Google Business View

07 May 2014

Google Business View, also known as Google Maps Business View, allows people to explore local businesses via a 360 degree virtual tour of their interior. As with Google Street View, customers can zoom in and scroll around to explore the inside of buildings, offering them a comprehensive tour of participating premises.

From an astoundingly colourful mosque in Iran to a cosy bistro in London, local businesses all over the UK and the world have been signing up to give visitors a chance to glimpse their interiors.

Businesses using Google Business View will find that the virtual tour of their premises appears on their Google+ page, their Local listing, and in the knowledge graph, which is the information summary box that appears alongside search results. When the Business View is published and ready, an extra tile will appear with the words “See Inside”, which links directly to the interior 360 degree tour.

Google has authorised a specialised group of “Trusted Photographers” who can come to business premises to take the photographs for the Business View listings. The business owns the images that are taken, and it is the responsibility of the photographer to not only take the pictures, but also to process and upload them directly to Google. These approved photographers can be located here.

This feature really is a unique opportunity for businesses to showcase their attractive, interesting, quirky, modern or impressive interiors. The interactive nature of Business View makes it far more interesting to explore than a plain slideshow of photographs, and it can be embedded on a company website as well as on Facebook and Google+ Pages.

Any business with a physical location could potentially benefit from using Business View. As well as showing up on Google Local listings and G+ profiles, these virtual tours will also be displayed when people are using Street View, so even those not specifically searching for a particular organisation can find and explore featured premises.

There are additional services available that help businesses to get even more from their virtual tours. TourDash is a service that is endorsed by Google, which adds extra code to an embedded interior View. TourDash enables companies to:

  • Get access to analytics to understand who is visiting their virtual tour and where they focus their attention
  • Make a reservation directly within the tour interface
  • Link tours to specific products
  • Put extra emphasis on particular areas or items
  • Use Dynamic Hotspots, to display extra content on request
  • Automatically rotate the tour images when it is not being directly accessed, to demonstrate that it is more than a static image.