What is Google Business View?
It hasn’t been a while since 2007 when Google made the Google Street View available on its map for a few cities in US and since then all of us may have seen the cars with a fancy sphere camera installed on the roof driving in the streets trying to capture every possible road that a car can drive in. a few years ago nobody could even think of a day will come which that technology can reveal the inside of a shop or office but later in September 2012, Google Business View, Knowns also as Google Business Photo, has been rolled over to US and shortly after opened to many other countries in Europe, Asia & Australia.
How Google Inside View Works?
However Google Business Photos later renamed to Google Business View program, but the concept left unchanged and only with a few equipment verified by Google, any photographer can benefit of this program and become a Google Trusted Photographer by passing the required entrances exams. While in early years of starting of this program, Google did this for many businesses by its own photographers, now it can only be done by a network of certified photographers and agencies.
In Google Inside View, a series of photos are shot using a wide-angle lens and then they are stitched together using the Google Panorama Editor and will generate the virtual panorama tour which adds to the Google Local Listing of a business. Certain quality controls and checking are done prior to publishing the tour to make sure all faces & number plates are blurred.
Now let’s assume you have a cafe with this feature enabled. When a user search for a café in your area, yours appear on the Google Local listing results with a marker on the map. Clicking on the listing then pulls down the information bar and shows a new button as ‘See Inside’ next to the ‘Photos’ & ‘Videos’ buttons. This is where the magic happens! User can see the exact street view style virtual tour for inside of your café by walking through and zooming in & out.
How Panorama Virtual Tour Can Help A Business?
Having an strong online presence is essential for any type of business. A dentistry, medical centre, beauty salons, restaurants, gyms and many many other businesses need to have a website to promote their services but what if they don’t provide enough information which proves that they are the best?
For a restaurant owner, who has spent thousands of dollars for the restaurant fit out to make it unique, it is important to somehow show off their greatness by photos and other type of medias. But does a 2D flat image gives all the details? Not really! However a 360-degree Virtual Tour can be the magic wound by allowing the potential client to walk in, feel the atmosphere and finally make the reservation without even checking the other options. Why? Because this is the only restaurant who has shown them what they should expect!
In another scenario, if you want to buy a mattress but not sure which brand, you may search online and find that there are 2 big stores located far from each other, which have them in their web site. Deciding which one to visit is the really important here because that may take up to a day to visit both. Doesn’t make easier for you, as a customer, to see what is inside the stores, know how big they are and what variety of mattresses they have? With no doubt answer is yes!
Google Inside View is a program which benefits both customers and business owner but not only letting know the customer what they should expect to see prior to visiting the place, but also helps the business owner to win the tough online competition by standing out of the crowd.
At the time of writing this article Google has already opened this program to 29 countries around the world but prediction shows they will soon roll it over to more countries due to the popularity and effectiveness of that. A one-off low-cost idea which lives forever on the map with no maintenance fee!
It’s obvious that this is a great feature for all type of businesses but where exactly does this fit in a business online marketing strategy? You may find your answer by thinking of this as another piece of strategy puzzle. While the interactive virtual tour is showing on Google local listing, it can also be embedded into the website or a new tab in business Facebook page which gives it as much as possible exposure to the fans & viewers which are unlikely to search through the map.
While because of the lack of analytics, measuring the exact number of users visited the inside view is not possible, there are still ways to monitor the overall impact of adding this feature by doing some tricks in Google Analytics. Just do not forget that the magic doesn’t happen over the night and unless there is not a clear strategy, Google Business View may not do anything for you!