Have you heard of Google Street View? Maybe not. But did you know that 77% of people looking for information on local businesses don’t search on Google… they search on Google Maps. That’s more than double the 32% that visit the business’ website or the 38% that look on Facebook or Yelp. The question, as always, is what to do with this information. A Google Business Profile? That should be your first stop, and it’s incredibly quick and easy to do. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? Absolutely – but don’t be scammed! Run Google Ads? Hey, billionaires have to eat, too!
But what if the people searching for your business or the service you provide could then jump right from Google Maps into your location? Soak up the atmosphere, look at the items on the shelf, the showroom or lobby instantly? Pre-COVID, 56% of people listed the first action they were most likely to take after finding a business on Google Maps was to visit in person. In the post-pandemic world of 2020, that number is unknown. What IS clear is that people still would prefer an in-person visit where possible. According to Google’s own statistics, listings with photos and a virtual tour are twice as likely to generate interest. Which probably means that Google, on their mission to show content most interesting to searchers, is more likely to show listings with photos and virtual tours first, all else being equal.
A case study of New York restaurants found that on average, restaurants that had incorporated Google Street View had a 30% higher click through to reservations. And the visitors that viewed those Google Street View virtual tours also clicked through to reserve 20% more than visitors of the same restaurant that didn’t open the Street View. Finally, 84% of the surveyed customers said that the virtual tour played a factor in their restaurant choice.
Google Street View Virtual Tours for Business
Getting a virtual tour of your business can help maintain or give you a competitive edge. At Anikio, we can create a fully branded, custom virtual tour that offers more than just a look around. An interactive tour that engages the customers. Have a salesperson on the floor that can come to life and introduce your business with a click. Popup information on a product with a “Buy now” button. The tour can be hosted by us or we can compile it to run on your website directly. And of course, we can publish a version of the same tour (subject to Google’s limitations) on Google Street View as well.
COVID-19 has made it more important than ever for your business to have a local presence online. We are eager to help! Learn more about our virtual tours or contact us directly for more information and/or a quote.
We’re really excited to introduce a feature to our virtual tours that makes the post COVID world feel a little bit more like it used to. Thanks to our new virtual tour engine, Anikio’s Live Guided Tours allow our customers to take clients, students or colleagues on a virtual walk-through that truly is shared. Live-Guided Tours allow you to have a video conference inside of a virtual tour, turning virtual tours into real experiences and adding a personal touch whether it’s a one-on-one call or a virtual field trip.
What Are Live Guided Tours?
This is more than screen sharing. Now, you can take your guests “by the hand” on a 360 degree virtual tour. As you turn to look at a feature you want to show off or walk into the next room, your guests will see exactly what you see. Or, if you grant permission, they can show you around to ask questions as they go. Synchronizing where you look, you can take turns on controlling the virtual tour. And of course, guests can be allowed to “unhook” from that and take a closer look where THEY want while you’re talking with each other. With a simple button click they hook back onto where the host is (equally, the host can force any guest to join back into their viewpoint with a button click).
The host (whether you’re a landlord, realtor, teacher, or business owner) can point out areas of interest and discuss what’s being seen in 360º by everybody in real time. The guest can follow where the host takes him, look around on his own or ask for permission to control the tour for everybody as if he were the host.
And as host, you set the parameters for your experience. Are users allowed to unhook? Ask for control? Can they hear each other or just you? So if you’re a realtor doing a walk through to introduce 20 other realtors to a new listing, you can turn on presentation mode. 30 seconds after that’s finished, you can do a one-on-one with a potential buyer… without waiting for the realtors to leave or driving across town.
Of course, your guests can still view the tour on their own. But if you really want to walk through and help them understand the potential of the space, now you have the option to do that virtually!
And Live Guided Tours are accessible on both desktop and mobile devices, so your clients can dial in from their mobile phones as well.
How It Works
First of all, we have to create the account and credentials for you to act as host of the tour. Let us know that you’d like to have Live Guided Tours when we create your virtual tour and we’ll set everything up for you.
Already have an Anikio virtual tour? No problem! We can add this capability to an existing tour as well!
Once we’ve published your virtual tour, you will receive credentials to sign on as a host. Now you’ve opened the line and guests visiting your virtual tour will see that a Live Guided Tour is available and and join the session.
All you need to do is right-click on your virtual tour and select “Start Live Guided Tour”. You’ll be asked for the name you wish to display as well as the password that Anikio provided.
NOTE: Anyone currently viewing the virtual tour when you log in will not be able to see that you’re available to host until they refresh or re-open the tour.
The first time, you will be quickly shown a few windows that explain the buttons and options available as host. Make sure you read through them, they do a much better job explaining than we are here! There are several different modes you can choose that determine how much interaction guests are allowed with you, the tour, and other guests.
Notifications and Permissions
Once you’re through these explanation windows, you’re ready to be called. Make sure your settings allow for notifications in your browser. Otherwise, you won’t be able to be notified of an incoming call.
In your browser, you’ll also need to give permission to access the camera and microphone. The browser system will ask you this automatically the first time that somebody calls you. Make sure you click “Allow” to grant access in the permission window. Even if you opt to not use your webcam for this guest (a separate setting) allowing access now will save you some digging into the permissions later. You can of course grant or revoke this permission in your browser settings at all times.
Should you not see this window or accidentally deny permission, you can go to your browser settings, search for the term “camera” and under “Site Settings” and edit the sites that block and allow your camera access. This is the case for both host and guests accessing Live Guided Tours.
Guests will only be able to call when there is a host logged in and Do Not Disturb is turned off. As soon as the host has logged in, any new visitor of the virtual tour will see the option to “START LIVE SESSION” on the top of the screen as shown below.
When clicked, the guest will be asked to give their name. Then, just click “Connect” to call in to the Live Session. Make sure to grant permission to your camera and microphone.
NOTE: If the guest opens the tour before the host has logged in, the guest will need to refresh their browser (F5 key or ) to see this option.
When a guest first enters the tour, they’ll also be shown a welcome screen with instructions on how to use the tour.
And that’s it. Ready to explore, show, guide and talk – together.
Real estate showings – accompanied and guided. Virtual field trips to the Western Development Museum or the Remai Modern Art Gallery. Personalized sales presentations and virtual showrooms staffed with actual humans. Virtual group plant visits with colleagues from all over the world. You name it. We’ll make it happen!