Google were so impressed with both the virtual tour that I created for Leekes’ flagship store in Coventry, and the way that Leekes had used the tour on their website, that they decided to feature it in a case study of how Google Business Photos can help to promote businesses and attract new customers.
Just released by Google is this fantastic new video that shows exactly how customers are using Google Business Photos to research businesses online. For details on how I can let your customers experience your business in this way give me a call.
Over the past couple of months, interest in the Google Business Photos has really begun to grow. The programme has now been extended to allow places such as churches and cathedrals to show the world the inside of these remarkable buildings on Google Maps.
The first church in the UK to be featured is the Church of St. Mary de Castro in Leicester. This was done as part of a fundraising campaign to raise money to save the spire of the church. An article regarding the shoot and the appeal can be read here thisisleicester
Not only do the virtual tours from Google Business Photos appear on search results and in Google Maps but they can also be used on your own website.
Here’s a guide showing how to do it. It assumes that you have access to editing the content on your own site but if you don’t it shows how easy it is for your webmaster to do and should only take them a matter of minutes.
The first step is to open the tour and choose the view where you would like it to start.
Next click on the Link icon, located just to the left of the compass (highlighted pink in this image).
Highlight and copy all of the HTML text contained in the box below “Paste HTML to embed in website”.
(Please ensure that you have selected all the HTML text as there is more than is visible)
Paste the HTML text that you copied onto the page where you want the tour to appear on your site.
This will now show the tour on that page
In order to resize the tour to fit you have a couple of options. The first is to change the width and height by editing the text that you copied to your site. Highlighted in pink, I have changed the width from 425 to 980 and the height from 350 to 660 (these can be any size to fit on your page).
The page now looks like this.
You can also change the width and height by selecting the “Customise and preview embedded map” option in the window where you copied the text from. Select Custom option and alter the size to whatever you require and copy and paste the HTML text provided onto your site.
This will now work on all platforms except the iPad. In order to get the tour to show on there you will need to change a bit of the code that you copied from Google.
At the start of this year a small amount of photographers in the UK were approached to become Google Trusted Photographers. This meant that they were trained by Google to participate in a pilot project extending Google Maps Street View programme into business premises. This gives small to medium sized businesses the chance to let existing and potential customers take a virtual tour around their premises!
At the beginning of March I was approached to join this small band of professional photographers to map some of the businesses in the Birmingham area. The project was at that stage still in it’s infancy and it wasn’t until the start of May that the service was officially launched. It is now available to any business that currently has a Google Business Page and if you don’t have one of these don’t worry as you can easily create one for free!
Since the launch in May there has been continuous improvements to Google Business Photos which now means that not only are they visible on your PC but they are viewable on Android and iOS devices and the latest news, which happened only last week is, that you are now able to walk straight off the street into a business premises from Street View in Google Maps!
To see an example of how Google Business Photos works check out GBS LIGHTING in Hockley Heath or check out this video of how this cigar store in the States is using it to promote themselves.