The Power of Visual Search Examples to Rank in Search

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Regular search, voice search, and now we have visual search. Virtual search examples are just growing up, but they are worth considering how they might impact your brand’s search results.

This article discusses the following:

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 get related search results. In this case, I knew all about Hayden Fry, but if I was visiting and wanted to know what the statue was all about, this would be another great use case and one of many visual search examples of how this would be helpful.

Virtual search of statue

In this case, it gives me several 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 the 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 recognizes the text on her jersey and offers me the website of the softball club.

Read next: (How to) Livestreaming softball or baseball games the easy way

Why brands should care

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.

Read next: Amazon lens: How to do an Amazon search by image

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 also some potential for relevancy. 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

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

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

Visual search might make up a minority of search traffic now and even if it never becomes the majority, it’s still good to be found by consumers searching for things related to what your company does.

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