Google Business View is a technology featured in Google Maps and Google Earth that provides panoramic views of your business location from positions along many streets in the world. Now you can have Google Business View come inside your small business and allow your potential customer to explore it.

Originally called Google Business Photos, it was initially offered to a few select cities around the United States. More recently, Google Business View has expanded to many different countries and includes photographers in most cities in the United States and Canada. While the program is run by Google, the photography is taken by specially certified photographers (referred to as Google Trusted Photographers). These photographers can take up to 200 panoramas per business location – but as few as 5 or 6 in the cases of smaller business locations.

Inviting customers into your business while they are searching for you online, can make a difference between them choosing you or your competitor. A virtual tour via Google Business View can showcase areas of your business that customers would be interested in and will entice them to make an actual visit to your business. Even if your customers never set foot inside your business location, they can have a feel for what your facilities look like and how you operate.

The photography process of creating a Google Business View virtual 360-degree tour of your small business can be as extensive or limited as you like. In the case of our Office Business Centre, we chose to only showcase the important parts of our office space that our potential tenants would want to see. There is enough in our tour to bring a client in to actually see our facilities firsthand.

It is quite simple to hire a local Google Trusted Photographer to shoot and upload the virtual tour to Google. The photo shoot can take just a few hours, and the Business View can be published on Google less than a week or two afterwards. The best part is that the virtual tour will appears across Google – in Search, Google Maps and even your Google+ Local business page. Customers can then navigate and explore your small business, whether they’re on their desktops, tablets or smartphones.

You can even embed your Google Business View virtual tour on your website and use the Google Maps API to create a custom graphic overlay that leads into the virtual tour. Your customers can click on links to various parts of your business and be taken to that specific area. Even when there are no 360-degree views of a particular part of your business, you can have still photos online that showcase those areas.

Most importantly, having a Google Business View virtual tour will open up your small business to letting your customers in while they are actually thousands of miles away. This gives them a more tactile feel for your business and tells them you are a business that utilizes the latest cutting-edge technology.