Small Business

April 20, 2020

Major Google My Business Updates During the Coronavirus!

Major Google My Business Updates During the Coronavirus!

As you probably know, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, many non-essential businesses such as restaurants, bars, and gyms have been temporarily closed. Below we will talk about the Major Google My Business Updates during the Coronavirus!

Google My Business Updates During the Coronavirus


Essential businesses that provide services and resources like grocery stores, convenient stores, banks, and supply shops remain open. 


Fortunately, we’re still open here at Momentum, operating daily under normal hours.


As a result of the change in business closures, Google My Business has mandated accounts to update their current business information. I would personally consider these changes to be Major Google My Business Updates during the Coronavirus.


When you log into your Google My Business account, you will find that it is currently facing limited functionality due to a lack of resources as a result of COVID. The limited functionality is causing delays and affecting specific account features & listings such as:

  • Your Business Hours of Operation
  • Your Business Reviews
  • GMB Question & Messaging



Continue reading below, or view the video above, to further find out about the Google My Business changes. You can also refer to this article by Business 2 Community talking about these GMB updates in detail.


Here are some of the updates to GMB due to the Coronavirus and How to Implement them!


Once you log into GMB, under the “Info” tab, you can update the current availability of your business. This includes your new business hours, as well as whether your business is temporarily closed or not.


To edit your business hours, scroll down to your listed hours and select the pencil icon located to the right of it. 


Likewise, you can add new hours by scrolling down to “Add special hours” and selecting the pencil icon to the right of it.


To mark your business as temporarily closed, you must select the “Info” tab from the top-left menu. Then, scroll down to “Close this business on Google”. There will be three listed options. Finally, select the option “mark as temporarily closed.”


Update GMB hours


Other account updates such as your business address, type, phone number, etc., can still be revised and updated, but the changes will take a longer time to publish. Since Google My Business is facing limited functionality and resources, changes to your account information may take a few days or weeks to publish.


Next, the Question & Messaging feature, which has allowed customers to directly message you with questions about your business, has apparently been shut down. I also run a few retail electronics shops, and my messaging from customers has been drastically reduced, but still available. The Q&A feature hasn’t been enabled for months though. I think GMB stopped allowing this feature from it’s BETA program for certain businesses.


So, yes, we’re still receiving messages from customers on our end, but we are not getting questions anymore (it’s been this way for a few months). This could possibly be because we’re an essential business, but the reason isn’t entirely clear to us.


Like the Question & Messaging feature, business reviews have been suspended. While you can still ask for reviews from your customers, Google will not be publishing any new reviews at this time. Please be patient on this, as the reviews you received might still post, and might even give you options to review them before they are confirmed. Time will tell.


Following these changes and delays, Google has added a new feature which allows you to post a business update specifically regarding COVID-19. 

GMB COVID Post Feature


To do this, navigate to “Create post”. You will find the option to write a “COVID-19 Update”. 


You can let your customers know what services you’re specifically providing during this time, or what services you’re limiting or restricting.

This post will show up under your Google My Business listing!


This is just a quick list recap of the Major Google My Business Updates during the Coronavirus.


  1. Hours of Operation
  2. Business Information Updates 
  3. Questions & Messaging
  4. Reviews
  5. COVID Update Post
  6. Other Issues & Delays


Finally, with many things at a stand-still, we truly recommend that you prioritize your business local SEO. Enhance your internet marketing strategies, build your business SEO, really work your business on the backend, so when everything gets back to normal you’re still prospering. 


Google has also offered over $340 million in Google Ads to all small businesses in response to the pandemic. Take advantage of it and start promoting your business with Google Ads.


Thanks, and Happy Monday!

By Mac
January 29, 2020

Digital Marketing Trends for 2020

If you’re a small business owner or a digital marketer then I suggest reading this blog to learn about 12 digital marketing trends for 2020 that could help you and your business!

Watch this vlog on YouTube – Digital Marketing Trends for 2020

If you don’t feel like reading —- Here is a list of the top 12 Digital Marketing Trends for 2020.

  1. 1. Integrated Digital Marketing
  2. 2. Simplicity
  3. 3. Local SEO
  4. 4. Facebook Chat
  5. 5. Content Optimization
  6. 6. YouTube
  7. 7. TikTok
  8. 8. Education
  9. 9. Voice Search
  10. 10. AI Marketing 
  11. 11. Virtual Technology
  12. 12. Automation

595,000 ….

That’s how many small businesses will fail this year.

– Fundera

According to Fundera, roughly 113,000 (19%) will fail due to getting beat or out-marketed by competition, and another 83,000 (14%) will fail due to poor marketing.

This could never happen to you right? Right now things might be “good”? Well, that’s easy when the S&P 500 has tripled in the last decade. The economy is fantastic right now; arguably better than it’s ever been!

But what happens when it’s not ….

This year you’ll see increased competition in many industries and verticals, especially those with lower barriers to entry (such as marketing agencies 🤦‍♂️) . You should anticipate increasing difficulty standing out, especially online, this year and for years to come. That’s why I suggest reading this blog to learn more about branding and 12 digital marketing trends for 2020. Time to become the go to source online for all your customer needs so to avoid becoming another sad failure statistic when the economy dips!

Here’s to 2020.

Another year? NO. Another decade. This, my friends, will be the year of vision and strategy. 95% of your need to STOP doing the old routines you think were working, and start focusing towards what really matters — the internet.

Answer these questions for me (in your head or the comments below if you want).

  • How many hours per day are you on your phone, computer or tablet?
  • Do you think internet consumption will increase or decrease this decade?
  • Do you think more people will use their phones for research & buying decisions?
  • How many followers do you have online?
  • How much content are you producing online?
  • Are you happy and impressed with your current online presence and reputation?

Now let me answer these for you (and myself)….

  • How many hours per day are you on your phone, computer or tablet?
    • A lot. At least 12 per day.
  • Do you think internet consumption will increase or decrease this decade?
    • Yes. 100%
  • Do you think more people will use their phones for research & buying decisions?
    • Absolutely.
  • How many followers do you have online?
    • Not enough. Maybe a few thousand.
  • How much content are you producing online?
    • Not enough. 2-3 per week.
  • Are you happy and impressed with your current online presence and reputation?
    • No. It can always be better.

Okay. If I’m not happy with my answers, then you probably shouldn’t be happy with yours either.

Digital advertising spend is supposed to reach $435+ Billion in 2020. That’s absurd. The majority of those dollars are starting to shift into the following ad platforms and strategies. 

Mobile Advertising

Predicted that mobile advertising will account for 30.5% of global ad spend in 2020, up from 19.2% in 2017 (Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts)

Social Advertising 

Facebook (and Instagram) ad revenue expectations alone are supposed to surpass $36 Billion in 2020 says Ignite Media.

Video Advertising

Advertisers are expected to spend $77 billion on video advertising this year, not including social media platforms (Gartner) with 

Youtube alone, net advertising revenues in the United States are projected to reach 5.47 billion U.S. dollars, up from 3.88 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. 

Listen, I’m NOT SUGGESTING that you advertise online more. What I am suggesting is that you understand these trends because a lot of big brands and agencies are moving their ad dollars here because they understand how much more people will be on their phones watching videos and browsing social media, instead of watching TV, reading magazines, or listening to the radio.

So, the real question is, what’s next, and how can your business stay ahead of the trends while building your brand online?

Here are my 12 tips, recommendations and digital marketing trends for 2020.

1. Integrated Digital Marketing in 2020

What does this even mean? Good question. Nothing a Google search can’t explain.

I refer to integrated digital marketing as having all your online marketing be cohesive and actively communicating and working together. This would be so that you can have one account or dashboard that explains what you’re currently marketing online, and how well its working (or not working).

A prime example of this would be using something like Hubspot. Albeit, I’m not a huge fan of Hubspot because its overpriced and not as user friendly as others. However it is robust, has many integrations, and can achieve 95% of needs of marketers. They also have good support for teaching, sales, and customer service.

The goal here is to minimize the need to piece together various different softwares and applications to satisfy your digital marketing needs. It’s annoying and overly complicated to try remembering and loggins into various accounts, when instead you could have all of this under one dashboard and login.

  • Website Analytics
    • Google Analytics
  • Social Media Statistics
    • Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube
  • Advertising Reports
    • Google Ads, Facebook Ads. 

Hubspot provides much more than this, but in terms of integrated digital marketing, I’m referring to a one-stop shop for all things online marketing.

Do keep in mind, Hubspot is NOT my recommendation, or the only game in town. I am simply including them here since they are the most well known and most commonly used. Other recommendations include, Sharpspring, Infusionsoft, & ActiveCampaign.

If you’re looking to simplify your life, business, and marketing, then look into an integrated digital marketing solution. 

2. Simplicity in Marketing in 2020

Yes, this counts as a trend. Less is more. Haven’t you heard? 

Have you ever been to a really busy website with pop-ups, chat features, opt-ins, and all sorts of nonsense? What about receiving constant emails that are too complicated with all sorts of specials and designs?

What happened to providing one simple message or solution to a common need or problem that get’s people excited, interested, and involved with your brand? Try starting with a message that caters to the most common pain point or problem that got people to your website, social media, or email campaign to begin with. 

This article be Ve talks about simplistic marketing campaigns from recent years and how they worked.

It’s 2020 and you probably get hundreds of bs marketing emails, constant notifications from social media, and constant ads everywhere you look online. It’s too busy.

 Personally, I’m over it. I’m hoping you are too. So, don’t become a spammy digital solicitor in 2020. 

Provide simple elegant designs and 1-2 messages at most. Stop confusing your customers. Get them in the door with 1 offering, then gradually upsell them other custom solutions based on their needs. 

Clickfunnels is great at keeping it simple with their marketing and sales. The marketers and affiliates hit you with various ads but one common message, leading you to a landing page with one message and one action, followed by a series of emails and remarketing ads with one common goal and solution. 

KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid.

It’s true. We’re busy. You’re busy. The busier you make your marketing, the more time you invest, and the less you’ll get in return.

So whenever you are designing a page keep these things in mind …

  1. Design 
    1. Keep it sleek and simple. Don’t overcomplicate it and use too many colors, images or options.
  2. Speed
    1. Make the website and design quick to load and consume.
    2. Keep your website less than 2 seconds load, especially on mobile
  3. Information
    1. Don’t confuse your customers with too many messages or calls to action. Use 1-2 at most.

3. Local SEO in 2020

Okay. I could talk about this topic for hours. But I’ll Keep it Simple Stupid.

Google is prioritizing local search to compete with Yelp, Facebook and others. Whatever Google prioritizes, you should prioritize. 

Here are 5 local SEO statics that stand out to me.

  • 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. (Source: GoGulf)
  • 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a store within five miles. (Source: HubSpot Marketing Statistics)
  • 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. (Source: SEO Tribunal)
  • 88% of searches  for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours. (Source: Nectafy)
  • “Near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years. (Source: Chat Meter)

Here are some other key changes Google has made to Google My Business that stand out to me, which lead me to believe Google is focusing more than ever on Local Search.

  1. They released Google Posts not too long ago. These allow businesses to post deals, offers, discounts, content and more to GMB. They are also making these posts more prominent in the rich snippets and local branded search results.
  2. Google My Business is more commonly downloaded and used than in years before. The application for smartphones makes it incredibly easy to use Google Posts and to post pictures and videos as well. The notifications from GMB are constantly being pushed.
  3. The GMB launch of Google Messages is similar to Yelp inbox where you can communicate with customers, answer questions, and get GMB followers.
  4. Google recently acquired CallJoy, which is an integrated app call answering and automation service.
  5. Google has drastically enhanced the knowledge panel for branding searches which takes up a lot of space, leading to a massive UI overhaul to make the local results more ‘social’. 

4. Facebook Chat Bot Automation in 2020

Marketing guru and Wordstream founder, Larry Kim (whom I’ve met a few times at conferences), sold Wordstream for $150 in 2018 to Gannet. Why? Well, partly because it was getting too big and he was over it, but also because he saw a new opportunity growing with Facebook chatbots and automation.

This isn’t a new thing, or a trend, or a fad. People use Facebook Chat bots because they work.

According to Larry’s new company, Mobile Monkey, Facebook Messenger marketing has 10-80 times better engagement than email. Email has 5-10% open rates and a 1% clickthrough rate, where Facebook chat has around 80% open rates. It’s like texting or direct messaging someone. It’s a little invasive, but reaches people where they arent currently overexposed or bombarded with sales or marketing messages.

Manychat is probably my favorite Facebook Chat Bot Messaging platform, and the most common. That’s who I use as well. Here is an article talking about getting started with Manychat and how to use it.

You can personalize these chats, setup ongoing messaging campaigns, create dynamic responses, and much much more with chatbots!

5. Content Optimization in 2020

Sorry if this topic sounds so basic or straight forward. It was actually meant to be generalized since the point I’m going to make is about NOT making content generalized. 

If you run a smaller business, then you need to represent it. People prefer to engage with other humans, not businesses. That’s probably why a majority of small businesses don’t get as good of engagement on their business social accounts as they do on their personal social accounts, myself included. 

Content should become increasingly platform specific, especially in the editing. I know first-hand that it’s nearly impossible to constantly create, edit and publish content. I mean c’mon, I haven’t posted an article or vlog in weeks. Yet, we don’t need to post more content. Albeit, it helps. Yet, we need to do a better job crafting and editing longer form content to be better suited for certain platforms.

For example, with this video and article, I’m going to cut it up different ways so that I can use it on various platforms.

  • Facebook = Meant for more personal and mid-length content for consumption and virality. Include and use all their features like tagging, locations, groups, emotions and more. Be relatable and not salesy. 
  • Instagram = Shorter form content and image based. Make sure to tag others, use hashtags, start an engagement group, post to stories, and use the IGTV. Keep videos shorter, make them personal, dont sell.
  • YouTube = Better for long form content videos that are information or educational. Start a community and get involved with groups and other bloggers or vloggers. Doesnt need as much editing but thumbnails do matter.
  • Twitter = Extremely short form content. More about listening, engaging, sharing and commenting. Get other people involved in the conversation who care and would relate to the content.

I definitely suggest hiring a content marketer who can do video editing, graphic design, and social media management —- or one of each. You can also hire people from places like Fiverr for a fraction of the cost.

6. YouTube In 2020

YouTube is really taking off. YouTube has replaced TV, even though they have a YouTube TV, so I guess they really might replace TV.

YouTube has become the radio and the television. People (like myself) now consume YouTube for various reasons and in various ways.

  1. Educational content (training, how to)
  2. Information (learning and knowledge)
  3. Entertainment (escape, excite, laugh)
  4. Relax (listen, no need to watch, background noise)
  5. Engage (develop communities and encourage others)

Advertising on YouTube has grown tremendously as well.  Here are some YouTube growth statistics from Oberlo

  • 2 billion monthly active users
  • 79% of US has YouTube account
  • 2nd largest social network
  • Every day 1 Billion hours are watched
  • 62% of businesses use YouTube
  • 70% consumed from mobile

Right now advertising on YouTube is still a little complex, but its getting easier. You can literally have your ad (video) play in front of, on top of, or beside, a majority of videos online — and YOU CAN PICK the video. Just imagine the level of targeting and detail if you know what your target market likes to watch online.

The best thing is, pre-roll YouTube videos cant be skipped right away, unlike most ads online, especially regarding video.

Take advantage of YouTube ads before its too expensive.

7. TikTok in 2020 in 2020

New to TikTok? Don’t worry, we all are!

This new social media platform is taking the world by storm. According to Wikipedia, TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company founded in 2012 by Zhang Yiming. It is used to create short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos. The app was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android for markets outside of China. ByteDance bought and merged it with another social platform to create this social media mogul. 

By the numbers on TikTok … 

TikTok is available in over 150 countries, has over 1 billion users, and has been downloaded over 123 million times in the United States alone. If your brand’s target audience includes anyone between the age 13 and 30, you should be in TikTok right now.

Okay. What does this mean for your business? As mentioned above, if you have a younger target market, especially one that is national or international, then you need to start thinking about how TikTok can help grow your brand and how to reach these customers. 

Right now TikTok is generating a lot of hype, as well as user and ad revenue growth, but the ad market here is still uncharted territory. People have no idea how to use it to advertise. I think branding and social virality is the play. Similar to how new rappers are emerging on TikTok is how you should promote your brand. Pay younger TikTok influencers to do a fun dance or video related to using your brand or product.

8. Educational Products and Courses in 2020

If you’re like me, a digital marketer, then I’m sure you’ve been bombarded with ads on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, with ads selling digital marketing courses or how to start a marketing agency.

Weird though. I’m creating my own course AND I already own a digital agency. Either bad targeting on their part, or maybe there are plenty of suckers out there.

Don’t get me wrong. Education is the key. Some of these course might even be helpful. However, a lot of them are bad and misleading, from what I’ve read online. Here is a recent article on Medium talking about the scams that are online courses. Many of these people are using ClickFunnels combined with Instagram Ads and remarketing.

Yet, in the midst of this tempestuous market, there are a few key reasons why they are still the future.

According to Research and Markets, the global online education market is projected to witness a compound annual growth rate of 10.26% during the forecast period to reach a total market size of US $286.62 billion by 2023, increasing from US $159.52 billion in 2017. Platforms that facilitate learning through gaming are gaining popularity.

Here are those who are winning from this growth:

  • Ad platforms
    • Google (YouTube), Facebook (Instagram), and others
  • Course Software
    • Teachable, Skillshare, Kajabi, and others.
  • Entrepreneurs
    • Those creating the courses and content.

Here are those who are losing from the online education boom.

I’m coming out with a course on Local SEO for Small Businesses. If you want to sign up early just send me an email to

9. Voice Search in 2020

Have you used Siri, Google, Amazon, or any voice search in the last week? What about the last 24 hours? I have. Personally, I owe an iPhone and personal Apple products. In my bathroom I have a Google Home that I use daily, and at work I have an Amazon Echo that uses Alexa for me to play music and order products.

Here are some voice search statistics from Quora Creative that might intrigue you … or scare you. And yes, our technology is listening!

  1. The Echo Dot was crowned as the best-selling product on Amazon in the 2018 holiday season.
  2. Grocery shopping accounts for more than 20% of voice-based orders
  3. Voice-based shopping is expected to jump to $40 billion in 2022
  4. By 2024, the global voice-based smart speaker market could be worth $30 billion.
  5. 60% of smartphone users have tried voice search at least once in the past 12 months.
  6. 55% of teenagers are using voice search daily basis.
  7. In terms of accuracy, Google Home is the winner so far by answering 81% of the queries correctly, on average.
  8. Top 3 common keywords in voice search phrases are “how”, what” and “best”.

So why does this matter for you and your small business? I can think of a few key reasons.

  1. Google Search
    1. Google will be implementing voice search and response ads giving local service based queries and auto dialing in the upcoming months and years. I can basically guarantee it. 
    2. Read this SearchEngineJournal article about 4 ways to prepare for voice search advertising.
  2. Amazon Alexa
    1. Amazon will similarly implement voice search product recommendations and sponsored Amazon Prime products and voice command purchases at premium prices. This will be game changing. 
    2. This is already happening and here is an article from Forbes from over a year ago that talks about it in detail.
  3. Apple Siri 
    1. Siri will be providing voice search advertising for local search among other things similar to Google. They will probably partner with large retail brands for this distribution.
    2. LocalMarketingInstitute talks about the voice of local voice search with Siri in this article.

Main takeaway here is this — You will eventually be spending paid advertising dollars on local voice search, but the goal is to not have to. The goal is to be the primary brand or local provider thats trusted and approved by these major voice recognition and response companies. Be the best and optimize your products or service to be the premier option.

10. AI Marketing in 2020

AI does stand for artificial intelligence. No, not aliens. But close enough it seems, right?

AI kinda freaks me out. I don’t need automation doing everything for me, but it could definitely help with marketing. 

Here are some key areas or points of emphasis for how automated intelligence or artificial intelligence could be used in business and marketing.

  • Personalized content 
  • Syndication
  • Chatbots
  • Bidding
  • Google SERP

This article by content marketing Institute talks about 8 different ways marketers use artificial intelligence in their digital marketing.

Here is one prime example:

Intelligent email content curation

Your team often spends hours compiling and scheduling weekly emails to multiple customer segments. Even with smart subscriber segmentation, you can’t deliver a personalized email to every single customer. Yet, a 2016 study by Demand Metric found that 80% of marketers say personalized content is more effective than “unpersonalized” content.

That’s when artificial intelligence enters the game. Algorithms can map a subscriber’s website experience and email browsing data to understand all the individual’s interactions with your content. This knowledge allows the algorithm to identify hyper-contextual content to create one-on-one personalized emails.

Dynamic emails can be compiled based on:

  • Previous website interactions
  • Previously read blog articles and content
  • Time spent on a page
  • Wish list
  • Most popular content at the time
  • Interest of similar visitors
  • Previous interactions with branded emails

Instead of me going into detail here, I suggest you read the article above.

The main point I’d like to make is that content and marketing needs to be more synonymous and seamless. People should receive custom tailored content and website to what they want. Marketers should also be able to rely more on automated marketing, bidding, and interactions with customers. Manual work is overrated anyways, right?

11. Virtual Technology in 2020

Okay. So this one is a bit further out, but people have been talking about it for years. 

The immersion of virtual technology like VR headset, virtual staging for real estate, and virtual gaming has been a hot yet debated topic for more than 10 years. Many companies have come and gone due to a lack of funding, and running out of money, mostly because the concept hasnt seen mass market adoption. This is mostly due to the reality that virtual reality is not yet necessary and is simply a novelty. 

No, I dont need to virtually hike the Himalayas. It would be cool and all, but videos and pictures of others still works for now.

Nevertheless, this is still going and set to grow significantly the next few years. Why, because the technology is improving as well as the use cases for the technology. For example, it’s becoming increasingly popular to use or create 3D tours and real estate staging videos that showcase newly designed constructure or architectural renderings. My friends over at DesignBlendz are leading the market around Philadelphia when it comes to real estate virtual renderings simply because they see a consumer and commercial demand for that particular offering. 

For the most part, technology follows the money which follows the market. It’s gradual. It’s only on rare occasions where savants like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk create something that doesn’t necessarily have a direct consumer demand. 

According to this Forbes article and a report from Futuresource Consulting, the future of VR is bright. Worldwide, VR market volume is expected to reach 98.4 million sales by 2023, generating an installed base of 168 million units with a worldwide population penetration of 2%. Growth is forecast across all regions and countries, with China leading the way.

At Momentum Digital we actually over virtual tours as partners with Google and Matterport. Our customers tend to typically be small businesses or restaurants, or real estate related. These provide massive value to their potential customers by allowing us to customize an in-depth 3D experience of the business or space for their customers to preview conveniently from the comfort of their home or their smart device before making a buying decision.

Here is a video that showcases some of our virtual tour technology and process.

12. Marketing Automation in 2020

Last but not least, marketing automation. 

What is marketing automation? Well, simply put, it’s a way to automate a lot of your marketing actions so that you don’t have to manually make changes and updates.

I’m not great at this, but that’s what software is for, so that it can do the dirty work for example.

A prime reference to this would be using automated sequence marketing using a platform like Zapier, which connects softwares for automating purposes, to maybe connect a new lead to email marketing sequences, adding that lead to a spreadsheet, and then sending a text.

In June of last year I created a blog and video talking about How to setup an automated marketing campaign using Mailchimp, where I incorporate Slack and Zapier. This is one small and easy example as to the power of automation.

I strongly recommend connected software integrations for marketing automation with a tool like Zapier, but there are others as well, such as, ActiveCampaign, and Hubspot. This is a key digital marketing trend I see more and more often.

Antoher example of marketing automation I use is with my one company, Phone Repair Philly, where I connect new leads into a marketing automation from Facebook Lead forms. I setup these “Zaps” that when a new FB lead comes in they are automatically added to this drip campaign.

As you can see the new lead does the following … 

  1. Facebook lead form
  2. Added to Google spreadsheet
  3. Added to Mailchimp list
  4. Sent asn SMS
  5. Sent an email
  6. Message to my slack
  7. Delays
  8. Send Email
  9. Send reminder SMS

This could go on and on. There is no limit to the amount of actions and software you can use here, but you do have to pay for a premium plan that will get you an allotted amount of zaps and tasks.

This can be a gamechanger for your business if you can figure this out.


Just to recap, here are the 12 Digital Marketing Trends for 2020 that we just covered.

  • Integrated Digital Marketing
  • Simplicity
  • Local SEO
  • Facebook Chat
  • Content Optimization
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • Education
  • Voice Search
  • AI Marketing 
  • Virtual Technology
  • Automation

Thank you for reading. I hope this gives you some marketing insight and strategy moving forward in 2020 having read about these 12 Digital Marketing Trends for 2020.

If you have any questions you can email me at or connect with me on social media!

Thanks so much and good luck this year!

By Mac
November 11, 2019

Virtual Tours for Small Businesses

Welcome back to another Momentum Monday Blog. In this week’s blog, you’ll learn more about Virtual Tours for Small Businesses.

Virtual Tours for Small Businesses video tutorial

Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about Virtual Tours for Small Businesses?

  • What is a Virtual Tour?
  • How do Virtual Tours work?
  • What are common uses for Virtual Tours?
  • Will a Virtual Tour help my business rank higher on Google?
  • What are the main benefits for small businesses using Virtual Tours?
  • Why should my business get a virtual tour?

Are you a small business owner? If so, listen up as we’re going to explain how a Virtual Tour can help grow your business.

What’s a Virtual Tour?

Simply put, it’s a visual 3D representation of the inside of your business, allowing customers a 360° walk-through experience.  

Here are some Virtual Tour examples on our portfolio page. Click the tour you want to view then click the play button.

What are Common Uses for a Virtual Tour?

3D Virtual Experiences are most commonly used for brick-and-mortar or retail businesses, like restaurants or venues, to accurately and vividly showcase their internal commercial space to customers. 

  • Most businesses use virtual tours for the following reasons:
  • Showcase their beautiful interior space to potential customers
  • Add virtual content to their Google My Business 
  • Publish a 360° view to their Google Maps Page
  • Add to their website and social media
  • Outrank and outperform their competition 

These are very common and popular for restaurants as you can see this virtual tour of South Jazz & Kitchen in Philadelphia.

south jazz kitchen virtual tour

What are the main benefits for small businesses using Virtual Tours?

Virtual tours are still rather uncommon and unknown within the small business community. However, many businesses using Virtual Tours have realized a few of the main benefits, even to their bottom line. 

  • Ranking higher in Google local search results
  • Increasing visibility on their Google Page & Website
  • Developing trust and familiarity with potential customers
  • An overall increase in consumer demand and traffic
  • Increase in Customer Review & Rating (on Yelp & Google)

According to LCP 360, younger website visitors ages 18-34 are staying on the website 5-10x longer if they have a virtual tour experience. Also, according to Seekbeak, 50% of customers find Virtual Tours to be useful in their purchasing decisions.

virtual tour statistics


This brilliant piece of content allows potential prospects to virtually take a tour of your work space. Whether that’d be your brick and mortar store or a multiple-floor office building, viewers can “walk-through” your space and see what it has to offer! 

Other benefits include: 

  • Increased rankings on Google
  • More calls to your business
  • More visits to your website
  • Better customer reviews

As you can imagine, this is great for real estate. But what about all other niches in the small business world? Well, that’s what we wanted to find out. 

Case Study Example:

We started with restaurants in Philadelphia. The case study that we’ll discuss in this blog is none other than the great jazz bar, SOUTH, mentioned above. South Jazz & Kitchen was also highlighted in a video during our Small Business Saturday video series in Philly.

south virtual tour

We first completed their virtual tour in 2017, and they’ve been loving it ever since. To this day, SOUTH is still benefiting from the content and SEO this virtual tour offers. 

One of SOUTH’s problems at first was that they weren’t ranking for any prominent keywords such as “jazz bar philadelphia” or “jazz in philadelphia.” 

Since completion in January 2018, this virtual tour has accumulated the following reach and awareness (see screenshot below).

Total = 28,100+ Impressions

Visits = 23,100+ People

virtual tour small business case study

So now you have proof that both businesses and customers appreciate virtual tours, but does it help with SEO you might ask?

Will a Virtual Tour help my business rank higher on Google?

Many business owners ask us, ”How does having a virtual tour increase my rank in Google?” 

First off, great question! Secondly, SEO is very complex, but Local Search isn’t nearly as complex as trying to compete with companies all over the world.

Local SEO focuses on a few key ingredients that you can read in a previously written Monday Monday article, “Top 6 Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses”. 

To answer your question, we have witnessed these 3 key reasons that businesses rank 10-20% higher with a Google Virtual Tour on their Google Maps (Google My Business) listing in overall search visibility and traffic ….

You’re actively using and participating in what Google cares about

Google is trying to compete more with Facebook, Instagram, Yelp and countless others. By continually increasing their service offerings and product integrations they believe they can regain market share and ultimately make more money — therefore they want people using their updates product features.

Virtual Tours provide rich content to engage viewers

Google cares about showing customers helpful and relevant information, not only text-based, but also visually with images and video. The virtual tour feature has existed for over 6 years now but is only recently being featured and promoted by Google.

Get A Leg-Up on the Competition

The more businesses actively use all of Google’s products and feature the better. The feature is actively recognized on Google maps and is easy to embed via Google 360° imagery or Matterport software. The more robust your Google Maps listing, the more relevant and accurate the representation of your business is on Google.

You will, of course, need a completed and optimized Google My Business Page along with adding the Virtual Tour. If you need help just contact us via email or comment in the blog below!

Example & Case Study (continued) = South Jazz & Kitchen

As you can see from this Google search, SOUTH now ranks 1st for the phrase “jazz bar Philadelphia,” which gets over 500 searches every month! So, we were able to get SOUTH a potential monthly increase of 500+ customers, just from the virtual tour! 

virtual tour helps seo

For all this success, we have to thank our virtual tour partners at Matterport. Matterport is an all-inclusive virtual tour company that provides hosting and cameras to third-party companies like us. This platform allows us to embed keywords and truly help with local SEO. 

To strategically place these keywords inside of the virtual tours, we use what Matterport refers to as “mattertags.” These mattertags as seen above are neat little tools that guide tour viewers through each location. 

We utilize these mattertags by attaching prominent keywords all along the virtual tour to ensure Google’s algorithm will help it rank. For SOUTH’s tour, we included videos, articles, keywords, any content that we could fit in to add value. The great thing about mattertags is that it links out to websites! 

Not only did we implement a keyword strategy for their virtual tour, but a backlinking strategy to boot. We used these local SEO tactics that helped grow SOUTH’s tour. 

After we made these changes to their tour, we published everything to Google. Normally, it takes Google 24-48 hours to track this piece of content and then rank it. We were stunned to see that just after a few days, SOUTH was now ranking first for the keywords we put in it. We hadn’t done anything else for SOUTH in terms of SEO, so we pointed to the virtual tour as what helped us rank! Fast-forwarding to 2019, SOUTH still ranks first for a number of terms and keeps getting new business. 

So How do Virtual Tours work?

It’s honestly not that complicated, nor do we even have our clients worry about it. All they need to do is have their business ready and beautiful to be captured by our photography equipment. Depending on the size of your business, most projects only take 1-2 hours to shoot on average.

However, here is the process, just so you have an idea ….

  • Approve quote and project (15 minutes)
  • Schedule shoot date (5 minutes)
  • Prepare your business (1-2 hours)
  • Clean interior, swept, organized, prepped, no people.
  • Typically before or after business hours and with good lighting.
  • Photographer arrival & set-up (15 minutes)
  • Shoot the tour (1-2 hours)
  • Edit and Tag (1-2 hours)
  • Produce and publish the virtual tour (1-2)
  • Promote & market (ongoing)

virtual tour photographer

Essentially all you need to do as a business owner is approve the quote and contract, then have your business or location ready for capturing content, just as you would hiring any other professional photographer.

Please have your location or venue ready by having it cleaned and organized, just as you would with a professional event or photoshoot. The entire photography capturing process depends on the size of your location. Any commercial space typically only takes 1-2 hours based on the square footage. The time necessary for the shoot is negligible and dependent completely upon you being ready, and the size of your space.

To give you a time reference, as seen on the Matterport FAQ page, it takes a minimal amount of time to shoot.

On average, it takes about 38 minutes to scan a typical 2,000 square feet (186 meters squared) single-family home with the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera as defined by the Matterport Support Team.

Anything visible to the camera (360 degrees) will be visible once published for customers to see — so please keep that in mind.

After we shoot the venue, it typically takes 2x that time to edit, tag, optimize, and publish it online. If you want it published to Google it’s an extra fee, and we will need your login. The same goes for YouTube and your website. If you want it live and published to those, we will need those logins and access, plus another small fee as well. We recommend doing everything you can to get maximum exposure on the virtual tour!

Why should my business get a virtual tour?

Alright, the million-dollar question … “Why should my business get a virtual tour?”

To our team, and many photographers and marketers, the answer is simple: YOU NEED IT. You just need it. We would never pitch anything we don’t have and use ourselves, nor would we sell anything we don’t believe in wholeheartedly. 

Statistically speaking, 90% of your competition doesn’t have one, and 60% of which don’t even know it exists. 

Unless your business is online or never has customers inside (or is just downright unattractive), then we highly suggest a virtual tour. These valuable pieces of content will rank your business higher on Google, drive more website traffic, engage potential customers, and provide valuable visible context about your space.

We believe in our product so much, that if you don’t witness a 10% increase in traffic, impressions, or visibility, then we will refund your money! 

It just works, and it’s beautiful …. And to be candid, in the grand scheme of things, it’s just not that expensive (yet). So, before this product gets more competitive, give us a call, or fill out our Free Quote Calculator online.

why get a virtual tour

Thanks for reading!! 

Ever since our successful case study with SOUTH, we’ve moved on to other niches such as spas, treatment centers and many others! Our clients have loved our new spin-off of these virtual tours and the value we’re able to provide them. 

Momentum 360 is a full-scale virtual tour provider in Philadelphia. We also offer photography, videography, editing, drone, and digital marketing.

Our owners Mac Frederick and Sean Boyle have over 15+ years of digital marketing experience and are ready to help take your business to the next level! Our team members have also worked at Google and Facebook before, so we have the most up-to-date knowledge in the business. All to help your business rank at the top of Google and kickstart your journey to be a future lead generation machine! 

You can email us or check out our website for more information! 

We post our Momentum Monday and Small Business Saturday blog every week, so feel free to subscribe and make sure you’re up to date on the latest trends in the industry. 

If you have any questions or concerns, leave them in the comments below! From everyone at Momentum 360, thanks for the love and until next time, build Momentum! 

By Mac
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