for extra travel or even guesswork.
4) Book Spaces and Events Without a Live Tour
For this reason, virtual business tours make it possible for venues and real estate locations to recieve bookings wight-unseen. If future guests, tenants, or clients cannot visit for a live tour – or don’t want to take the time – they don’t have to. They can spend minutes or hours exploring your virtualized space. In fact, this also works for business spaces where clients are pleased with the location of a future partner without having to make a preliminary visit.
5) Increase Your Clicks and On-Page Visitor Time
Lastly, in the digital marketing realm, virtual business tours also make it possible to increase your site stats and, potentially, your SERP ranking. Google will keep track of how often and how long users access your Google Virtual Tour, while a virtual tour hosted on your website will increase visits and lengthen the time of on-site visitors to increase the ranking of your website for search engine results.
6) Increased Exposure and Positioning on Google
If your company isn’t near the top of the search results on Google, then customers probably aren’t even going to know that your business exists. One thing that can help you rank higher is a Google Virtual Tour. A Google Virtual Tour will help you rank higher so customers and prospective customers can find your business, and then the tour connects you and your prospective clients in a new and fun way. Quality content always helps you in the rankings.
How to get a Google Virtual Tour of your Business
Virtual tours are created using 360-degree photography. A professional photographer will arrive with a 360 degree camera which can look everywhere except directly up or directly down at its own tripod. The camera will be placed at various locations, each a few feet apart. When these shots are combined, it gives the user the impression that they are “walking” through your venue one step at a time, with the ability to look around at each vantage point. They can step into rooms, down hallways, out onto the balcony, or into the lobby as they explore your virtualized venue.
Each photograph is high-definition, providing exquisite detail, but the shot is taken at a singular moment in time. This gives you the chance to photograph your office at it’s best, but with the authenticity of a living business place.
What to Look For in a Google Virtual Tour Photographer
To get the best results, be sure to book a Virtual Tour Photographer who has proven experience creating immersive and complimentary virtual tours. They may be able to direct you to virtual tours of previous clients that have already been published on Google and on private business websites, so you can see the quality of tour that you will receive.
Some also offer advanced labeling and sectioning features to enhance your virtual guest’s ability to navigate and understand each area of the business as they explore.
What You Can Expect from a Google Virtual Tour
The photography of a Google Virtual Tour will take a few hours, depending on the size and complexity of your location. It will need to be shot when the space is mostly empty and, ideally, when the natural light is at it’s most flattering for the space. However, a skilled photographer can help to create good lighting that is consistent throughout the shots.
Once the virtual tour is shot, your photographer will take some time to piece each shot together into an immersive walk-through experience that can be uploaded to your Google Business Profile and also through a portal embedded in your website.
Create Your Business Virtual Tour
If you are ready to create a virtual business tour of your company’s location or if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. Find out more with True View 360s Virtual Tours.