Create Interactive Tours of Your Shops with Google Business Photos

Saikat Basu

Panoramic sweeps of the country side have helped us become couch travelers. Now, 360 degree views and some Google technology could give virtual shopping a new twist. Google Business Photos is a new initiative from the search giants that could help you give potential customers a preview of your shop, restaurant, or any another business place. Google Business Photos will not only showcase your business in its entire 360 degree look around glory but also create a high-quality, interactive, 360-degree experience.

Google Business Tour

How Will It Help My Business?

When your business listing comes up on Google search results (and on other Google spots like Google Maps and Google Place), potential customers can ‘look around’ your store in their browsers. It will give them a better idea of the interiors without actually visiting the place. Just think that if you needed to book at a restaurant and you could check out the ambience and seating arrangements beforehand. You can create walkthroughs to showcase the highlights of your store. You can also embed the virtual tour from your own website thus giving potential customers a professional feel.

How is Google Business Photos Captured?

Google Business Tour

Google has partnered with a small network of professional photographers – Google Trusted Photographers, who are independent contractors trained and certified by Google to produce high quality panoramic images. As the program has just begun, the circle of photographers and the cities they cover is still small. Presently it’s limited to U.S., Australia, New Zealand, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Canada, and the UK. Though, you can apply from anywhere in the world and Google just might oblige you.

How Much Will it Cost Me?

As Trusted Photographers are freelancers, they will have their rates. The rates will also depend on the kind of business you have and the photos that will be required to cover the interiors. For instance, a 1000 sq.ft. warehouse could cost less than a 700 sq.ft. restaurant as the restaurant will need more shots to accommodate all the interior décor. A business owner can negotiate with the photographer on the price. The agreement will be covered by a contractual service document.

To counter-balance the price of shoot, Google also offers a free $100 Adwords incentive which you can use to advertise on Google.

Can I Upload My Own Photos?

Sure. As a business owner, you can sign into Google Places and upload your own set of photos. But do remember that Trusted Photographers are trained in all sorts of interior photography techniques and the tools necessary to stitch together the panoramic photos seamlessly.

Read the FAQ on Google Business Photos to find out more about the novel service.

Google Business Photos could be a great promotion tool as it allows you to cover all Google properties (web and mobile) with an interactive tour and grab eyeballs for your business and turn them into footfalls. How does the idea grab you?

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