How to prepare for your Google virtual tour
Congratulations on your decision to showcase your business online with a Google Street View virtual tour. This 360° online tour is going to be a great way to give viewers a virtual walk through of your facilities, layout, dimensions, décor and location. The goal of the virtual tour is to maximize your space’s attributes and to really show it off.
Getting your location ready for a professional virtual tour is important – these 360° photos will be on your website, Google Maps and Google My Business – available for viewing 24/7 – so a little time spent getting everything ready before the tour will pay off.
Remember – the camera will pick up EVERYTHING!
There are no blind spots in a virtual tour – when we place our 360° camera in a room is sees the entire room from every angle.
Walk through your own property – imagine you’re seeing it all for the first time, or you can even take it a step further and ask a friend to walk through for you – what aspects grab your attention? Pay attention to those areas so you can highlight them in your virtual tour.
What are some areas you’re not so proud of? What makes you cringe a little? What are the parts you just mentally blank out, but a new visitor will spot straight away?
These are the areas you’ll want to really focus on decluttering, cleaning and tidying up.
Our 360° camera takes 360° photographs – which aren’t the same format as standard photos – that means no Photoshop when it comes to editing tours. This is why getting your space looking it’s best before our photographer arrives is the best way to ensure you get the best tour of your business.
Ensure your virtual tour makes a great first impression – every property is different so not all of the below tips may apply to your business, but this list will help you create your own to-do list as you prepare for your virtual tour.
Is Your Business Verified on Google Maps?
This might not be the first thing you think of when preparing for a virtual tour for your Google My Business, but it’s an important one. We can’t upload your virtual tour unless you have a verified listing on Google Maps.
Not sure if your business is verified? Let us know and we’ll take a closer look at it with you.
Virtual Tours Love Early Mornings
We always recommend having your virtual tour shot early in the morning, before your business opens. This will ensure your property is flooded with lovely natural light but you won’t have people in your shots.
Things to Think of for Outside
Virtual tours tend to start outside and walk the viewer through the front door and into the property – so that’s a great place to start preparing.
Grab a broom and sweep out the front, straighten the door mat, remove old half-peeled of daggy stickers on your shop front window – may even get the windows cleaned!
Our Outdoor Checklist:
- Clear away all rubbish, debris and tidy the area.
- Make sure there aren’t any cars parked out the front or in the drive away.
- Clean the windows.
- Spruce up the garden, mow the lawn, trim any dead trees or plants.
- Nicely arrange any outdoor furniture of signage.
- Remove any unwanted signage (for sale signs for example).
- Move those wheelie bins out of sight.
Inspire Preparation Tips
Pay attention to the small details – remember the camera picks up everything and so will your viewers. If you have a cleaning company who regularly cleans your property it might be an idea to book your tour the morning after they clean.
Stage your property – arrange décor so it’s visually appealing. Hang wall art, straighten lamp shades. Arrange everything so it’s nice and presentable. Avoid seasonal decorations like Christmas lights or Halloween decorations – anything that will date your tour.
Our Indoor Checklist:
- Put papers and anything with private information away.
- Remove clutter and tidy up shelves.
- Move excess furniture out of rooms – create clean, open spaces.
- Replace any light bulbs that aren’t working.
- Clear and clean all counter and desktops.
- If you have a kitchen ensure dishes are put away, sink is clear, sponges and tea towels are out of sight.
- You may want to remove things stuck to the fridge and magnets.
- Empty or hide bins.
- Close the toilet lid.
- Turn on all the lights before the photographer arrives.
- Turn off all fans before the photographer arrives.
- Open all window blinds/curtains.
- Hide family pictures and personal items you don’t want in the tour.
- Ensure any awards, trophies, endorsements you’d like included in the tour are on display.
- Signage is well presented and up to date.
- Straighten couch pillows.
- Turn computer monitors and TV’s off and hide remote controls.
- Clear white boards
- Hide cords and wires – this may require some things to be unplugged and tucked away during the photo shoot.
- Dust, clean, straighten and tidy each room.
- If your business is a restaurant you may want to have the tables set and even some meals on a central table.
- Don’t forget to prepare hallways and connecting spaces – it’s a tour, not a photo session, so we do need to also photograph the route from room to room, not just the rooms themselves.
Should I Have Customers and Staff in The Tour?
We tend to recommend that you don’t have any people in your tour as anyone photographed in the tour will have their faces blurred out anyway and if people are moving around it can look untidy – in saying that some businesses or industries may benefit from having people in their tour – ultimately it’s up to you and how you’d like to present your business.
Final Walk Through
Finally, walk through your property before the photo shoot – give it a final review. Stand in the middle of each room and slowly look around – if you can see something, then so will our cameras. Be thorough and check every last detail before the shoot.
Now you have your virtual tour checklist you’re ready to book your tour – contact us to arrange a time for our Google street view photographer to photograph your property.