How to Embed a Google Virtual Tour into a Facebook Page

Once a Google Virtual Tour has been published, it can be accessed direct from Google Search or Google Maps, but can also be used in a variety of other ways… You can send links to any view of a Google Virtual Tour, or Embed the tour into your website.  This post provides simple instruction on how you can embed a Google Virtual Tour into a Facebook Page.

First you need to Install a special App called Woobox – this allows you to create a Tab on your preferred Facebook page and insert HTML code into to.  To achieve this, Login to your Facebook account, navigate to the Woobox App and install it by clicking on the Install Page Tab link.

Then select which Facebook Page you would like to add the Tab to  and click on the Add Page Tab Button


After you click the  “Add Page Tab” button, you then you need to authorize the tab application.

Now open a new browser window and go to your Google Virtual Tour in Google Maps (this is important because only Google Maps now includes the embed option). Navigate to the place in the tour you want to start from.  Click on the “three dots” icon in the top left corner and select the “Sher or embed image” option… Click the “Embed Image” Tab; Set the custom width/height to 800 x 600 and Copy the embed code.

Now go back to your Facebook tab page and paste the code from your Google Maps embed into your Woobox custom facebook tab.  Save the settings, then go to “Tab Settings” to give the Tab a suitable title.

That’s it! Visit your facebook page and view your tab. This is what is should look like: Virtual Tour Examples

 

 

 

How to Embed a Google Virtual Tour onto your Website

Once your Google Virtual Tour has been published, it will be available via Google Search and Google Maps… but you can also embed it into your website.

This very simple process is outlined below. Most website owners can probably do this themselves (particularly if your site is a WordPress site), but if you are having trouble, simply pass the link to this post onto your web developer.

Step 1 – Find your listing on Google Maps

First go to Google Maps, search for your business.  It is IMPORTANT that you use Google Maps, because accessing the Tour direct form Google Search does not offer the share/embed capabilities that are provided by Google Maps.

Then click on one of the 360° Panosphere links in the left column (these are associated with the “Storefront” and “Inside Starting Point” views of your tour) to view your Virtual Tour.

embed-google-virtual-tour-into-website-step-1

 

Step 2 – Select the “View” you Want

You can embed ANY view as the starting point of your Virtual Tour into your website. Navigate to the Area you want to use, change direction and zoom level until you get the view you want to use as the starting point in your website.  The click on the 3 dots in the top left :

embed-google-virtual-tour-into-website-step-2

Step 3 – Get Embed Code

Select the “Share or embed image option”

share-or-embed-image

Select the “Embed Image” Tab and then choose the size you want to embedded view to be – Small (400×300), Medium (600×450) or Large (800×600)…  You can also choose a Custom Size (as per the example below) and enter whatever dimensions that you want to use on your website.

Then select and copy (Ctrl C) the HTML embed code (it start with <iframe src and ends with </iframe>)

embed-google-virtual-tour-into-website-step-3

Step 4 – Add the Embed Code to your Website

Edit the page where you want to add the virtual tour into…and Paste the embed code into the html of the page on your website where you’d like your virtual tour to show The process will vary depending on how your website has been created (you may need to get advice from your web developer).

If you are using WordPress, make sure that you paste the code in “Text” mode not “Visual” mode or it will not work.

Step 5 – Save and Check the Page

Save the change and update the page (again thios process will depend on how your site is created).  Then go to the page and your Virtual Tour should be embedded within your website.

Google My Business – New and Improved

google-my-businessGoogle announced today a new design update for the Google My Business portal.

My Business is the tool that business owners use to manage and update their Google Business Page.  My Business is a Free tool and should be used by ALL businesses because it allows you to keep up to date the business details that are displayed in “The Knowledge” section of Google search results.  If you don’t have a business page – you probably won’t get anything displayed in this important area of the Google search and Google maps services.

My Business Makeover

My Business navigation has been updated to make it easier to access the primary features, and more straightforward to access multiple locations if you use Google My Business Locations.

You’ll see tabs for editing, photos, insights, and reviews. These tabs provide quick access to the most common user actions.

Merchants with multiple locations or Google+ brand pages will see an updated management experience with two tabs: one for “Locations” and another for Google+ “Brand Pages” where you can view your listings or pages in either a card and a list format. “Contact support” options are also now more prominent so you can find the answers to your questions faster.

The change was announced today – and is expected to roll out world wide soon.

 

Google Business Views to become Street View | Trusted

thumb-trusted-photographerThe long anticipated merger between the original Google Business Views program and Street View is nearly upon us…

Come September 3rd 2015, Google Business Views will officially become a part of the Google’s Street View program, and will be rebranded as “Street View | Trusted“.

The new Trusted program is expect to simplify the process of taking and publishing Panoramas and Virtual Tours to Google Maps.  It also makes the publication process accessible to everyone – although qualified and experienced photographers can still attain a “Certified” status.

 

Local Search Leads 50% Of Mobile Visitors To Visit Within One Day

google-local-business-centerGoogle’s research into local search behavior highlights that local searchers are ready to take action. According to their data, 50% of consumers who use their smartphone for a local search, visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same. This shows that ranking in local search will have a direct impact on your in-store traffic.

To make sure you’re ranking for local search terms:

  • Get your business listed on Google My Business, and make sure your profile is complete. Also consider getting a Virtual Tour added.
  • Make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) is consistent across all channels. This includes your website, social media profiles, review sites and directory listings.
  • Use local business schema markup so Google can identify and show your physical location.
  • Use local keywords in your URLs, heading tags, title tags and content, where appropriate.

Carina Florist – Florist – Carina

logo-squareCarina Florist did have a generic Google+ Business Page (that had automatically been created by Google), but they had not verified or configured it.

They “claimed” the page and had updated it in My Business, but had been waiting more then 3 weeks for the postcard verification.

I helped them to get the page verified, took the panoramic tour photos and was able to publish their Virtual Tour within a week.

Their Google+ Business Page was verified on 7th August and (less than a week later) already has more than 1200 views.  Here is their virtual Tour….

Why Local Businesses Still Need a Google Plus Business Page

Despite various changes to Google+ over the last couple of years – which suggest that Google is downplaying the relevance of Google+ as a social media platform, it is still critical for local businesses to have a Google+ Business Page.

Allow me to explain.

As local and mobile search becomes increasingly prevalent, small businesses who rely on the local economy for their livelihood, must take steps to improve their online visibility visibility, or risk losing ground to those who do.

Google links Google Plus with Google Search and Google Maps via the Google My Business (GMB) portal.

google-my-business

When you claim and verify your business listing using Google My Business, Google creates a Google Plus page for you. Users can show appreciation, give feedback with posts and reviews, and use the “+1” button to endorse your products and services.

Users logged into Google, who conduct a local search (E.g., restaurants Camp Hill), will see a list of local businesses appear among the top returns.

How to get the most from you Google Plus Business Page

Although you will probably see little activity on your Google Plus page, there are ways to you can use it to your benefit.

  1. google-business-pagesClaim and verify your Google My Business listing. A vital first step, GMB is the gateway to getting your business ranked in local search.
  2. Get a Virtual Tour.  If you have a physical business that is open to the public,  a virtual tour is an awesome way for them to visit your business online.  It encourages a physical visit, increases the likelihood of your business coming up in local searches, and can also be embedded into your website.
  1. Link to Google Plus from your website. Anyone interested in leaving a comment can use the link to gain access. It may also help you pick up a few followers.
  1. Post to your G+ page. If you’re already posting to Facebook and Twitter, add Google Plus to the list. Don’t expect much attention from followers, but searchers may find one of your posts appearing in Google search results. The more you post, the greater the likelihood that will occur.
  1. Remind your customers to leave feedback. This can bolster the number of reviews you receive, which can help your business stand out from sites that have fewer reviews.

The future of Google Plus is in flux but so long as Google ties the platform to Search and Maps, it’s important to have a presence there.

Pet Angel Funerals- Cremation Service – Molendinar

Pet AngelPet Angel a Gold Coast cremation service for pets, had already claimed, verified and setup their Google+ Business Page, but wanted to raise their profile on Google by adding a  virtual tour.

Their Virtual Tour (see below) was published on 14th July – and less than 3 weeks later had received more than 2,000 extra views.

How to Add a Page Manager to a Google+ Business Page

Google+ page owners are able to invite additional people to manage a page. This enables people (other than the page owner) to update and manage content on the page. Only an owner can delete the page, or add or remove managers, however, a manager may remove themselves from a page.

google-my-businessTo add a manager to a Google+ page:

  1. Log in to your Google Account
  2. Go To Google My Business and choose the page you’d like to manage.
  3. Click the gear icon next to your business name and choose Settings.
  4. Click the Managers tab in top navigation menu.
  5. Click Add manager, enter their email address or invite by profile, and click Invite.

This page displays all currente managers as well as people who have been invited to become managers. When a manager invitation is accepted, the owner of the page will be notified via email. The owner and all managers can view the names and email addresses listed on this page.

You can find out more about Google Business Page Owners & Managers

Google Announces Planned Changes to Business View & Street Views

Yesterday, on their public Google Maps and Earth Help Forum, Google announced some significant changes to Street View – which will involve a rebranding and restructure of their existing Business Views service.

New Street View app

Street ViewA NEW Street View app will replace the existing Photo Sphere Camera app – with both iOS and Android versions supporting Googles photo sphere camera mode. The app will be capable of linking to spherical cameras, including two at launch: the NCTech iris360 and the Giroptic 360cam.

Street View | Trusted

A range of changes are also planned for the existing Google Maps Business View program. In mid–August, this certified photographer program will be rebranded as “Street View | Trusted.

It will continue to focus on supporting pro photographers who publish photo spheres to Google Maps, but will shed many of its stringent requirements :  enrollment will be easier; publishing requirements will be simpler; and publishing and editing reliability will be improved.

Google-MapsGoogle Maps

from around mid-August Photo sphere upload will be made available directly from the Google Maps website, and later in the year, Google Maps will re-introduce the lost support for creating connections between photo spheres (“constellations”) with a new, more automated solution.