One of the biggest hurdles business owners face when advertising their services online is conveying the uniqueness of their brand, company culture, and the way of doing business. It can feel next to impossible to really let potential customers “in”, show them around, and make them feel like they’re getting to know you. This, in a nutshell, is why Google Business View is essential.
Since 2010, Google has encouraged business owners to hire a professional photographer to visit their store or office, photograph a collection that shows off the best in that location, and then assemble the images to create a “virtual tour”. This virtual rendering then gets uploaded to the business owner’s Google Places page, integrated with other Google services, and from there it’s a few short clicks to feature the tour on a range of other social media services as well as the business website.
While it takes a bit of preparation to get ready for a Google business photo shoot (you’ll want to make sure that your premise is clean, organized, and fully renovated before proceeding), the cost of these photo shoots is typically very reasonable and the benefits from Google Business View are well worth the work and minor expense. Here are what Google Business View can offer you and your business:
- It helps to build customer trust
Nothing scares away a potential customer faster than the idea of ordering from a “faceless” and unknown business. Google Business View helps them to overcome their natural fears of ordering online by proving that your business does physically exist and that they won’t be taken in by a scam. In essence, it gives your customers the same feeling of safety when walking into an actual store.
- It makes your business look more professional
Customers (or clients) will appreciate knowing that your business is more than just a hobby, more than a small operation run out of your home. Google Business View confirms that your business is well established and its services are always striving for more.
- It makes your business more “discoverable”
Pictures generate curiosity! Research suggests that having a virtual tour uploaded encourages customers to “click through” to your “Places” page or website. Likewise, as the tour will show up on the maps tab and is integrated with Google Street View, it is well positioned to grab people’s attention, who are browsing through local businesses or exploring their local area.
- It aids in your Search Engine Optimization efforts
While Google Business View is not a “direct” ranking factor, it has been shown to improve SEO in a number of small ways, notably due to the fact that it encourages more click-throughs, which are, of course, visible to Google.
- It supports your business to become more “mobile-friendly”
Having Business View set up ensures that the “see inside” option features very prominently when mobile users check out your Google Places page.
- It improves your business’ visual presentation
You will have a collection of professional photos to use wherever and however you like. Once you purchase a Google Business Photo Shoot, you can rest assured owning ten high-quality full-size images, in addition to the virtual tour. These images may be used to make a “hero” image for your website, improve its appearance, create new banners for social media sites and much more application.
Google doesn’t confiscate the rights to the photos you buy, so you’re free to reuse them both online and offline—the possibilities are endless. This is especially advantageous given the fact that businesses are now being advised to shy away from purchasing generic stock images for their websites as they have been shown to decrease user engagement. In order to make your business more memorable on the increasingly cluttered World Wide Web, you need to stand out visually, and this requires the use of unique, genuine bespoke images.
- It saves your hosting cost
Hosting the Business View tour carries no additional costs. Once you have paid to have the photos taken, you’re done. There are no monthly or annual fees attached to Google Business View. This is true no matter how many locations or stores you add to Business View, making it one of the most cost-effective forms of online marketing.
- It helps to strengthen product display and visualization
You will be able to better showcase your displays and products to potential customers. If a customer wants to make sure you have the product they’re looking for in stock or wants to view a certain display before going to your store, you can likely just point them in the direction of one of your Virtual Tour photo collections.
- It provides promising added values
Business View is likely to expand what it offers over time. Due to the success that Business View has enjoyed so far, it’s probably going to have an exciting future in store for it. Some people have theorized that Google may even one day integrate the service with product feeds, allowing people to click on inventory and shop while they virtually “walk around” your store. One thing is for certain: this is a service that’s here to stay, and it’s well worth investing in.
Whether you are a car dealer, restaurant owner, dental office, or real estate agent, AllinBrand is always willing to elevate your brand to a whole new level. Contact us to see how we embrace branding with the power of visualization.
Curious on what Google Business View actually looks like? See for yourself here!