Once your shiny new Google Maps virtual tour is live on your Google listing you’ll likely want to show it off anywhere you can. A fantastic place to do this is your website – so your customers can peruse your new tour alongside all the other useful information you’re already providing on your website. It has the added bonus of potentially boosting your website’s SEO too!
There are a number of options for embedding your tour or linking to your new Google tour from your website. It’s a good idea to consider how the tour would best fit in depending on your website’s existing design or layout before making any changes. If your website has several layers of navigation and a lot of pages then it may be a good idea to have several different links or embedded versions of the tour. The options for display are as follows:
Text link – you could add a standard link to your tour. Please note, this will not have the same impact as an embedded tour and people are less likely to view it. You will also lose the benefit of users spending more time on your website.
Image with a link – you could choose to add a screenshot or a graphic to link to your tour – in this case the user would click on the image and be taken to the tour on Google Maps. Since this will be more visually appealing than a standard text link, users are slightly more likely to click it – however, it won’t be interactive. Again, you will also lose the benefit of users spending more time on your website.
iFrame – this is the best option. Using this method, the tour will appear as a live, interactive virtual tour within your existing web page. The obvious advantage here is that the customer is still on your website when they are viewing the tour – instead of browsing it on Google Maps. Google case studies show that using this method can lead to significant an increase in the amount of time users spend on your website – which is great for SEO.
An example of an interactive iFrame can be found here
Location on your website
For the best results and visual impact it’s advisable to put your embedded tour on a prominent or high-traffic page on your website. Ideally, it should be embedded on the homepage, or at least linked to from the homepage – this will make your customers much more likely to interact with it and explore your business to the fullest.
If you’re short on space then it may be an idea to reword or move some of the rest of the page content – try not to overcrowd the page.
Embedding a Google tour is pretty simple – follow these steps to add an interactive tour to your website (or send this page to your webmaster and they should be able to embed the tour for you).
Navigate to the part of the tour you’d like your customers to start from. You can pick any point your like – you could even create multiple starting points to show off different parts of your tour. This might be useful if your premises are quite large or you have distinct areas.
Click on the 3 dots to the right of your business name. This should show a pop-up menu with the option for “Share or embed image”.
Click on the “Embed Image” tab – here you’ll see options for the size of the window and a preview of it. N.B. The “Custom” option will allow you to pick a size which will suit your website design perfectly.
Copy the code from the text box (to the right of the size dropdown) and paste the code into the HTML of your web page using your favourite code editor, then save the file and upload the changes to your server in the usual way.
Check out your new embedded tour! When you’re happy with it share it across your social media and make sure your customers can take full advantage of it!