How Enhanced Google Business Listings Can Improve Your Business

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Have you claimed your business’ Google listing? If you haven’t yet, you should.

Google is continually expanding the marketing and sales features of its Google My Business listings. If you’re unfamiliar with Google My Business, think about what happened last time you searched for a local restaurant online. That map with three business listings that appeared at the top of the page? That’s the Google 3-pack, and it’s highly prized digital real estate.

Google business listings for search on Italian restaurants

When you click on any of the links in the 3-pack, you won’t get taken to that business’ website. Instead, you’ll get taken to its Google business listing.

An enhanced Google listing delivers critical information to potential clients. Using enhanced street views and virtual tours in your listing can:

  • Boost your placement in Google search results
  • Increase traffic and contacts to your website, business, and properties
  • Improve your lead quality

That’s some heavy lifting. Here’s how it works:

Getting found: How virtual tours can improve your SEO

Google’s search algorithm assesses every interaction a visitor has with your Google assets. These aren’t the only factors Google uses to determine search rankings, but they are influential.

It’s looking for signals that people like the content on your business listing, and that they’re getting the information they want. Google interprets these signals as indicators of your listing’s authority. As your authority increases, your search ranking does, too.

We know that users spend more time on websites that have video content – 88 percent more time. People prefer visual engagement, especially when the visual is high-value content that delivers useful information.

Visually appealing tours and street views are an effective way of providing that engagement, which means that using images and videos to engage visitors will strengthen your listing’s authority.

The more authority Google assigns to your business listing, the further up the search results page it climbs. With the right visual content, your listing might even make it into the coveted Google 3-pack.

Getting contacted: Why enhanced visual elements spark contact

We know that images stand out from text. We also know that relevant, high-resolution images create the most visitor engagement. These are the factors that get visitor attention and improve your search ranking.

Google is starting to include video thumbnails in local listings and search results, which will also attract visitors. You can quickly improve your listing by replacing your stale Google street view image with your own enhanced street view image. Google’s “Street View Study” found that “listings with photos and a virtual tour are twice as likely to generate interest.”

Another study found that 67 percent of people said they want more businesses to include virtual tours in their listings. Virtual tours provide users with the detailed information they want, and giving visitors what they want always improves contact rates.

When you upload enhanced street views and virtual tour videos to your Google business listing, you not only come off as more reputable, but you also make it more likely that users will contact you; it’s no secret that video improves conversion rates nearly everywhere it’s used.

Improving your lead quality: How virtual tours save you money

People like virtual tours because they like getting as much information as they can before deciding which businesses to contact. This is especially true when the property is the crux of the transaction. Taking a virtual walk through your property or business helps people determine if it suits their needs.

This means that virtual tours aren’t just engaging tools that attract attention from the right people; they also help the wrong people self-select out.

Investing time and money into nurturing leads that turn out to be unqualified is a waste. Google’s 360 virtual tour functionality lets you share interactive virtual tours filled with high-value information that helps prospects qualify themselves for you.

Claim your patch of the Google business listing landscape

If you want your business to benefit from enhanced street views and 360-degree virtual tours, you need to claim and verify your Google business listing. Once you do that, you can start uploading striking visuals to amplify your business’ reach, both online and off.

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