We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. Businesses have been advised for a long time now to include images of their business on their various profiles, including Google+ Local. That’s the profile that interested customers see when they look up your business using Google Maps. What, then, is a complete Virtual Tour worth to a business? Two thousand words? A million?
Google Maps now lets businesses create their own virtual tours right through the site. Google has established relationships with photographers in your area that will come in and work with you to photograph and create the entire experience. The virtual tours work much the same way Google Maps Street View works, allowing the viewer to pan and zoom at will.
It’s called Google Maps Business Photos (http://maps.google.com/help/maps/businessphotos/).
The new Business Photos allows businesses to create online virtual tours that clients can use to see the business and actually move through the business. Business owners can feature and highlight some of the great aspects of their store or restaurant.
And once you have your virtual tour set up, it’s automatically available on Google Maps, Google+ Local and even your own website! Virtual Tours can be embedded on any website just like a Google Map can. Here’s an example:
Here’s a video from Google that highlights what businesses can do:
Businesses can get started here, including selecting a photographer and choosing a date for the shoot.
What do you think? Would a virtual tour help your business? If you were the one doing the searching, would a virtual tour help you to select a business?