Visual Search has been gaining a lot of traction since Google, Pinterest, and Bing introduced their visual search capabilities. Previously, search was purely based on text, but now we are witnessing the growing popularity of voice and visual-based search.
With text-based search, users faced the hurdle of recalling an accurate snippet of what they were looking for, or else, they end up with irrelevant results. Visual search technology, however, lets users search via real-world images such as images over the web, screenshots, and photos by users. The infusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) attempts to comprehend the context and content of the images and in turn delivers relevant results.
Just like spectrum internet, visual search is becoming more immersed in our lives. According to research by ViSenze, 62% of Millennial and Generations Z consumers prefer visual search to any other technology. This in turn is stamping an irrevocable impact on SEO and consequently prompting the implementation of a fresh set of techniques and strategies in order to optimize for visual search, particularly in the case of e-commerce businesses.
So here are a few techniques to get you started:
1. Prioritizing Images
While optimizing for visual search, it is imperative that you offer a barrage of images for your products. As with a single image, the search engine may not be accurately able to identify your product and may even produce competitor’s product in the search results.
With multiple high-resolution images with every angle of the product, users will easily come across your product in the search result even if the image via which they performed search is blurred or taken from a bad angle.
Google Image Sitemaps lets search engine find metadata for images present on a site. The Google Image extensions in Sitemaps garners further information regarding a website’s images, which unearths any image Google couldn’t find via crawling.
So, to ensure that the search engine doesn’t miss your images while crawling, make your site images easily scannable by adding relevant details to the sitemap. The details can entail image type, subject matter, location, title, caption, and license.
3. Describe the Images
While crawling your website, Google also crawls image file names. So, make sure you give a distinct, short yet descriptive name with relevant keywords for each of your image files. When the search engine is unable to recognize an image, this singular and descriptive name is going to come to your aid.
4. Don’t Miss the Caption
File names should be different and they are invisible to users. As for captions, they are visible to everyone and provide context to the search engine when the image cannot be identified immediately. So add unique, short, but descriptive captions along with the keywords. One image with a distinct file name can be utilized in different places and have a different caption each time.
5. Alternative Texts Are a Must
Alternative texts or alt tags help visually impaired readers relying on screen readers to understand what your image is about. Moreover, these tags make images more accessible to any audience whose browser is blocking images.
Alt tags are also monumental in helping the search engine understand the context so it can rank your images properly, which in turn can help generate even more valuable leads. So, when you upload photos on your site, input alternative text with each image.
90% of information comprehended by the human brain is visual. Hence, consumers respond faster to it than they do to textual information. It seems like visual search is here to stay as it offers improved ease and convenience of performing research.
Retailers like ASOS, Amazon, IKEA, Wayfair, Argos, and Neiman Marcus have developed their own proprietary visual technology. In fact, 45% of retailers in the UK now utilize visual search. So, the race for visual has already started, and you should better get going.
It doesn’t mean that text-based search will go extinct as it has its own value and usefulness. Therefore, while optimizing for visuals don’t neglect the traditional text. Optimize for both searches and gain maximum visibility.