FAQ -- Google Street View | Trusted

Google Street View Trusted Badge
What is Google Street View | Trusted (formerly Business View)?
We all know, use and love Google Street View. The trusted program takes Street View inside. We come to your business with specialized equipment to produce 360 spherical panoramas allowing web visitors to look all around as if they were there. With proprietary software from Google we link these together into a virtual walk-through of your business, from the front entrance to as much coverage inside as you like.

Your Virtual Tour will appear in Google Search and Google Maps. It gives internet users a virtual walk-through allowing you to showcase all the details of your business. Sort of "try before you buy" that customers love. The service is perfect for restaurants, retail shops, automobile dealerships, doctors, dentists, lawyers, gyms, salons, and so much more. If you have made any effort to create a business environment to impress customers this is the perfect way to impress them even before they visit in person.

You can embed the Virtual Tour on your website or Facebook page just as you would a Google Map. However, you may want to take advantage of our more advanced custom tour which can add sound, text, interactive elements and much more to create an even more immersive, persuasive experience. A custom tour can also feature people whereas a Google tour shouldn't. Any faces in a Google tour must be blurred and in some cases no people are allowed at all. Luckily we can provide both types of tours.

What is SEO and How Does a Google Virtual Tour Affect It?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization -- optimizing a website to improve its ranking on search engines. The higher your site appears in search results the more likely people are to click through to the site itself. Our custom tours have a significant impact on search ranking. Google tours have less although they do increase "time on page," if given some prominence, which influences ranking. Google tours can significantly increase the click-through rates from the search results to a website, which also helps search ranking.

Google also has Local Search Results (e.g.. "dentists in Chicago"). A small selection with mini-map appears in the search results. Click that and you get a full map, much more extensive local listings and much more information about each business including the virtual tour, if there is one. Here Google Virtual Tours may influence ranking. More importantly it doubles your impact with Google searchers. (See "Is a Google Virtual Tour Worth It? Does It Work?")

How Much Does a Virtual Tour Cost?
The cost of the shoot depends on the size of your business but generally ranges between $300 and $1,500. Each location can have anywhere from 1-40 panorama steps or "photosphere", sometimes even more. Each photosphere can be about 15 feet apart. $300 covers 2 panoramas inside of your business plus three required positions starting outside your front entrance. For a small shop that may be all you need. From there the pricing goes up depending on:
  • The Number of photospheres (your choice from minimal to complete coverage)
  • Business Floor Plan
  • Special Marketing Requests
  • Additional still photography, if desired
  • Discounts are offered for multiple locations and re-shoots (seasonal changes or remodel, for example)

Each photo shoot location will be quoted before the shoot is scheduled. The fee is collected at the time of the shoot. The business owner or decision maker will need to sign a standard release form.

Are There Any Additional or Future Costs?
The cost is one time, nothing additional. The business owner gets full access to and use of the virtual tour. The tour can be embedded on your website, Facebook or blog. If you ever want the tour removed you can do that. If you would like an updated shoot to reflect seasonal changes, new features, a remodeling or whatever it can be arranged as an additional shoot at a discount.

Is a Google Virtual Tour Worth It? Does It Work?
Two important studies say "yes!"
  • Online survey of 1201 consumers who searched Google for restaurants or hotels. They were presented with versions of search results with and without virtual tours.

    • Those who viewed a listing with a virtual tour were twice as likely to be interested in booking a reservation

    • 18-34 year-olds were 2.3 times as likely to book when a tour was offered

    • Two out of three people want more virtual tours

  • NYC Restaurant Week website: 55% of participating restaurants included a Google virtual tour.

    • On average, restaurant listings that included a Google virtual tour had a 30% higher click through to reservations

    • Visitors who viewed the virtual tour for a given business clicked through to make a reservation 50% of the time (20% more than visitors who didn't view the tour)

    • 84% of 1,300 surveyed customers said the Google virtual tour played a factor in their restaurant choice

Google vs Custom Virtual Tour -- Which is Better?
Google and custom virtual tours both have advantages. For many businesses using both is actually best. We will help you determine which one is better for you, or both, and how to allocate budget to best meet your needs.

Relative Strengths:

  • ONLY Google Virtual Tours appear right in Google search results and Google Maps. This doubles the effectiveness of your Google presence.
  • Price: Automated processing allows a remarkably low production cost.
  • Improved Google Local Search Results Ranking (Slightly, but even better with a virtual tour on you website.)
  • Improved Click-Through Rates from search results to your website.
  • See everything. A Google tour usually includes far more 360 steps, more closely placed, giving visitors the chance to look more closely at what is on the walls, hangers and shelves. Especially good for retail stores. Like walking through yourself.
  • No website? No problem. Google Virtual Tours are hosted by Google and get results even if your business has no website. (Although a website is a major contributor to search engine ranking.)
  • The best option if your website doesn't allow virtual tours. This is especially true of franchise sites, many canned or template sites or if you just don't want the programing challenge. And, if you can embed a YouTube video or Google map on your site, you can easily embed a Google virtual tour.
  • Google Branding on the tour even when embedded on your website. Some feel this lends a cache' of credibility.
  • Embed the tour on your website or Facebook page.
  • Blurred image bottom to remove the tripod is standard but a custom logo can be used instead.
  • PEOPLE! Custom tours can feature people and their un-blurred faces.
  • Significant Native Search Engine Ranking improvements on all search engines when tour is given proper exposure.
  • Enhancements greatly improving effectiveness:
    • Background sound or music
    • Voice over narrator
    • Automated cinematic motion
    • Animated elements within images
    • Thumbnail navigation to move rapidly from one location to another especially over long distances.
    • Floor plans
    • Maps
    • Descriptive text, captions and titles
    • Virtual objects
    • Videos
    • Hotspots in images to trigger events
    • Essentially, anything you can think of can be done
  • Superior Quality:
    • While we can use the same automated images as in a Google tour, most businesses want the best image possible, which requires custom processing, enhancement and retouching.
    • Real bottom of the image (no blurred tripod)
    • Retouching possible to fix or enhance the image.
  • Share more of your story. Include voice over, pop-up text, even titles to tell visitors what they are looking at and why it is important adds significantly.
  • Real 360x180 viewing on mobile devices. Look all the way up and down without distortion. Works on all modern iOS, Android and Windows devices.
  • No Google Branding in the tour.

If enough of your message is conveyed with the Google tour remember that you can embed it in your web page. That improves your website effectiveness and has some effect on search engine results. A custom tour significantly improves your site's organic SEO ranking in all search engines. Of course, Google tours and photos still produce better results throughout Google, including in local searches. Many companies choose to do both for maximum impact.

Why Choose Tour de Force 360VR?
Only a Google certified "Trusted Photographer" such as Scott Witte of Tour de Force 60VR can provide this service. Scott has won major awards for both his virtual tour productions and advertising still photography. He brings both to play when creating the most effective experiential media for you. Especially valuable is our ability to produce both a Google Virtual Tour and a more advanced Website tour for you and persuasive still photography. This maximizes your search visibility and interaction and the effectiveness of your marketing message once people get to your site.

For a free consultation and estimate please call Scott at (414) 345-9660 or