First Impressions Matter - Google Streetview
Every facility manager knows the importance of physical signage, and the quality of the "curb appeal" of their facility. It is common sense that if your facility is highly visible, and highly attractive from the street that the local community will take note and add the building to their "consideration set". However, many facility managers aren't aware of the "curb appeal" of their building as seen on Google Maps.
Most families look for care facilities near-to-home, but our research indicates that the winning facility isn't always in a family’s backyard. Oftentimes families are willing to drive if a facility offers the right mix of care, value, and benefits that are desirable to their loved one. Because these families are oftentimes looking for options that are NOT directly in their backyard, they use tools like Google to vet potential facilities. This trend makes Google Street View very important to ensure senior living communities make a good first impression, regardless of if a person sees your facility in person, or virtually.
What is Google Street View?
Per Google’s definition, “Street View stitches together billions of panoramic images to provide a virtual representation of our surroundings on Google Maps. Street View's content comes from two sources - Google and contributors.”.
Street View is managed from your Google Business Listing, and takes inputs from both Google itself, and assets you provide like images, video, and virtual tours. It allows people who are viewing your Google Business Listing, or your street view, to view information about your facility, and see your surroundings as if they were at your location.
Why Optimizing Street View is Important
- Take Advantage of the Opportunity - The fact of the matter is, there are over 94 billion local searches per month on Google. Consumers are leveraging Google for local searches now more than ever, and it only continues to grow. You want to leverage all aspects of Google (Google Ads, organic rankings, and business listings) to own as much real estate on Google as possible. Optimizing your business listing and street view will only help you rank higher and capture more of this opportunity.
- Built Trust with Prospective Customers - Having a well-optimized Google Business Listing, and Google Street View, is critical to help build trust with prospective customers. Imagine that you want to build a new house for your family. You turn to Google to research “home builders near me” and you find local listings for five of them. Two of them present themselves extremely well on their Google Business Listing and Google Street View, and the other three look like they have been given no attention and have a poor presentation. Which builders are you going to reach out to? My guess is the two that gave the best first impression. You want a builder who stands for quality, one you can trust. The same is true for senior living communities. Prospective customers want a community that stands for quality and care that they can trust. It’s a big decision, that often has emotional components to it, and having a well-presented business listing and street view can go a long way in building trust. According to Google, complete listings inspire trust and are 78% more likely to be viewed as well-established.
- Meet Your Prospective Customers Research Needs - We view the decision-making process as a funnel, with multiple gateways. The first step is just to be visible when people are searching for communities like yours. This step is extremely important. If you are not visible, you stand no chance.
The second step is to make a good first impression and to meet their research needs. There are multiple considerations points here, from your website to your reviews, star ratings, etc. For the purposes of this post, we are going to stick with Google Business Listings and Google Street View. As mentioned above, the total number of local searches per month is staggering. Having an accurate, comprehensive, informative, and well-presented Google Business Listing and Street View is a must to help get these consumers to the next gateway, which is outreach. It is said that customer interest is likely to double when a business listing contains photos and a virtual tour.
Beyond just a polished street view, a Google Business Listing should be comprehensive and contain information like your phone number, website address, physical address, areas you service, a description of your business, services that you offer, amenities, hours, and more. If your business listing lacks information odds are the person will just move on.
Listings with photos and a virtual tour are twice as likely to generate interest.
What to take-away
Setting up and optimizing your Google Business Listing and street view should be critical components of your digital strategy. It’s often the first chance you have to make a good first impression and failing to do so can take you out of the consideration set before you even stand a chance. Reach out to Autum Digital to help you set this up professionally.