Google has recently launched a brand new service called Google Business Photos, which allows customers who find your result in the search listings to take a Virtual Street View style Tour around your business.
This allows you the business owner to bring your business to life using Street View technology, creating an immersive 360 degree tour, allowing you to showcase all the details that your customers love.
These Google Business Tours are ideal for many types of businesses, can you imagine taking a virtual tour around a restaurant before booking a table for a romantic meal, or taking a virtual tour of a gym to see if it has the right types of equipment before going to join in the ‘real world’.
Google Business Photos allow your customers to walk around, explore and interact with your business like never before online. Allowing you to engage potential customers in a unique way like never before online.
The other great thing about Google Business Photos is that these images will enhance your Google Search Results Listings, with images appearing in Google Maps and Google Places. Google has also made sharing your virtual tours very easy, using a simple html iframe embed. This allows you to easy share your business tour on social media platforms and your own website or blog.
If you’re a business looking to get Google Business Photos done
Getting Google Business Photos for your business done could not be simpler; I have listed some of the steps below;
Register a Google + Local Page for your business
Your business probably already has a Google + Local Page, if you do not have one then it will only take a few minutes to set one up and it’s free. You need to Google + Local Page to host your tour on, creating a Google + Local Page will also help your business appear on Google searches and Google Maps.
If you don’t not yet have a business page create a new Google + Local Page and fill in the details of your business. Google will normally require you to verify your business by posting a postcard to the address you registered the business at which contains short code. Then verify your Google+ Local Page using this short code and your listing should be live.
Some Trusted Photography Agencies within the UK can speed up this process, due to their close relationship with Google.
If you find your business is already listed and you did not set it up. Chances are that it has been created automatically by an online business directory. You can claim your business Local Page, by clicking on the link at the bottom right of the page saying “Is this your business”. Again you will have to verify your listing by simply following the instructions.
Only trusted Google Photographers and Trusted Google Photography Agencies can take and upload virtual tours onto Google. Google has kindly provided a list of certified photographers and agencies;
US certified Photographers and Agencies
UK certified Photographers and Agencies
On the day of the photo shoot, we suggest that you do a quick tidy up, so your business looks as good as it can. The length of the photo shoot can vary depending upon the size of your business anything from 45 minutes to several hours. Generally it’s best to schedule the photo shoot at a quieter trading time.
Typically several days after a photo shoot your tour will be processed and uploaded. Once the tour has been checked by Google you will get an email confirming your tour has been set live. Once your tour has been created you will be free to embed it within your website and share it on social media platforms.
Robert Mackin works for a Google Business Photos Agency called Local Exposure which is based in the UK.
Disclaimer: The above is not a paid post. The author’s views do not necessarily reflect the views of TheTechStorm.