Setting up a Google Tour in Toronto is easy. To get a 360 Tour in your city (such as the Greater Toronto Area) you need to hire a local Google Trusted Certified Photographer. You can reach out on our contact page to get connected.
If you’re a small business owner or work in marketing you can easily set up a Google Virtual Tour for your business interior locations. This allows you to showcase your establishments in an engaging and interactive way. Google’s Street View technology now goes inside businesses and is now known as “Google Street View Trusted”.
This allows businesses to have a photographer come in and record a 360-degree virtual tour of your establishment. From there, you can embed the tour onto your website and be seen on places like Google Maps or Social Media. Providing a more transparent look into your business gives you the ability to offer something more welcoming than your competitors. The more trust you build with your customers, the better chances you have of gaining their business.
Why is a Google Virtual Tour important for your Business?
Well, a Google Virtual Tour can improve your visibility on Google search results and Google Maps. When customers click on the “See Photos” they have access to view your business in 360.
With customers now making most of their decisions online, it is important to provide as much information as you can ahead of time:
- If you’re in the hospitality business, such as hotels or restaurants, customers would like to know the ambiance, and if there is room for large groups or what the rooms may look like.
- -If you’re in the retail industry, such as gyms, retail stores, or car dealerships customers would like to know what products you may offer, and the size of your store, as well you can impress them with your interior design.
- If you’re an office space, such as a dentist or lawyer, customers would like to see that your space is clean, open, and modern. These small details matter.
If you want to learn even more about how it can help and its costs, you can find more information here
So how do you set up a Google Virtual Tour for your Small Business in your city, such as Toronto?
We use Toronto as an example because that is where we are based, however, we have photographers all over Canada and the United States. If your business is outside North America we have a large network of Professional photographers we can connect you with:
Here are the steps to set up a Google Virtual Tour:
- First make sure you have an active Google My Business listing – If you haven’t already, make sure you have the e-mail attached to your Google My Business listing. Although we do not need this access to upload the tour, it helps if you need to make any changes, and can save time in the future.
- Hire a Google-Trusted Photographer – Only trusted photographers have the knowledge and experience to photograph your 360 Tour properly. Their certification allows them to upload the 360 Tour on Google on your behalf. Not all photographers are the same, you can see our post here on how to decide on the right photographer for you.
- Find out which pricing package suits you best. The cost depends on how much you need to photograph and since the photographers are independent contractors, they set a price close to the industry standard. However, don’t get trapped in choosing the lowest price. Just like any photography business like wedding photographers, there are red flags when the price is really low, it’s a sign of low quality. Ask the photographer for an example of not just their 360 work, but also their photography portfolio.
- Communicate to set up a date for your shoot: Once you determine a package that suits your business needs, schedule a date through e-mail or phone that works best for your business. The best time of day is usually in the mornings before your business is open. There is good available outdoor lighting. If that is not available after your business closes is ok too, but in places like Toronto during the winter/fall seasons it can get dark by 5-6 pm, so take that into consideration.
- Prepare your location to be in a photo-ready condition: Just like you would for any commercial photography project, you want to ensure your business is highlighted in the best way possible. We have put together a complete checklist. If you would like to see what you need for your business just send us a message here.
- The Photographer will come in to photograph the Virtual Tour – Everything else is taken care of by the Photographer. Ensure that staff is not present in the photos, and the place is in photo-ready condition before they arrive. The shoot time depends on the size of your location. Smaller locations take about an hour, while larger locations such as hotels can take up to 3 hours. The average time for most locations in the GTA is about 90 minutes.
- Post-Production & Uploading: Once the virtual tour is recorded, the photographer will go back and touch up the imagery. The post-production work will involve color balancing, exposure adjustments, and quality control. The post-production varies from photographer to photographer, so it is best that you ask what is done afterward. This is also why the price varies in the shoots. You want a photographer who put in the most quality and effort to ensure your 360 tour comes out looking its best. Once the editing is complete the photographer will upload the imagery to Google.
- 360 Tour should be ready in 7 days: Depending on the size of your location the 360 tours should take about a week. Smaller locations are usually a bit faster, while in large establishments there is a lot of post-production that needs to be done, so it may take a bit longer. Once the photographer contacts you that the upload is complete, you will be able to see it on your Google My Business page, which is easily accessed on Google Maps, just search “Your business name”, click on it, and look under photos or scroll to the right to see Street View & 360″
That’s it, you can now enjoy showcasing your 360 Tour to your customers from all over the world. Gain advantage from tourists who like to plan their trip ahead of time, or customers who care really about a quality business. Highlight the tour on your website, add a link on your socials, and embed it onto any other platforms that allow an HTML code.
If you have more questions or would like to set up your Google Tour you can easily contact us here