The power of 360-degree footage is coming back to New Zealand streets this year, with Google Street View cars touring both the North and South Island to update their footage for Street View. This may seem like inconsequential news to the average Kiwi (or super exciting – depending on who you ask really), but it’s actually a great chance for businesses in Aotearoa to increase their reach online.
If you are unsure what Google Street View is, we would like to kindly inquire as to what the under-rock real-estate market currently looks like.
In all seriousness though, Google Street View is a feature on Google Maps that allows the user to drop a “Pegman” onto a street almost anywhere in the world so that they can see what it would look like if they were actually standing there.
The way that Google acquires an accurate depiction of these street views is to send out various vehicles (usually cars) with 360-degree cameras strapped to their roofs, and drive around the regions in every country possible. But why does the footage need an update?
Well, first of all, technology has taken a massive step forward in nine years. Just like your average smartphone camera, the camera quality Google now uses is much improved when compared to 2009, so they’re doing a sweep to bring everything up to the digital standard we expect from the tech giant.
Additionally, the streets of New Zealand are constantly changing and growing. Buildings have grown in place of old ones, development in rural areas has increased, and entirely new streets have cropped up.
The vintage of the footage in your area may vary when compared to others around New Zealand, and that’s because the updates have been sporadic, and centred around more populated areas. So, this year, Google is doing a sweep of as much of the country as they can to bring it all to the Street View screen.
And lastly, new businesses need their storefronts on Google Street View, which can massively help them to draw online customers in.
A quantitative study conducted by Google in 2015 found that Google My Business listings with photos and a virtual tour (which is enabled by Street View) were twice as likely to generate interest in online customers.
This makes complete sense – your customers want to be able to get a sense of your business and your brand, and in the modern era, they are used to getting that information online.
If you are a New Zealand business that relies on customers in the real world, not just online, then now is the time to look at optimising your reach through the use of a verified Google My Business listing as well as your very own storefront. These will increase your on-site conversions by bringing customers to your homepage, as well as drive real-life traffic through your doorway. Utilise the updated footage from the Google Street View cars and supplement it with your own virtual tour of your business. Generate trust with your customers from the get-go, and you’ll be much more likely to see a conversion from them.
“A 360 virtual tour of your business delivers immersive, virtual experiences that inspire trust among prospective customers before they arrive.”Google My Business
The Street View cars are starting their journey on the South Island and working their way up to the tip of the North Island, so look out for them on your street and look into making the most out of your Google My Business listing to change the way customers see your company.
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