An article in the Indianapolis Business Journal says what’s normally only been available to businesses in larger markets like Chicago, New York and Atlanta is slowly reaching other cities, and that includes Indianapolis. Google Business photos.
Most of us are familiar finding what we’re looking for using Google Search. Contacting businesses to do business with using Google Places. Or, finding out where we’re going using Google Maps.
If you’ve been using Google Maps you may also be familiar with the “Street View” functionality that lets you take a virtual cruise down roads you plan to travel on to get an idea of the surroundings and maybe catch that specific landmark you’ll be looking for later with your own eyes before your trip even begins.
As the service offerings for Google Business photos expands and develops, the latest implementation we’ll be able to start seeing in the Indianapolis area is taking those same kinds of “virtual tours” in Google Maps to take a look inside of business we may find in our searches in Google Local/Places.
The image quality for these interior business shots FAR exceeds the quality we’re used to seeing for the Google Street view cameras attached to cars driving around the city. Take a look at the screenshot below. I’ve “walked around” in the photo until I’m standing at the main exterior entrance to the bar area where I can peek inside.
Just like in the Google Street View functionality, I’m able to grab the photo with my mouse and “look around” the space presented. I can move my mouse to other areas of the photo and double-click and move to that location as my new point of reference. This provides an amazingly realistic representation of walking around inside the business. How’s that for welcoming potential customers to a new location and introducing them to the atmosphere before they even arrive.
Bryn Jones, St. Elmo’s Director of Marketing, shared in the Indianapolis Business Journal article, that being able to take advantage of this opportunity gives meeting and event planners in other cities the ability to see their restaurant as a potential venue.
With the price of the service ranging from $300 to thousands of dollars based on the number of photos and business space, it may not be in the budget for your business. Or, your business may not be the type that would benefit from this “virtual tour” opportunity. But, what Google is doing by changing the way information is presented on its services could dramatically have an impact on your business.
Are you taking advantage of services that are free for the most part to your business to optimize how your business is found and seen on the web? Is the information about your business accurate in the Google machine? Phone number? Email? Street address? Service categories? Website address? Do you have some of those plain-old-worth-a-thousand-words photos of your business available?
I remember seeing a sign outside of a sign shop that read, “A business without a sign… Is a sign of no business”. What’s your business’ sign look like on the information superhighway? Is it visible? Is it legible? Is it accurate?
If not, then you’ve got work to do. And we can help!