Is your content ready for visual search?

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

Regular search, voice search and now we have visual search. Virtual search is certainly in its infancy but it is worth considering how it might impact your brand’s search results.

What is visual search?

Visual search allows you to search for an item that you can physically see in front of me. For example, this is a statue of legendary Iowa football coach Hayden Fry at the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids.

Using the Google Lens virtual search app I can scan the item and then get related search results.

Virtual search of statue

In this case, it gives me a number of shopping options – including other Herkys. It doesn’t make the connection yet to who the statue is of and what I might want to read about his history.

You can also use visual search with pictures on your device. For example, I used it with this softball picture of one of my daughters.

Visual search of a photo

In that case, it actually recognizes the text on her jersey and offers me the website of the softball club.

Why brands should care about visual search

Showing up when it makes sense is something brands should thrive for and that’s no different for virtual search.

For example, if a consumer scans a garbage can, I would want my garbage can to show up if that’s what I’m selling. So there is a real advantage for consumer brands – especially at the bottom of the funnel when consumers are ready to buy.

Because, why else would I be scanning that garbage can? Probably not to learn about the history of garbage cans.

At the top of the tunnel, there is some potential for relevancy as well. If I’m scanning something that I would just like to learn more about it would be nice to see results for that search intent as well.

How to be ready for visual search

Make sure to follow best practices of search engine optimization  and make sure that your  content is tagged correctly, uses the right words and offers value for the specific context of searches.

Using original photography tagged correctly but also become ever more important.

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