Why do “I” Need a Virtual Tour?

Why do “I” need a Google Virtual Tour?

Maybe you don’t?

A Google Virtual Tour may not be right for your business – not every business will benefit from having one…

But for others – it’s more a question of “Why didn’t I know about this sooner?”

The widely recognized and familiar technology of Google Maps and Google Earth, which allows people to view their own streets, plan holiday destinations, and locate various places on the map, can be employed in a profitable way for your business. The same technology that powers Google’s StreetView Cars to capture images of streetscapes can be used to photograph the entry points and interior of your organisation. This innovation provides a virtual inside look at establishments, enhancing the way companies are seen and explored online.

Curiosity is a powerful human emotion. A 360º viewpoint of your business is an irresistible invitation to explore and is highly effective in engaging prospective customers in a way where they feel they have a degree of control.

The types of business that benefit most from a Google Virtual Tour are:

  • Hospitality – Pubs / Hotels / Restaurants 
  • High Street Retail
  • Visitor Attractions
  • Libraries
  • Ice Rinks
  • Museums
  • Gyms
  • Stadiums
  • Theatres

These are the types of businesses that rely on high foot traffic every day. An online virtual tour attracts new customers by showcasing your operation. It helps with familiarity when your customers get there – where to park, where to go, what to do, where to sit, eat, drink, sleep, buy…. If the customer sees this beforehand and they like what they see – they are more than twice as likely to visit in person.

It has a positive side-effect too, which is often overlooked. If you have a tour, and your business looks good online – people will visit and often leave a positive review on Google – don’t forget to always ask for one where possible. Google reviews go a long way to enhance your reputation and bring in new customers.

The potential effect of not having a Google tour? Any one who visits your business and is disappointed because it’s not as they thought or heard about it – will leave a negative review whether you ask them to or not. A pre-emptive virtual visit allows customers to manage their expectations – but hopefully, in your case, your continual commitment to maintaining your premises will help those expectations to be exceeded!

Other very popular types of businesses that benefit from A Google Virtual Tour are:

These kind of tours are viewed in a slightly different way by potential customers / students. They are treated more as an informative tour – a “see behind the curtain”. Some of these may be places that you can’t ordinarily walk into and look around – but the business will benefit from opening their doors online to build trust, expertise and entice you to do business with them or use their services. They use the tour to tell a story of how their business works and show you the pride they take in what they do.

Many of these kinds of businesses also use the virtual tour link when they place job advertisements to show where candidates may be working should they be successful in gaining employment – and schools use them to attract parents to enrol their children.

Both scenarios above will have their tour uploaded to Google’s ecosystem of Google Search, Google Maps and Google Earth – which most people now regularly use in their day-to-day lives.

After we have produced a tour for you, we will show you how to embed your tour in to your website. Depending on your needs, this is highly flexible. Different starting points can be employed from the same tour, such as individual hotel bedrooms on separate pages, or showing where a widget might be manufactured by a certain machine, and in which room certain activities take place etc.

The huge benefit of having your tour on your website will help your Google Rank position improve. The website embedded Virtual Tour, will also show the inside of your business if they came to your site first before searching Google (such as links from social media or email signatures). Again, having separate pages on your website with different panoramas will greatly improve customer awareness.


There is also a second type of Virtual Tour that would be hugely beneficial in this second group scenario – more so than the first group – and that is a:


Hosted Hotspot Virtual Tour

A Hosted Hotspot Virtual Tour differs from a Google Virtual Tour in two main areas – 1) It’s hosted on a web server instead of Google’s ecosystem and 2) It contains hotspots!

The photography aspect is shot and produced in exactly the same way. High resolution images are shot on our DSLR cameras BUT – we export the images at a higher resolution than what you see on Google as we’re not restricted to file size & dimensions. This means you get sharper, clearer images in your tour.


These are buttons (generally circles that pulsate and look like spots) on certain parts of the image that you’re looking at. So for instance, you have a machine that makes widgets, and as we spin around the room and see the machine – a pulsing button is placed near or on the machine – enticing the viewer to click it. When this happens, we popup more information about that machine and the widgets – this could be pictures, text, a voice-over or a video – that provides further engaging information about that machine.

We have two amazing voice-over artists (male & female) to truly make your interactive experience ‘pop’.

Alternatively, you might want to have a tour of a new-build property and in the kitchen have hotspots on the appliances – showing the manufacture and product information. Or , if you have a showroom – the hotspot on a product could link to your ecommerce site to allow a customer to buy that product. Finally, a hotel room could have a hotspot to book accommodation.

Tell the story of your business as your online viewer is “Virtually There” – and will get more people through your door to be “Really There”.

Top Tip! Before our photographer visits your business to shoot the hundreds of photos needed for your tour – get a reputable professional cleaning company, such as QualClean in Newport Shropshire, to come and give your place a thorough clean – The photos are high resolution and show all the good, the bad and the ugly too!

The extra added bonus of a Hosted Hotspot Tour is that we create a menu with direct links to jump to specific parts of the tour – ideal if you have a lot to show.

With the Google Virtual Tour we provide an auto-updated weekly report showing how many visits your tour has attracted which is great for your marketing team to monitor the progress of any campaigns they’re running.

As the tours are hosted on an independent web server (yours or ours) we can embed your branding and your Google Analytics tracking code to get the data right into your analytics account.

To find out more about how our tours can help your business grow and benefit from all they offer, speak to one of our team – you’ll be surprised how little they cost for the return you’ll get – and to make the deal even easier to swallow, Virtually There can help you spread the cost over 12 months.

Main Image was AI generated by Adobe Firefly 

Picture of Greg Hughes

Greg Hughes

Greg is the MD of Virtually There and has been producing Virtual Tours for over 10 years, amassing over 2,000 Photoshoots of business in the UK gaining clients about 200 million views of their businesses.