Google Virtual Tours FAQ
Why should I get a Google Virtual Tour for my business?
Imagine a person needing to make a decision on what restaurant to take the family to or what dentist office to visit or what wedding venue to consider. There are lots of SEO and content professionals that will help you with your website, your social media, blogging, etc but how do you create a more immersive experience for that person to help tip the scales in your favor?
A virtual tour allows your customers to see inside your business in 360° and fall in love with it’s beauty and charm and make them want to visit you in real life! If a picture is worth 1000 words, a virtual tour may just be worth 1,000,000! Additionally, marketing 101 says that the longer someone stays engaged with your brand, the more likely they’ll choose you over a competitor. Short of actually being in your location, there may not be a better way to keep them engaged than exploring your business in a virtual environment?
There are lots of benefits and we encourage you to visit our Virtual Tour page to explore them and take a few tours yourself.
Can I use my virtual tour on my website?
Yes you can! In fact, because the URL changes with each image and zoom level, you can embed your tour multiple times on your website and start it in a different place each time. For example, if you own or manage an event center and have separate web pages for the laser tag and the basketball courts and the swimming pool and the cafe, etc, you can start the tour focused on that specific point of interest on it’s own page. Additionally, embedding the tour on your website makes your site “stickier” and keeps them on the page longer. And “time on page” is a ranking factor!
Can I use my tour in email?
Yep, you sure can! Like your website, you can hyperlink your tour to any point in the path and when the user clicks on the link, they’re standing right where you directed them. Pretend you’re an apartment complex and a prospective renter calls and wants to know how big the master bathroom is in your 2-bedroom floorplan. You can send them the link to the part of the tour that starts in the master bath so they can see it in 360° right from the comfort of their own home. From there they can take the rest of the tour, look around and fall in love with your property. The added benefit in this scenario is that since they’ve taken the tour virtually, they may not even need to take a physical tour before committing to renting from you. This saves them and your property manager lots of time and money, especially if they’re coming in from out of town.
Can I update my tour if I have renovations or additions?
Yes. This is especially valuable in larger venues. In very small locations like cafes, the cost to update may be about the same as putting in a brand new tour. However, since it’ll be new, fresh imagery, you’ll make the Google search engine happy and likely see a nice little spike in your local SEO.
How much does it cost?
Not as much as you think; it’s surprisingly affordable! Tours start at $350 (which includes your first 5 panoramas) and go up from there based on the number of additional panoramas (panos) needed to complete the tour. Each additional pano is just $45.
What’s the return on investment (ROI)?
That’s mostly up to you. ROI is difficult to calculate for several reasons. First, there’s no ongoing cost but rather a one-time fee. Combine that with how long you’ll be in business and the ROI goes up steadily. More importantly, much relies on what the business will do with the tour. Some companies do nothing while others use it on their website, in social media, digital marketing and email, etc. Obviously, the more you leverage it, the greater your return on investment. In one case study of Carlson Hotels by Joseph L. Ortiz, VP - General Manager, IPIX Immersive Still Imaging Group, it was found that their hotels with virtual tours saw 135% increase in online revenue. Not bad! We’re happy to coach you on how you can best utilize your virtual tour to get the most impact!
Are there any hidden or ongoing costs?
No. In fact, Google hosts your tour on your Google My Business Profile on their servers for free!
Will this help with my ranking?
Yes! There are few things in search that move the needle more than images. The virtual tour experience checks all the boxes that Google is looking for: unique to your brand and location, compelling and interactive with your audience. Additionally, virtual tours keep the audience on your website up to 10X longer (if you put it on there) and time-on-page helps with both your ranking and your customer engagement!
Is it a video?
No, it’s an interactive series of stitched together 360° images. Video is considered a “passive” medium which means you press play and consume the content. A virtual tour experience is a “active” medium which means the view can pick their own adventure and choose different directions, zoom levels, etc. It allows your customers to pick their own adventure, much like an first person RPG video game.
Can my virtual tour be seen on Apple?
Yes! A Google virtual tour can be viewed across all platforms and devices including Apple, Windows, Android, etc.
How long will I wait to see my tour?
When Joe, our photographer, arrives, it can take from 30 minutes to several hours of shooting depending on the size of the virtual tour and how well the facility is prepped for the big day (we’ll help you prepare). After that, it takes roughly 2 weeks or less for it to go live on Google.
I’ve seen other companies that do this. Why are you different?
One name: Joe Danzer! We use Joe exclusively because he’s consistently ranked as one of Google’s Top 10 Trusted Photographers in America every year. His attention to detail and quality are second to none as well as our care for telling your virtual story the right way.
Don’t see what you’re looking for?
Go to our Contact Page and call us or send an email. We’re happy to help!