What Will You Do With Your Google Maps Business View Tour?
So you have a really cool Google Maps Business View Tour (GBV) of your business location….now what are you going to do with it? By now I hope you have a Google+ Local page all dialed in for your business. I will talk about his a little in another article if you need help to get G+ going. In any case your Google+ page is where your GBV tour will be installed. Once your tour is installed there is plenty you can do to drive customer interest to your business. Remember this is part of Google Maps. This tour is available to the public from anywhere in the world as part of that system. In effect you now have a Google Map wandering through your business. Google Maps is the largest mapping system on the planet and huge numbers of customers use it everyday to find the goods and services they are looking for. By having a solid listing on Google Maps you increase your business’s online visibility dramatically. Google Maps, if used properly can be a huge contributor to your local searches. In other words it will help your local customers find you faster and more efficiently. Your GBV tour contributes by taking maps right inside your location, by letting customers see you as a brick and mortar store and by setting you apart as an actual location in the community that they can enjoy going to. Google+ and Google Maps is like having a global, interactive phone book listing on steroids, only people actually use this listing everyday. I have small business clients that have been using these Google tools for a year or so and are getting a consistent 7ooo to 8ooo hits a day on these pages. Oh yeah, did I mention most of this Google stuff is free!
This is Gatorwraps in Ontario, CA. www.gatorwraps.com
View Larger Map This is the restroom view. These guys create some awesome graphics and vehicle wraps.
Embed Your Google Business View Tour
The next step is get your Google Business View tour out there for all to see. How? You will want to embed this tour into your webpages. Why? Google Maps is the tool of choice for everyone with a smartphone or a computer. Remember Google’s goal is to map the whole earth. They have made a pretty good stab at it. To separate your location and make it stand out you need to give your map a clear identity. Brand it for yourself so customers know who they are dealing with. By embedding you have it right in your own webpages. When you embed a tour you are also providing driving instructions and address information at the same time. Another reason is like most tools the more you use them the more powerful they becomes in servicing your needs. By embedding your tour in your webpages you are creating links with Google Maps straight to your front door. As you might imagine this can attract more than a little attention online. Some of my small businesses clients contend that they are using Google+, Google Maps, GMBV and You Tube so efficiently that their local organic searches (unpaid searches) are doing better than their paid advertising.
Here are a few embedding ideas:
- Embed into as many webpages as you wish. It doesn’t cost anything and it’s easy! You can start your tour on a given webpage in any view you wish. For instance, if you are a Eye Doctor, maybe you start a tour in your lobby looking at the glasses displays on the front page of your website. On a different page you can start the tour looking at your receptionist’s front desk, still another in an exam room and so on. The examples on this page illustrate the idea for you. Car Dealers like to show off their Customer Lounge, children’s play areas, Service Department, showroom and maybe parts. Sometimes on the same page, often on different pages.
- Embed the tour into your Face Book pages so customers can get familiar with your business.
- Embed into pages like Wikipedia if you use them.
- Embed into blog pages if you are a blogger (there are many online benefits). Depending on your subject embed your tour into your post (article) with a view to focus on that material and link it to your social media pages to lead back to your business.
- Along with embedding and linking to social media some clients have invited customers to look for points of interest within the tour and comment on these. In effect they are inviting them into their shop location. Others have used Social Media, Email and so on to invite customers inside their location via their tour as part of a “scavenger hunt” with some sort of prize attached. Maybe even concluding the hunt with a visit to the store or office.
- Some business owners now actually use various overlays along with their GBV tours that create hot spots, add menus and even background music from within the tour. Thus they can connect to shopping carts, contact pages, sales desk and so on. These overlay programs when embedded into webpages dispense information as a customer virtually walks the location. This allows the customer to interact with the business even buying product directly from the tour. Retailers of all sorts love these overlays.
- You can ask businesses you work with to embed your tour into their page as well. Most businesses have pages for links. Why have just a link if you can let customers interact directly with your location on those pages. If you are a wedding venue you might have planners run tours of your location on their websites. Maybe flower shops, bakeries or photographers might do the same for you.
- If you are an event venue or wedding venue embed your tour so as to attract attention to various appealing aspects of your location. For instance the pool, the lounge, the chapel, the garden or patio….you get he point.
- For emails where embedding becomes not so feasible try using Google Url Shortener ( http://goo.gl/ ) create links to your tours and invite customers to check them out. Then you can track the link when logged into you Google Account.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Honestly I am constantly surprised how creative business owners use Google Maps and GBV over and over again to promote there businesses.
Here’s the bottom line!
If you are not using online tools to promote your business you are loosing out on a lot of business. Small Business Owners shy away from things they don’t understand and/or have time to figure out. I know I ran my own store for a few decades. I wish I had these tools then, it would have saved me $1000 a month and actually got some real results. Granted this takes a little time and effort but these tools actually work….ask the big guys how they do it! For the most part the tools are free and there are so many features I can’t begin to comment on all of them in this short article. A Google Business View tour has a one time cost to photograph and install for your location. That cost depends on the size and layout of your location. The labor to shoot and install starts at $300 for a small shop. After the initial install Google runs it as part of Google Maps for free. You will have a tough time finding more powerful and effective tools at any cost. The overlay tools I mentioned are amazing. These for the most part right now are done by third party companies at a very low annual cost. Let me know if you need more information I’ll dig it out for you.
I would enjoy hearing from you please let me know if you have questions or comments. Just click here to send me a message!