Using Google Street View to Attract More Customers

Looking for an innovative way to increase traffic to your business and boost revenue?  Of course – what business doesn’t want an increase in traffic and revenue? Now, if only you could find a way to allow customers to explore your business online (from every perspective),  too… hmmmmm.

Well folks, today is your lucky day. You are about to learn of an impressive innovation that forward-thinking marketers around the globe are using to achieve all of these goals – it’s called Google Street View.

What is Google Street View and How Does It Work?

Photographers, trained and certified by Google in order to ensure quality imagery and a high-standard of user experience, provide in-depth virtual tours of business locations, inclusive of both interior and exterior shots.  After photographing a business from every possible angle, the photographer then stitches together high-resolution photos to make a 360-degree interactive, virtual tour.  The result? Potential customers from anywhere in the world can see an exact representation of an entire location by simply moving an arrow around on their screen.

Google Street View, hosted by Google Maps, allows customers to get a clearer appreciation of the ambiance, decor, mood, and style of locations like restaurants, dealerships, day care facilities, salons, physician offices, warehouses, or even concert halls.  Buying decisions, then, are driven by participation in an immersive tour, rather than relying solely on written content, static photos, or customer reviews.  Ultimately, Google Street View gives customers a clear expectation of what they will experience.

Four Ways Google Street View Can Help Your Business

  1. Get discovered.
    Your virtual tour can be embedded to your webpages and social media outlets, and potential customers will be less likely to miss your site, because your panoramic photos will have four access points:

    1. Organic Search
    2. Google+
    3. Google Maps
    4. Pegman (your tour guide through Street View)
  2. Attract more customers.
    Before visiting a business, 97% of people complete a Google search.  Google Street View users will have a significant advantage over their competitors, because they provide an extra level of confidence to consumers by showing who they are before customers even walk through their doors.

    Images have a significant impact on buying behavior, so having a virtual tour will set you apart from your competitors by providing an informative and entertaining element to the decision-making process.

  3. Convert more customers.
    Studies have shown that businesses who use Google Street View will see 20% growth in their in-store traffic.  Read more on this at Pinpoint Imagery Case Studies.

    Additionally, the NYC Restaurant Week Case Study reports that 84% of the 1300 participants surveyed found that Google Street View played a factor in their restaurant choice.  The pdf of this case study can be found at here.

  4. Drive engagement and receive more positive reviews.
    Increased interaction with your business through Google Street View will result in more reviews of your business. Since reviews can be both good or bad, having the ability to see what to expect before visiting a business makes customers less likely to feel disappointed or mislead.  On the flip side, positive reviews come from customers who feel that their expectations were met and/or exceeded. So, if your customers already know what to expect before they walk through your doors, you’re two steps ahead of the curve.

How Can Google Street View Help My Business?

Google Street View is hosted on the largest and most used search engine on the internet. Why’s that important? It’s important because it means that your business will benefit from increased engagement and increased traffic because Google is HUGE.  In addition to the hugeness of Google, anecdotal data suggests that there may be a correlation between the use of Google Street View and higher rankings in local search engines.  This combination provides you with unprecedented marketing opportunities at a fraction of the cost of print ads or TV and radio spots.

Most businesses are able to produce their virtual tours for under $1000, and there are no other recurring fees (Yes, you read that correctly – NO RECURRING FEES)!  This means that your tour will be online indefinitely with a $0 cost per click and a $0 monthly fee.  And, to top it off, these tours will be hosted on Google’s servers at no charge – EVER!

How Do I Get Started?

  1. Decide if  your business will benefit from Google Street View (Here’s a hint…  it will).
  2. Think about how you might make the best use of this product in order to showcase your business.  See our blog, Getting The Most Out of Google Street View For Your Businessfor some great ideas on using this tool in the most creative ways possible.
  3. Locate a Google Certified Photographer in your area. Visit https://www.google.com/streetview/hire/
  4. Embed Google Street View on your website and promote the hell out of this service to your viewers.  Again… GREAT ideas in our blog, Getting The Most Out of Google Street View For Your Business.
  5. Sit back and reflect on how easy it was to completely turn around the quality of your digital presence with very little cost.  You might also want to pat yourself on the back for being so savvy.  Go ahead… you deserve it!

How Do I Navigate Through Google Street View?

So easy, a child (or even their grandparent) could do it!  First, search for a place or address in Google Maps.  Once you complete your search and check-in to the Google Street View for that participating business:

  1. Move around by hovering your cursor in the direction you want to go. The cursor becomes an arrow that shows which direction you are moving.
  2. To see where you might go next, look for the X. Click once to travel to the X.
  3. To look around, click and drag your mouse. You can also use the arrows to the left and right of the compass.
  4. To zoom in or out, scroll with your mouse or two-finger zoom with a touchpad. You can also use + and below the compass.
  5. To position your Street View north, go to the bottom right and click the compass.
  6. To jump between streets, go to the “Back to Map” window in the bottom left and click the blue highlighted routes.

It goes without saying that people are looking for unique experiences when searching online.  The more appealing your business is for these visitors, the more likely they are to become paying customers.  Using Google Street View will allow the potential for your future marketing success to become limitless!

If you’d like to see some impressive Google Street View tours, follow these links: