Google Knowledge Card

To busy for Crufts!

Well, Murphy is such a cool dude. He joined us on a photoshoot. Almost always too busy for Crufts he says. Enjoy.

#lucyruralandcreative, #rurallife, #crufts, #jackrussell, #GoogleVirtualTour, #Dumfries

Is Google good for your business?

Google has been undergoing some upheavals recently, in terms of organisation, search engines, street view etc. Some things have not changed, for instance what you add on your Business Google Plus page, still drives what is shown on your Knowledge Card when someone searches. What is shown includes your photos, reviews, posts and of course your virtual tour.

And in terms of Street View Trusted, it’s still vitally important to have a Google Virtual Tour. The reason is this:

According to an independent survey, virtual tours help double interest in business listings. After all once you are listed by Google and your knowledge card comes up in the listings then your potential customer has the option to go straight to your Google Tour. No other tours have this immediate accessibility for your customers. And that is the point! Don’t forget that you can also put these tours on your web site. 

For hotels, when comparing a search listing with and without a tour, those who view a listing with a virtual tour are twice as likely to book a room.

Amongst the younger age groups they are even more likely to book a room based on seeing a search listing with a tour!

67% of people want to see more business search listings with virtual tours and only 7% said that virtual tours are unnecessary. So more people want to see more of them. They want to trust what they see and that’s the ‘Trusted’ part of Street View Trusted means.

The Google Virtual Tour increases the accessibility of your business in a Google search. End of story.

Next Up, Get your virtual tour on your FaceBook Page.

Another fab Google tour from Scientific Arts – Limelighting Cockermouth

I don’t put up every tour we do, and here we have a particularly interesting one. Limelighting is a lighting shop set inside a vintage cinema/theatre, so the layout is very unusual. There are layers of lights resting where the seating on the steps would have been arranged and the ceilings are vaulted. My goodness do they do a lot of lights! It’s on two floors. Clearly a unique location.

We loved it. And it was very challenging to photograph.

Here’s the tour, just click and drag on screen……

Here’s the Google knowledge card before the Google tour when viewed on a pc:

Before the Google tour on a pc, Limelighting Cockermouth

Before the Google tour on a pc, Limelighting Cockermouth

Now the result AFTER the Google tour with us, clearly now it’s presence on the web is very interesting and inviting and you really know what the business is about:

AFTER the Google tour on a pc, Limelighting Cockermouth

AFTER the Google tour on a pc, Limelighting Cockermouth

 

It’s even better if you Google ‘lighting shops Cumbria’, Limelighting is the first on the list and now has a great knowledge card. The pin on the map shows you exactly where they are and you can be a virtual tourist in the shop. Try Googling it now.

Result when Googling Lighting Shops Cumbria

Result when Googling Lighting Shops Cumbria

Here’s a few of my favourite photos from the shoot – you can see them when clicking ‘See Photos’ if you bring up the knowledge card by Googling ‘Limelighting Cockermouth’ or ‘lighting shops Cumbria’.

Limelighting Cockermouth

Limelighting Cockermouth

 

Limelighting Cockermouth

Limelighting Cockermouth

 

Limelighting Cockermouth

Limelighting Cockermouth

 

Limelighting Cockermouth

Limelighting Cockermouth

 

Limelighting Cockermouth

Limelighting Cockermouth

Another fab Google Tour by Scientific Arts, King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

Well this was a challenge which included not just an extensive climbing facility, but also children’s play areas and castle, cafe, shop and ice wall.

It’s not everyday that you get to photograph an ice wall. Essentially this is a refrigerated room, where climbers can come to learn how to work with ice. In fact on the day we did the shoot, the guys from Berghaus were there testing out their new gear. We had to work fast and took less than a minute to capture the wall. Here we are looking upwards towards the lights and fans. The ropes are hanging down.

I must do my ‘before’ and ‘after’, so here goes, this is what the centre looked like on an iPad before the tour. It has a poor Street View image.

King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick before the Google tour on an iPad

King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick before the Google tour on an iPad

Now after the tour, we have selected the entrance to the shop and centre as the Street View Image, and this is now more appropriate. The See Inside (tour) and Photos are clear and demonstrate what business is about.

King Kong Climbing Centre  Keswick AFTER our Google tour on an iPad

King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick AFTER our Google tour on an iPad

And here are some of my favourite still shots from the day – these and others are newly displayed on ‘Photos’ above.

King Kong Climbing Centre  Keswick from the outside

King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick from the outside

 

King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

 

Dragon at the King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

Dragon at the King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

 

Children's Castle at King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

Children’s Castle at King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

 

Ah, Cakes! at the King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

Ah, Cakes! at the King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

 

Coffee and Climbing at King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

Coffee and Climbing at King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

 

King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

 

King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

 

King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

King Kong Climbing Centre Keswick

 

A great place for all the family and for shopping!

Success at Town and Country Interiors Carlisle

See what happens when you get a Google Tour with us! (see our earlier post on Town & Country Interiors) Congratulations to Town and Country Interiors in Carlisle who have been voted independent retailer of the year by Carlisle Living for the second year in a row.

See our Google Tour of Town and Country Interiors here. Congratulations once again!

What is Google Hotel Finder?

Google Hotel Finder allows your prospective guests to view hotels on line (it does what it says on the can). However the things I particularly like about it are

  • The map – I click on a hotel in a list and it shows me exactly it’s location.
Google Hotel Finder

Google Hotel Finder

  • I can expand or contract my search geographically by time on foot, by car or train.
  • I can use filters, for instance on price, class, amenities, rating.
  • I can choose dates for the stay.
  • I can compare prices and also compare prices for different dates.
  • I can book on line through the usual suspects (in the UK Expedia etc) through links on the page.
  • Everything I need is there consolidated on one page in an instant.
  • It works on mobile and tablet.

To me what’s most powerful about this, is the use of the map plus the way the hotels are consolidated onto one page and that’s what gives a good user experience.

The Google branding is less intrusive than some online travel agents and this means as a hotelier you can have a better and a more direct branding engagement with your customer up to the point of booking.

Once you are on Hotel Finder, how do you get up the rankings? Well it’s not exactly clear. It never is! We’ve done some ‘random’ but systematic research and certainly Ads play a part (obviously!), having a verified Google Plus page for the hotel plays a part, having photos and Google tours and activity such as reviews also plays a part. In the UK, links with online travel agents and distributors who can share your room and pricing data in an instant also helps (and since you might be doing this already all you need to do is harness the power of Google Hotel Finder).

Hotel Finder is another way of getting your hotel to market, and it is free from Google. The potential reach around the globe for hoteliers is enormous, don’t miss out.

Hoteliers……are you missing out good marketing that’s Free?

So far I’ve used some of these posts to talk directly to shop retailers and service suppliers.

And now I want to talk to hotel owners. However in the main, everything that I have already said with reference to retail and service providers also applies to the hotel business.

The Google Hotel 3 pack

The Google Hotel 3 pack

Summarising here:

  • Already Google has done a fairly good job at listing most hotels on their Hotel Finder shown above in the subtly outlined box that appears when searching for ‘hotels in Windermere UK’ (Take a look for your hotel at www.google.com/hotels ).
  • If you have not verified your hotel business, then you must do so now, to avoid lowly rankings in Hotel Finder or sabotage.
  • Once verified you can control, images, Google tours and information that is shown up about your hotel both in Google searches and in Hotel Finder.
  • Once you are seen as being active by Google then it is possible for your hotel to rank more highly in Google Hotel Finder (above) than in traditional organic SEO searches for your web site.
  • The Google Plus business page is FREE, verification is FREE and the data is very easy to maintain and FREE to maintain.
  • Hosting of pictures, data and Google tours is FREE on Google Plus, and this data and imagery drives most of what appears in Google searches and Hotel Finder.
  • Google acts as a free gazetteer for your business.

Consider it as a business decision to use it or not. Remember that it does not impact your web site or web site SEO – in fact it’s way more important than that – find out why next.

So what exactly is Google Hotel Finder?

 

Another Fab Google Trusted Tour – Town and Country Interiors Carlisle

Well, we’re really pleased with this shoot. It’s at Town and Country Interiors in Carlisle, a super local retailer. Try using the tour below.

Of course, I just have to show you the impact of the Google tour – the before and after when searching for the business. Here is the before image on the iPad (you get similar results on other devices). The images were very dark and there was not real clarity of the business in the imagery.

BEFORE the Google Tour and Photographs

BEFORE the Google Tour and Photographs

And below we now see the result AFTER the Google Tour and Photos.

AFTER the Google Tour and Photographs

AFTER the Google Tour and Photographs

  • Notice that the Street View image has been improved to show the clear and inviting entrance – this was done by manually connecting the tour to Street View.
  • The logo is displayed – making branding easy, again using one of our stills.
  • All the images are clear, sharp, fresh and inviting and make it very clear what the business is about.

Here’s a few of my favourite still photographs that went on line with the tour.

Town and Country Interiors Carlisle

Town and Country Interiors Carlisle

Town and Country Interiors Carlisle

Town and Country Interiors Carlisle

Town and Country Interiors Carlisle

Town and Country Interiors Carlisle

Town and Country Interiors Carlisle

Town and Country Interiors Carlisle

Town and Country Interiors Carlisle

Town and Country Interiors Carlisle

Try Googling for ‘Town and Country Interiors Carlisle’ yourself and see what you see.

Another Fab Tour – Chapel Gallery – Hawes

Well, yet another of my favourite tours in Hawes, a super gallery, which has the advantage of having a cafe.

Here’s a few pictures that went with the tour and these appear on ‘Photos’ when you search on Google. Very nice.

Glass Bird Chapel Gallery Hawes

Glass Bird Chapel Gallery Hawes

 

Cafe at Chapel Gallery Hawes

Cafe at Chapel Gallery Hawes

 

Pictures at Chapel Gallery Hawes

Pictures at Chapel Gallery Hawes

 

Details at Chapel Gallery Hawes

Details at Chapel Gallery Hawes

 

Wood vessels at Chapel Gallery Hawes

Wood vessels at Chapel Gallery Hawes

In order to demonstrate the change in web presentation when searching, here we have a ‘before’ and ‘after’ the Google Tour demonstrated on an iPad.

Before the Google Tour Chapel Gallery Hawes on an iPad

Before the Google Tour Chapel Gallery Hawes on an iPad

Below, after the tour you see inviting and appropriate images, all professionally presented.

AFTER the Google Tour Chapel Gallery on an iPad - appropriate and inviting images

AFTER the Google Tour Chapel Gallery on an iPad – appropriate and inviting images

 

Another really great gallery, and of course the more retailers that take a Google Tour up in one place the better it gets for all those businesses.

Another Fab Tour – Lilly’s at Hawes – Collectibles

Here’s another of my favourites coming right up – this time a collectibles store. Worth a browse I think! You can do it on screen now!

I especially like the improvement of the data thrown up on an iPad when you search for Lilly’s, see before and after the Google tour here. Take a look on your tablet and see what you find…

Lilly's data on an iPad before the Google Tour

Lilly’s data on an iPad before the Google Tour

 

Lilly's data on an iPad AFTER the Google Tour -more inviting and more appropriate

Lilly’s data on an iPad AFTER the Google Tour -more inviting and more appropriate

 

A Google Tour makes such a difference to the way a business is presented to the awaiting world. In this case, you can see how lovely the shop really is.