Google 360 Business View
Hey all, happy Friday. It’s Beckton and today we are going to talk about something I had mentioned previously in the knowledge card post, and that is Google 360 Business View. This is part of Google Street View, but it is actually indoors instead of out on a street. The idea of this is that businesses will have these virtual “street views” of their interiors made so consumers can look inside ahead of time. Essentially, you hire someone to come with a camera, and they turn it around 360 degrees and take panoramic shots of your business interior. This is great for consumers and businesses trying to acquire customers, but Google also gives you some hidden benefits for doing these.
Having A 360 view on your business listing has many benefits for attracting customers, especially in consumer facing industries. Since most people are already familiar with regular street view, looking inside a business is just as easy. If customers can have an interactive look inside your hotel, restaurant, law firm or store beforehand, it inspires confidence, and they are more likely to go there. According to a study, which Google commissioned an independent firm to do, if you have photos and a virtual tour on your listing you are twice as likely to generate interest from consumers.
About Those Hidden Benefits…
Officially, Google gives no preference to listings that have a Business View. However Google does a lot of things unofficially, and in our experience, it does help with your local SEO. Basically, if you go through the whole trouble of getting a 3rd party to come shoot imagery of your place, it confirms you are 100% a place. People with virtual offices or post office boxes cannot get this done, so it gives you that extra boost over them. Interaction with this 360 view helps even more, as if you have people actually going and looking at it Google gives additional weight to your listing.
Google’s Possum and Hawk Algorithm Updates
Over the last two years Google has introduced two algorithm updates the industry has called Possum and Hawk. Possum is aimed at improving local searches and penalizes businesses with competitors in the same building or the same street(e.g. 2 lawyers or 2 doctors). The Hawk update loosens the restrictions on 2 businesses on the same street, but tightens restrictions on virtual offices such as Post Office Box addresses and Regus style virtual offices. So, working on your Google My Business listing, improving accuracy and adding content and details will prove you are the ‘real deal’!
Worth the cost?
Clearly, having a Google 360 Business View will help acquire customers and get a higher ranking from Google. The only downside to this is that getting a 360 view done will cost some money. Prices are specific to the place being photographed, but they usually start at a few hundred dollars and go up depending on how large the space is. Google has a list of trusted companies that provide this all around the country, so to find one visit: https://www.google.com/streetview/hire/ The great thing about having this done professionally is they will do everything, from coming to photograph everything, all the way to getting it approved and listed on Google. For many companies, getting a 360 Business View created will be a no-brainer to get additional customers and preference from Google. Even for industries that might not be customer facing, the benefits are often worth the low cost of having one done, so consider your specific case. A 360 Business View is a very easy way to get additional visibility on Google and more trust from consumers, and is definitely worth a look for almost any business.