As a local business, you're always on the lookout for new ways to reel in customers.
You run a high-quality, unique brand that only needs to get people in the door to sell them on your products.
You know the Internet is fast becoming the easiest way to attract more potential customers. You've put a lot of time and energy to making sure you have a presence on social media — and you've invested heavily in SEO.
So, what is that coveted next innovation that will help grow your online presence even further? With the Google virtual tour, you may have just found it.
What Is Google Virtual Tour?
Virtual reality has been considered the next consumer-based technological frontier for quite some time now. Giving people the opportunity for complete immersion is a tantalizing prospect for advertisers, marketers, and local businesses alike.
After all, what's better than being able to transport the consumer into the world you wish to create specifically for them?
This technology has existed for quite some time now. The problem has been a way to utilize it. So much of the consumer base lacks the hardware required to fully utilize VR. How many people do you know have a VR headset?
Google has solved this issue with their google virtual tour. You can now embed 360-degree VR media into desktop and mobile devices. These can be experienced with or without VR headsets.
Google virtual tour allows you to give a potential customer an immersive, 360-degree look around your business. The benefits of this technology for your business are limited only by your imagination.
If you're a boutique hotel or bed and breakfast, imagine what a virtual tour can do for you. Finally, a tool exists that can truly display the amount of care and careful detail you put into every aspect of your rooms.
In fact, virtual imaging software increases online bookings by up to 85 percent.
By implementing Google virtual tool onto your Google My Business page, you will not only see an improvement in your SEO. You'll also start to see a boost in consumer empathy. To that end…
Establish Consumer Empathy
As a savvy business owner who saw the benefit of registering with Google My Business, you probably know how beneficial it can be for a local business.
In fact, when consumers are searching for a business they use a mapping product 44 percent of the time. And on average, 41% of these searches lead to an on-site visit.
This can generally be attributed to a couple of things. First, by seeing where the business is on a map people are given a sense of place. They understand where that business is in relation to them. That sense of proximity establishes a very important connection.
Next, when a business is pulled up on Google maps, it is usually accompanied by some brief information on that business's hours and services. If often also includes actual pictures of the location.
These pictures serve to strengthen that connection people feel with a place. By giving them an idea of what the place looks like, they are more keen on visiting it.
How A Virtual Tour Improves This
Google virtual tour takes this concept of establishing a connection with a place into the stratosphere. Being able to virtually open the door to a business and look around can give the consumer a greater sense of your place's vibe.
Given how advanced and immersive 360-degree technology has become, you might even establish a sense of empathy from the consumer.
Establishing empathy is a huge part of attracting and then retaining new consumer base. Empathy is what shoots your business up in their minds over the rest of the competition. It's what makes you a special place to them.
This empathy was before only assessable once you had gotten them physically in the store, where the atmosphere of the place could leave its impression.
Now you have the opportunity to build this connection digitally, and convert a consumer into an empathizer before they have even walked through the door.
Improve Your SEO With VR
Establishing empathy has practical payoffs. Businesses 360 photos and a virtual tour are two times more likely to generate interest. And you will see a return on investment on virtual imaging in less than four weeks.
This is largely due to the increase in both interaction and time spent on your page.
An experiment done by Google exploring the benefits of 360-degree photos and videos found that these types of virtual imaging encourage viewers to interact with the imaging.
Viewers were more likely to share these types of imaging and they had a much higher click-through rate than the standard video they used for comparison.
This meant that viewers, and eventually your consumers, were more likely to click on the video in order to see more. This can only mean great things for your brand — especially when it comes to building name recognition.
These factors, consumer interaction, retention, and sharing, are vital aspects in improving your businesses organic SEO.
Organic SEO is still heralded as the cream of the crop when it comes to shooting to the top of search engines. So, this boost is hugely important.
Wrapping It All Up
Now all that's left is to figure out the best way to leverage the Google virtual tour technology for your specific business.
If you're a gardening shop, perhaps a view of your expansive greenhouse would dazzle potential customers. A surf shop may want to sell the experience of surfing itself, providing a 360-degree VR video of what it's like to ride a huge wave.
Not everyone has the kind of equipment required to shoot VR video or the software to edit and process virtual imaging. Make sure to hire a pro who is Google Street Trusted to handle your Google virtual tour.
Then you'll be well on your way to opening your digital doors and welcoming everyone who would like to come in and take a look around.