Google Business Photos has now come to Devon showcasing businesses with Street View technology. This is a great opportunity for businesses of any size to give themselves high visual impact online.
Exeter based commercial photographer Peter Stephens has recently become a Google Trusted Photographer and is now offering this service in the region. He already offers bespoke virtual tours as a service but says Street View virtual tour opens up more options for his clients, especially smaller businesses where these exclusive virtual tours may have been out of budget before. It is a quick and simple process to produce the tours, with photo shoots only taking a couple hours and tours going online usually within a week.
From a business point of view it is a great way to allow customers to view the premises online, as well as give them a chance to view the surroundings so they have a better idea how to get there. These tours can accurately convey a sense of ambience and spacial awareness which is not possible with traditional still photography.
Take for example a pub or restaurant, quite often all you get on their website are a few still images which only offer a general impression of the business. However, wouldn’t it be great if you could view where the tables are situated and book the exact one you want.
Peter has already produced tours of the Oddfellows Bar and the Mill on the Exe pubs in Exeter, both of which can be viewed via Google Maps.
On a larger scale Peter has produced a Street View virtual tour of Exeter Cathedral which is made up of 30 panoramic images. The tour enables viewers to walk around the Nave, the Quire, the Lady Chapel, the Chapter House and also inside the Cathedral shop.
Local shops including Snappy Snaps, The Real Food Shop and various Devon Air Ambulance shops have already had Street View tours produced and many more are on the way.
From a marketing point of view it will be interesting to see how these Street View tours affect web traffic. Since there is a visual reference of the business people should be more likely to click on the business to find out more, even if it’s just out of curiosity. The screen shot below shows how a search for the shop Snappy Snaps appears on Google.
Peter has been producing virtual tour photography since 2005 and says that he has seen a huge improvement in the technology over the last few years.
He explains “When I first saw that Google were taking Streetview into businesses I was a little worried about how it might affect my existing services, but now I have the privilege of producing these tours myself I can see it being a valuable part of my business. I am really excited to be providing this service and looking forward to working with local businesses.”