Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do I want a Google Maps Business View virtual tour?
If you’re like most businesses, you want more customers and a Google virtual tour can bring them to you. This happens two ways:
Virtual tours are an amazing way to engage Internet users searching for information about your business. People searching Google, Google Maps or Google Plus will see the tour from their computer and/or smart phones. They can interact with the tour and “experience” the business from wherever they are - making them much more likely to call or visit than if they’d only seen the text of your business name/address show up in the search results.
Also, tours are fantastic sales tools to engage prospective customers. Sending links to your tour is a great way to engage people who call to ask about your facilities (or what you sell). And it’s a great reason to get their email address so you can include them on your mailing list!
Tours can also be embedded in your website and on your Facebook page to make your web presence stand out and be more memorable and engaging than a “brochureware” site.
2. What does it cost?
We'd love to tell what your tour will cost, but without seeing your business, that will be difficult. Pricing varies based on a number of factors related to the total time required for the shoot, the expected complexity of the shoot and the amount of post-processing required. We can generally give you a range over the phone but to give a solid quote, we need to do a quick walkthrough. We look for the optimal locations for our shots and consider issues related to lighting, mirrors, reflections and physical obstacles so that there are no surprises on the day we come to shoot your tour.
The cost to create and post a tour is a straightforward one-time fee; there are no ongoing charges. So in comparison to newspaper, yellow-pages and radio advertising, virtual tours are extremely affordable.
3. What’s included in the price?
You will receive the following:
60 minute pre-shoot consultation
1-2 hour photo shoot
Several hours of still photo and panoramic photo HDR post processing and moderation
Files published to Google Maps, Google Plus and Google Search
Virtual Tour (hosted by Google)
Roughly 10 still photos (via DVD/Dropbox/email)
All raw and processed still shots
Thumbnails for use with Facebook
embedding your tour on your website
embedding your tour on Facebook
4. How can I request a quote?
Simple. Call us now at 408-828-4725 or complete our contact form on the homepage.
5. How long does a typical photo shoot take?
Most straightforward photo shoots take between 1-2 hours and we have had complex shoots take up to 4 hours. We will give you a good estimate of how long your shoot will take once we do a walkthrough with you during our pre-shoot consultation.
6. What should we do to prepare for the shoot?
We want your business to look its best so we encourage you to make sure your space is clean and clear of clutter and any product displays are organized to be enticing to prospective customers. You’ll also want to make sure you tell your staff that a photo shoot will be going on. We’ll take care of the rest.
7. Who owns the photos? What does Google do with them?
You will own the photos taken by Look Around Photo once you have paid for the service. Our photographic services agreement provides a limited license to Google for the purpose of publishing and hosting the images to be accessible through the Internet.
8. How do we embed the tour on our website?
Embedding the tour on your company website is quite simple and is very similar to embedding a YouTube video on your site. You simply grab an embed code from the Google Maps site that shows your tour and paste it on your site where you would like it to appear. Once your site it ready, the process generally takes 5-7 minutes. We will provide you with detailed instructions when we publish your tour to the Internet.
9. How do we embed the tour on our Facebook page?
Embedding the tour on your company Facebook page is very easy to do and generally takes no more than 10-15 minutes. Much like embedding it on your website, you simply grab an embed code from the Google Maps site that shows your tour and then paste it into a Facebook app so that it will show up as a separate tab on Facebook. We will provide you with detailed instructions when we publish your tour to the Internet.
10. Can we update the tour if we want to?
Yes, we’re always happy to re-shoot your business if you remodel or want to showcase new inventory. And sending customers links to your updated tour is a great way to get them to stop in again to see what’s new. If you know in advance you’ll want to do this then be sure to talk to us about our subscription service.
11. Where is Look Around Photo located?
Look Around Photo is headquartered in San Francisco, California and can arrange photo shoots in the U.S., Canada, Spain, Italy, the UK, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
12. How is Look Around Photo related to Google?
Google selected Look Around Photo to create virtual tours for their Google Maps Business View program based on our prior portfolio. Google thoroughly trained us on their proprietary processes and software systems that are used in the program and Google certified us as part of an elite group of independent photographers worldwide who can offer these services.