Street View Trusted

Just what is the prettiest photoshoot you can do?

Just what is the prettiest shoot you can do? Well, I think it must be a florists. It was a first for us, The Hanging Basket in Lancaster has been one of our most picturesque shoots.

Try Googling ‘The Hanging Basket Lancaster’ on an iPad or tablet and first take a look at ‘Photos’ and as you scroll you will see lots of lovely flowers and displays as below.

The Hanging Basket Lancaster Photos on the Google

The Hanging Basket Lancaster Photos on the Google

It was a smallish space in which to work, but the Google Tour looks great, try moving around in the image below

Or even better try it on Google Cardboard (Google Street View App) for the full immersive virtual reality experience

The Hanging Basket on Google Cardboard Virtual Reality

The Hanging Basket on Google Cardboard Virtual Reality


Bet you didn’t know you could do that now – did you! A-maz-ing!



It’s anything but glamorous!

One of the things about doing a shoot in a hair or beauty salon such as Nelson Browns, is the problem with all the multiple reflections in the mirrors. The other day we performed a minor miracle to get all the shots for the Google Virtual Tour without the camera or ourselves getting in the picture. Mind you, it meant hiding in the toilet for most of the shoot for one of us! It was worth it though.

Click on the arrow on the floor, and then drag and zoom in and out of the image below.

We were with Nelson Brown at his salon, this time in Lockerbie. Nelson specialises in education and has a fantastic team behind him. Nelson also assists backstage on hair for the cat walks at London, New York, Paris and Milan fashion weeks, including John Rocha, Burberry, Jasper Conran, Paul Smith… and you can see why. Now this IS glamorous!

Amazing hair by Nelson Brown.

Nelson Brown - fab hair

Nelson Brown – fab hair


How not to impress at a beauty shoot…

Unlike Nelson’s style beneath, I’ve been perfecting the ‘through a hedge backwards look’ recently that only I can be proud of. Yes the day we came to do our shoot at Browns, we arrived in a rain storm. We were so wet through, Nelson Brown offered us towels to dry off!

And of course Browns just happens to be a hair salon! It was very embarrassing for us to turn up like that to say the least!

And it wasn’t just any hair salon. It’s not often that you come across such exciting talent.

Nelson Brown fabulous hair design

Nelson Brown fabulous hair design


Nelson has just been awarded 5 stars in the Good Salon Guide, and we came to do his Google Virtual Tours for his salons. Here’s our tour of the Dumfries salon.



If you want to see more of Nelson’s style tune in to our next blog…


Colour psychology in restaurants

As a restaurant owner, one of the most important factors for your success (after the provision of good food) is often the decor and ambience. But what to choose?

Each restaurant is different and individual, and it has been shown that the colour red, attracts people, stimulates people to talk, stimulates blood pressure and heart rate and most importantly stimulates the appetite. You just need to Google ‘the use of the colour red in restaurants’ to find more about this.

It’s not exactly known why this should be. We’ve got an example below of one that works, The Granite Kitchen, Dalbeattie, Scotland. We had a business meeting here, and talk was free flowing and exciting and we observed a great turn over of clientele. The ambience that is created is good.

Click and drag on the image below. It all tastes as good as it looks.

If you Google ‘The Granite Kitchen Dalbeattie’ then this is what you see on a pc (other devices give similar results), with appropriate imagery. It looks good.

The Granite Kitchen, Dalbeattie AFTER the Google Virtual Tour

The Granite Kitchen, Dalbeattie AFTER the Google Virtual Tour


The Nail Factory, Dalbeattie, another fab Google tour

Here we have a very lovely gallery, in Dalbeattie. It provides studio space and workshops for artists and hosts exhibitions. Try clicking and dragging on the image below. This is their Google Tour.


Now for some of my favourite shots from the shoot

Totem at The Nail Factory, Dalbeattie

Totem at The Nail Factory, Dalbeattie


At The Nail Factory, Dalbeattie

At The Nail Factory, Dalbeattie


At The Nail Factory, Dalbeattie

At The Nail Factory, Dalbeattie


At The Nail Factory, Dalbeattie

At The Nail Factory, Dalbeattie

It’s always important to show you how things appeared before and after the Google Tour. Here’s before the tour when searching on an iPad (you get similar results on other devices). You would not even know it was a gallery and in fact the image is pointing at a different building!

The Nail Factory, Dalbeattie before the Google Tour

The Nail Factory, Dalbeattie before the Google Tour

Below we have The Nail Factory AFTER the Google Tour. Now there is much more appropriate and inviting imagery. What a difference for prospective visitors!

The Nail Factory, Dalbeattie AFTER the Google Tour

The Nail Factory, Dalbeattie AFTER the Google Tour

A great place for artists and collectors. Go seek it out.

We will be visiting another place in Dalbeattie, and it will be hot…

Perfect for your Christmas Presents!

This place is just perfect for your Christmas presents and stocking fillers. Or at any time really. Takes me back…

Jacksons Models in Wigton, (specialists in model railways and diecast models) the place to spend a while…

Click on the image above and move about the premises.

Jackson Models before the Google Tour on an iPad

Jacksons Models on an iPad Before the Google Virtual tour

Jacksons on an iPad Before the Google tour

Jackson Models AFTER the Google Tour on an iPad. LOVELY.

Jacksons Models on an iPad AFTER the Google Virtual tour

Jacksons Models on an iPad AFTER the Google Virtual tour


What a difference a day makes!



Not seeing your virtual tour on FaceBook?

Well, this is a reasonable question. How do I get my virtual tour onto FaceBook?

Sciarts Google tours on customised FaceBook tab

Sciarts Google tours on customised FaceBook tab

The first thing to note is that FaceBook uses https by default. ‘https’ means it has secure browsing which helps to prevent hijacking of your pages by others. It has a higher level of encryption.

The impact is that if you want to reference other media (such as a virtual tour) then that needs to be on an https server too! Many people struggle with this. It means that if you try to embed a tour held on a non secure server it will never ever show up on FaceBook.

How do you know if you have a web site on an https server? Easy, look at your web address. If it says http (before the www) then it is not https! You can also check with your host.

Google Street View Trusted tours is https. So these can be displayed easily on FaceBook. We have many examples on our own customised FaceBook tab of 360 virtual tours (above) that we have completed, and many of our clients have included these tours on their FaceBook pages too. They wanted to integrate their tour with their social media. It makes perfect sense. It’s really great for retailers, galleries, restaurants, gyms…. and anyone wanting to make the most of their social media.

You don’t have to use your tour on FaceBook of course, instead you can embed it in your blog and in web sites whether using http or https.

As ever, it’s horses for courses. For instance, we also do customised tours (see next blog) which don’t go on FaceBook unless someone uses https for their web site.

If your expectation is that you want your tour to integrate with your social media then you need the higher level of security afforded by a Google Tour, (unless you have an https web site already). Don’t waste your money on anything less.

Depending on what is requested by a client, we can produce both sorts of tour, all at the same time, thus saving some time, and giving clients both options and freedom of choice.

Next a little more on those customised tours.

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.

Can you trust Google?

Street View | Trusted – what’s this all about?

Street View | Trusted

Street View | Trusted

I thought I would make a specific point about what ‘Trusted’ means in Google’s terms. It’s really important that when searching the web, that not only do you get relevant and appropriate results quickly, it is also important that you can TRUST what you see. (Street View Trusted is basically Street View but indoors, it’s inside a business and works in a similar way to Street View, aka ‘See Inside’).

So, for instance, if you see a lovely hotel room using Google See Inside, then that REALLY IS a room from that hotel and it reflects the typical standard of that room type.

Or, for instance, if on Google Search you see pictures of a spa, or a kennels, or a restaurant…. and then you decide to book on that basis, then what you see on line is what you are going to experience when you get there.

This is the integrity of the Google Trusted system and it’s not only important to Google but it’s important to your customers.

Qualified Google Trusted Photographers such as ourselves produce photographs and Google Tours for hotels, retailers and service providers.

AND as a service provider, retailer or hotelier, it should be important to you that you are accurately and honestly represented on-line.

Equally it’s also important to demonstrate that you are being represented honestly on-line to your customers.

Get your customers to understand the value of ‘Trusted’ when you get your Google tour.