Google has conducted quantitative market research to understand the power of virtual tours and photographs on increasing consumers’ interest in local businesses. In one such study, Google determined that listings with photos and a virtual tour are twice as likely to generate interest. In fact, just the effective use of attractive photos was found to be highly influential to consumer selection choices. Google found that businesses that add photos to their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to their website than businesses that do not.
Every smart business works hard to make sure that they can be found when a customer looks for them, and it is simply good business to ensure that once you are found, your imagery content online is sufficient to capture attention and engage the customer. Given the common sense, personal experience we’ve had as consumers ourselves and the quantitative market research conducted by Google, having a virtual tour and professionally shot on-site imagery should be an important, effective, inexpensive, and long term marketing priority.