What is a virtual tour?
A virtual tour is a simulation of a location, composed of a sequence of high resolution images that are stitched together to create an interactive experience. A Google Virtual Tour must be created by a Street View Trusted pro or agency, who produces 360 images and then integrates them to your Google My Business listing as an interconnected virtual walking tour.
How can a virtual tour improve local SEO?
A well optimized Google listing is key to getting found in local search results.
In addition to the importance of providing accurate factual information about your business, like your hours and phone number, 60% of consumers say local search results with good images capture their attention and push them towards a decision.* (BrightLocal)
But did you know that Google also factors how much time a user spends engaging with your local listing into how well you rank? A study by Moz identifies Quantity of Engagement Signals on a Google My Business Listing (scrolling through listing, clicking photos, reading reviews, reading Q&A, clicking on Posts, etc.) as the 23rd (of 50) most important local pack finder factors.* (Moz)
By adding a virtual tour to your Google listing, not only do you provide customers with a fun and interactive way to explore your business and stand out among competitors, Google actually interprets this activity as a positive organic interaction with your listing, which helps you obtain a higher ranking.