Visual Search. Today, skimming has become the new normal and too much text is seen as a burden. Visual search is emerging as the future of how consumers will engage with your brand. As Pinterest’s CEO Ben Silbermann has previously said, “the future of search will be about pictures rather than keywords.”
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and never has this been truer than today’s digital landscape as consumers seek instant gratification in their searches. AI and Machine Learning advancements enable innovations in visual search, and marketers should be preparing to meet consumer demands and shifting behavior.
Through artificial intelligence and machine learning, search engines can identify objects related to a presented image in a search. For example, with today’s technology a user could present an image of a chair and results would be returned with identical or similar options. With Google Lens, you’re not only able to find similar objects but you can also identify retailers, reviews and listings to follow through with a purchase. As user engagement increases in this realm, so too will the amount of data and learning that the engines garner to further increase relevancy in results.
Visual search is on the rise, as you can see from one recent article:
As a marketer, what can you do to ensure you’re visible for visual searches? Below you’ll find 5 surefire ways to show up when your consumers seek image-based results.
Test several images on your site to showcase your products clearly. Incorporate photos from multiple angles and perspectives to improve your chance of appearing in visual searches.
To allow consumers to browse products easily, image search should be built into your web inventory. Only 8% of retailers have this built out today with big brands like Amazon, Macy’s, ASOS and Wayfair are leading the way.
Ensure your images are crawlable for the search engines. Leverage schema markup and metadata to inform search results with relevant keywords and descriptors.
Pinterest is a perfect way to dip your toe into visual search. With a growing audience and positive forecast, it is one of the leaders to invest in for maximum return.
For technology to properly process your images, it’s key to optimize them for ideal size, file type, and titles. By adding images to an existing sitemap you don’t need to create a new one, just include additional information about the images on each page.
Visual search promises to be one of the ways marketers can meet the demands of an increasingly short attention span of consumers. While it is not expected to replace keyword-based search completely, it should be part of your consideration set for future strategies!
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