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 — 62% of visitors prefer listings with photos of store interiors. Google found that businesses that complete their listing with imagery inspire trust and are 78% more likely to be viewed as well-established.
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. On average, 41% of business searches on Google Maps result in an on-site visit, and according to Google, listings with photos and tours motivate customers to make a purchase 29% of the time. 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.