6 Reasons Your Business Needs a Virtual Tour
1. Increase Visibility and Better Ranking on Google
Research has shown that businesses that have a good quality virtual tour as well as photos tend to rank higher on Google search than their competitors. It also increases their chances of ranking in what is called the Local Pack, the very important part of a Google search result that appears at the top showing the best and the nearest option.
Ranking higher will make a big difference in how your business performs in the long run. The reason you will rank higher with a virtual tour is because users tend to spend more time looking at a 360 view of the business which tells Google that people are interested in the business, thus making it rank higher.
This is great for local SEO. If you look at the image above, (screenshot of google maps), there are a lot of restaurants very close together and competing for the interest of potential customers. Although it can take up to 3 months before there is a significant difference, it can be a huge game changer. Especially if your competitors are not using virtual tours.
2. Virtual Tours Increase Online Engagement
By adding buttons for customers to book an appointment or a table, or having a contact us button allowing them to get in touch, you are already helping your future customers in the right direction. By adding a virtual tour to a Google My Business page, you can see an increase of up to 85% in online bookings in certain sectors.
The theory is that you are helping your customers understand your shop, business, restaurant or products and services. By showing them an overview through the virtual tour, these visitors are then more likely to interact with your listing on Google My Business since they are already there.
3. Social Media
A small part of the Local Results algorithm is your social media presence. If you have people engaging with your content and sharing from your business pages then Google will conclude that you are more popular and that you're important in the community.
Not all platforms support sharing virtual tours but fortunately, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin allow for you to add a permanent link and share it as a post as well. To share it as a post simply copy and paste the link into the post and it will automatically show a slightly blurred version of the start of the tour with a icon over the top to show that it is a virtual tour. For sites such as instagram we recommend a link-tree because it will allow you to have one link and customers can choose where to go firs, either your website or the virtual tour, ore even go to your Google listing.
By posting the virtual tour on social media you allow everyone who did not find you through Google to analyse your business and see what ir looks like on the inside and out. This can increase your reach and interaction with visitors.
4. Shows Your Business Personality
One Key feature of a 360 virtual tour is that it provides a great way to represent your brand at a glance. The majority of direct searches will be greeted with a virtual tour that immediately shows off your company's personality.
Perhaps you own a hair salon. If your virtual tour shows off your tiled floor, leather seats and fancy lights, they'll immediately get a taste of the brands identity without having to read too much. This attracts customers that identify with your brand identity a lot easier.
5. Let Non-Local Prospects Experience Your Business
One key thing that virtual tours can do (especially when linked to Google StreetView) is give non-local prospects the ability to tour your business. This is also true for anyone who may have mobility issues.
Giving non-local prospects an opportunity to tour your premises helps to refine their search and make them feel more confident in their decision to visit in person.
6. Help Customers Make Informed Decisions
A virtual tour is a key research tool for users. It allows them to refine their search and make an informed decision.
If you own a restaurant, viewers can easily understand what kind of atmosphere they would be in if they decided to eat there. Or if you own a wedding venue, the bride and groom may be browsing your space to get a feel of the size and layout.
As an Estate Agent you would save time by not having to show people a property they have already decided they don't like. With a virtual tour they are already very good leads. They have already seen the property, now the intention is already there to buy or rent.
In addition any virtual tour we make will have YOUR branding and a specially made custom UI (user interface). It will also include your contact details and customers will know who to go to no matter where they see the tour.