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A whole section of your Google My Business account dashboard is dedicated to 360 Virtual Tours. Of the 30+ optimizations that can made to your GMB profile, Virtual Tours are the most stunning and impactful. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a 360° View is worth a thousand choose-your-ending stories. Google Maps, the foremost and highest content to load in most searches, features locations in all their virtual glory to help potential visitors gain trust and knowledge. Bounce rate on your GMB profile is slashed tremendously by users lingering around and clicking through the interactive interface, dramatically increasing conversion rate. If there’s one thing to glean from this post, it’s that Matterport’s native tours DO NOT directly help your Google presence and foot traffic like this at all.
SUMMARY: We’re big fans of Google’s proven track record for stable conversion increases from 360 tours. Simple, bold navigation that is familiar to everyone rules with Maps integration and generally lower cost. Both platforms require certified photographers to officially review, edit, approve and submit a final product. Google-partnered photographers can use their own cameras, while Matterport photographers usually need Matterport’s cameras (thus Matterport translates to a higher entry cost for an elite camera- one that’s only meant for virtual tours). Although Matterport does approve a few other devices like certain iPhones, we don’t recommend using phones or cheap one-shot 360 cameras to do the job. Google is more flexible, while Matterport cameras might be slightly simpler to use since they have minimal features compared to industry-standard cameras like a Canon Mark II or Sony a7rIII. Matterport tours tend to be extremely similar and consistent in look and feel. The wider variety of Google photographers allows for nearly limitless styles.
Now for some basic tenets:
Matterport makes equipment just for virtual tours, so they may seem like specialists to someone that’s never seen Google’s customizable options. However, Matterport’s inital load time is slightly slower. The brief three-second entry animation from zoomed out to zoomed seems cool the first couple times you see it, but the dollhouse preview look may feel out of place for professional business. This subjectively varies from person to person, some hate it, some don’t. Matterport upkeep costs change periodically- ranging from hundreds to thousands per year.
In 2020, Matterport had two camera products and 4 monthly subscription plans:
Matterport’s flagship camera, the Pro2 3D, costs $3,395 and their Pro2 Lite 3D costs $2,495. After these cameras have been out a while, photographers start to really question when the next hardware will be available and thus whether or not an immediate purchase of “old” equipment would be worth the price. Their cloud hosting plans range from $49 to $149 per month. The labor rate depends on the Matterport photographer. Reference: fitsmallbusiness.com/matterport-user-reviews-pricing/
Alternatively, Google Partner Photographers can use the professional equipment they already own (substantially cutting down on hardware cost), and Google 360 Virtual Tour hosting is currently only a one-time cost! Yes, currently in August 2020, purchase once and keep it forever! The labor rate depends on the Google photographer.
Questions? Give us a call for a free estimate and description of our Google-powered solutions! Learn more about OptiView 360’s Google-partnered 360° photography at https://www.optiview360.com/360-virtual-tour-business-real-estate-photographers/
Written By: David Wong