Getting the Most out of Google Street View for Your Business

“We’ve been growing even more since we’ve had Google Street View. Any future location we open is going to have this feature. I think it’s invaluable and it’s going to be necessary”

– Rudy Poe, managing partner, Just Food For Dogs

Just Food For Dogs (JFFD) is a company located in Newport Beach, California, that produces healthy, whole foods for dogs in a human-grade dog food kitchen. In an effort to attract new customers who appreciate the care and attention put into their product, JFFD contacted a local Google Certified Photographer to produce their first Google Street View tour – a 360-degree immersive and interactive tour of their business.  As a result, Poe’s company saw a 50% increase in click-through rate from the search results to its website.

If you had the chance to talk to Poe, he would tell you that he couldn’t have made a better decision for his business. “You really only get what we’re about once you walk inside. We want to convey the genuineness of our brand, and stepping into our store is the best way to do that,”  said Poe.

Want to see JFFD’s Tour? View it here and you’ll understand how Google Street View impacts JFFD’s ability to convey the high-quality nature of their products and location.

The outside of the JFFD building is very plain, and certainly not special enough to peak your interest. But, once you’re inside, and are able to see the whole layout – including the stainless steel appliances and numerous containers of fresh, healthy food – you’re hooked! Why wouldn’t you buy food for YOUR dog from them?

Google Street View is changing the name of the game for digital marketers.  It’s return on investment is substantial, and potential for increased revenue is significant.  If you haven’t yet utilized Google Street View for your business, why not?  You’re missing out!

If you do have Google Street View (or plan to get it), here are a few suggestions for effective ways that will get you the most bang for your buck:

Seven Ways to Use Google Street View in Order to Boost Your Business:

  1. Once you have it, promote the hell out of it!
    Let the world know that they can take a virtual tour of your location by sharing this information in your blogs, on social media, and through any other distribution channel you use.  Heck, while you’re at it, put Street View stickers in your windows, too!  Guaranteed, your customers will be so impressed, they’ll keep coming back (not only to your Street View, but also to your business)!
  2. Create a treasure hunt for your site visitors.
    Make this process even more fun by placing items throughout your business prior to the photo shoot.  Then, make a list of those items for viewers to find (you can even divide your list into smaller lists, and change them each month).
    Making a game out of your tour keeps visitors coming back for more challenges, and each online return improves the chances of  increasing visits to your business.  See the possibilities?  People LOVE games!  It’s super simple and serves as an easy reminder to KEEP CHECKING YOU OUT! 
  3. Have your photographer get a panoramic view of the exterior of your building.
    Exterior views help customers get a feel for things, like neighborhood and parking availability, in case they aren’t familiar with your area. If you have a unique-looking building, this is even more important! 
    Even though the old saying “location, location, location” has it’s place, sometimes the very best businesses are off the beaten path. Google Street View can draw in customers that might not otherwise stumble upon everything you have to offer – ultimately expanding your reach, and your bottom line!
  4. Take your pictures from a relevant perspective.
    For instance, if your business is a day care center or preschool, it may be interesting to take the photos from a child’s viewpoint – literally… get down on their level! Even if the kids aren’t the ones paying for the services, they are customers.  Create some buzz for your business by presenting yourself differently from your competition – let parents know that you always have (their) children at the top of your mind.
  5. For retail locations, have your photographer focus on your most popular items.
    By focusing on your key products, as well as your location, you are showcasing your best, most important assets.  If your business sells some really unique and unexpected items, having those items showcased in your virtual tour will draw attention to those products and your business’ individuality!  Being different makes people want to CHECK YOU OUT!
  6. Think outside the box to determine what your customers want to see most.
    If you’re a car wash, “drive through” the experience with your virtual tour. If you’re a theater or playhouse, let your visitors take in views from various seats.  Airlines, trains, cars, cruise ships… the possibilities are endless.
    There’s a ton of competition for businesses who rely on their digital presence to sell products or services, so take visitors by surprise! Give them a tour that is so entertaining and informative that they can’t wait to run through your door.  The more immersive the tour, the better!
  7. Give your customers a chance to “try before they buy.”
    Put yourself in their shoes. For example, let’s take someone in the market to buy a new car. If you were them, imagine how much more likely you’d be to visit a dealership if you’ve already been able to  “sit” inside a vehicle to experience everything it has to offer. With some creativity and good photography, Google Street View allows visitors to take a virtual “test drive” from their sofa!

The creative uses for marketing with Google Street View are endless.  The only thing that can limit you is your own imagination! Get started today.  With the cost effectiveness of implementing this powerful sales tool, can you really afford not to try it?

For more ideas about other exciting ways to make the best use of Google Street View, check out sites like Google Maps Mania or 3 Web apps that make Google Street View seem amazing again.