Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How the high street can use Google Business Photos

Google recently introduced Business Photos, which uses the same tech as Street View, and allows shops, restaurants and other businesses to provide virtual tours of their premises. 
These tours are then shown in Google Maps and local results, providing offline businesses with an opportunity to drive footfall into their locations. 
I'll look at how business can use these photos to drive footfall, and improve CTR, while I've also been asking Charles Mansfield-Osborne of StreetVisit, one of Google's 'Trusted Photographers', about the scheme. 


How businesses can use photos

Hove Bar now has a comprehensive listing on Google which will appear in relevant local results pages.
The 'see inside' option allows potential visitors to get a real feel for the place, which should go a long way to helping them make a decision. 

Here's another example, from Aird Toolshop in Brighton. You could probably even check if they have the right tools in stock before you pay a visit. 
Combined with related information such as opening hours, contact details directions, and reviews from customers, these listings provide a comprehensive guide for any potential visitors.

SEO benefits 

Even businesses without a website can provide useful information for customers and rank highly in Google for relevant search terms. 
These listings allow the business to rank for relevant keywords which they have used in their description. while adding photos it is a great way to increase click through rates.
Also, as more people use the virtual tours and hit the +1 button, these listings will get a boost. 

Driving footfall

These photos, together with the rest of the listings, are great for driving footfall. Take this restaurant listing for example: 
If I'm unsure of where to eat, then being able to actually view the inside of the restaurant and get a feel for the ambience, as well as seeing the reassurance of godd review scores may be enough to persuade me to book. 
It's a great way for businesses to gain an edge on their competitors by making listings more useful to customers. 


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