There’s an interesting, and as of yet, unexplained phenomenon of the Google Maps Business View program. Any business, that wants people to come to it, can benefit from a Google tour. Restaurants, bars, cafes, clinics, dress shops, dentists, doctors, hospitals, car dealerships, daycare centers, attorneys, event venus, and you get the idea. I work with a wide variety of businesses to help them stand out on Google. The mystery is why there will be streaks of one particular type of business. I might do 3 or 4 restaurants in a row and turn around and it’s 3 or 4 dentists the next month. It’s not like I’m going out and specifically targeting those types of business. All of a sudden I’ll be getting inquires from nothing but lawyers and nothing else. Here lately it’s been Jewelry stores. A couple of weeks ago it was Bromberg’s and this week Diamonds Direct.
I’m not sure if they’re keeping close tabs on the competition and they want to make sure they don’t fall behind or if it’s the universe bringing them all in line at the same time. Whatever the root cause I won’t question it! The truth is that the business world, especially the retail environment, is very competitive. The landscape of what appeals to potential customers is constantly changing. Once upon a time a business without a yellow pages ad was soon headed for the liquidation sale. Then it was websites (I can’t understand businesses that don’t have at least this), next came social media (no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn? Good luck!).
Today it’s the mobile device. Consumers aren’t waiting to get home to then fire up the computer to find what they’re looking for. We are using our phones and tablets on the go to research where to go and what to buy. The business that understands this, and maximizes their presence in the online mobile environment will have a competitive edge on their competition. Here’s some interesting statistics that bear this out:
17 Billion - Number of unique searches in the United States each month.
66 - Percentage of those searches done on Google.
85 - Percentage of consumers searching online for local businesses.
500 - Percentage growth in mobile phone searches on Google in the past 2 years.
200 Million - Number of searches each month on mobile Google Maps.
By 2016 mobile searches will exceed those on desktop/laptop computers.
Soon, if not already, your businesses presence in Google local/mobile search results will be as critical as the yellow pages of old. Google local is becoming the new go to directory for people looking for businesses in their area. The virtual tour that I create goes a long way in making that presence as good as possible. When consumers see a thumbnail image that says “see inside” they click it. They are intrigued and take that virtual tour. If they like what they see they may never hit the “back” button. Even if they do, if your business has they virtual tour and the next one doesn’t, which one are they more likely to view favorably? The equation is pretty simple. Google Virtual tour + your business = more customers.
Back to Diamonds direct… I didn’t know that they had locations in North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, and Texas. They contacted me about getting the Google tour done for Birmingham because they’d already had it done for the other locations. They already knew what a great marketing tool it was and wanted to make sure all of their stores had it. I think that in of itself is a good testament to the value of the program.
This was the first time I’d been inside and I was very impressed! Of course you hear their radio commercials a lot but I really didn't have any concept of what it looked like. Diamonds Direct is one of the largest jewelry stores I’ve ever seen. The selection and amenities were impressive. Even more impressive was the quality of the staff working there. Everyone was exceedingly friendly, well organized, and had great attention to detail. It truly is a pleasure working with people like this in creating photography of the business. I can see why they’ve been so successful with people like this working there!
So check out the still photos and virtual tour that I created. You can learn more about Diamonds Direct in Birmingham on their website!
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Learn more about the Google Maps Business View Program here. Have a business that could benefit from a Google tour or high quality commercial photography? Contact me today to see how I can help you stand out from your competition.