Web browsing has changed significantly in the last couple of years. Most people say that this is due to the increased popularity of mobile devices however, there is something that made these products a viable option in the first place. Here, we are referring to users’ ability to browse the web via visual and voice search.
Mobile devices are great in so many different ways. But, for a really interactive and rewarding experience, they had to evolve in some way. Communication and browsing were especially troublesome as they required the user to be focused, to remain still and type the commands. However, if you are able to do all of that with a simple voice command, on the go, there is no need to waste time. In fact, voice and visual search made mobile devices as popular as desktop computers (if not even better).
Voice and visual search are trending upwards and according to predictions, all companies that quickly invested in this technology and optimize their site accordingly will have a revenue increase of up to 30% by 2021.
These figures are not to be ignored; they can be the game-changer that ensures that your brand not only thrives but dominates the market in the future.
What About Traditional Browsing?
Many people are ready to hop on the bandwagon completely neglecting the traditional web browsing by typing queries into the search bar. While traditional browsing will not disappear, search percentages will change in favor of voice and visual search. Even when at home, a lot of people will browse the web through their mobile device, by issuing voice commands.
Simply put, voice and visual search can be a lot easier and save users a lot of time. But that doesn’t mean that traditional browsing will vanish or that you should neglect it going forward. It will take some time for search engines to pick up voice and visual search and rank it accordingly. If you just started with a new site, you shouldn’t put all your eggs into this basket; traditional search is still crucial at this point.
What Do You Need to Know About Visual Search?
As you well know, anyone can upload an image to the internet and there is a chance it will appear within Google’s image search. As long as the user names it correctly, the search engine will be able to properly recognize and categorize this image. For some time, users have been feeding Google the data and providing a relevant basis for image search. Today, with the rise of smartphones, we can finally utilize all these images for image search.
Keep in mind that all modern mobile devices have high-quality cameras. This allows us not only to take pictures but recognize objects that are otherwise hard to define. For example, with visual search, all you need to do is take a photograph of an object, product or landscape, and through its advanced algorithms, Google will be able to tell what kind of item the user is referring to. In fact, the technology is so precise that it can quickly create a list of products and where to buy them.
Most people are still not convinced about visual search. This makes sense as most people are not early adopters. However, according to data, there are more than 600 million visual searches on Pinterest each month. Around 27% of all searches are actually images which show there is potential there.
Although it is no longer a secret that visual search has enormous potential, most retailers are still not using it. At this point in time, only 32% of the stores are relying on this technology or will implement it within the next year. This means that more than two-thirds of the market is still behind.
How to Optimize For Visual Search?
If your company relies heavily on images, it is about time you start optimizing for visual search. Here are some things you need to keep in mind:
- Every product or topic page should feature several relevant images
- You have to put emphasis on products that are frequently sold
- Companies need raster images, CTA, and messages within the photo to increase conversion
- While images are necessary, they shouldn’t have a negative impact on users’ experience. Make sure to optimize them
- If you have numerous retailers at your disposal or sites in different languages, you need to make sure everything works properly across the board
- Links work in the same way for images as for regular pages. Implement a proper link hierarchy and try to build links towards your images
- Focus on putting the images on the most important pages that you want to promote. That way, you can gain traffic from both traditional and voice search
- Image alt tags, titles, captions have to be well optimized and reliant on relevant keywords
- While you can use different images, it is very important to create a brand identity. This might not have a direct impact on SEO but will make your company more recognizable
- Check your image traffic regularly. Similar to traditional SEO, you’ll need to create strategies, improve them over time, and change things that are not working.
What Do You Need to Know About Voice Search?
Visual search was revolutionary in its own regard. But what got people going was the introduction of voice search. Companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon have quickly jumped on the opportunity as they started developing devices that would be exclusively activated by voice commands.
Furthermore, it seems that voice search has much more growth potential as it allows people to browse the web without being glued to a screen. For example, people can nowadays browse the web and acquire information and directions while driving their car or doing something else on their PC. Besides casual use, voice search can prove to be invaluable for commercial users.
At this point, there are still lots of unknowns regarding this technology. While a lot of different products have hit the market in this short period of time, they are very similar in terms of their features. That being said, we are still uncertain as to what is the full potential of voice search and voice devices.
How to Optimize for Voice Search?
Voice search is a completely different beast when compared to visual search. Most companies were familiar with image optimization prior to the development of image search. There is also a lot of data on the web which helps users get more relevant results. On the other hand, a lot of business owners do not know how voice search really works.
Here are some tips that will help you optimize your site for voice search:
- Voice search is based on structured data. Use summaries and headlines that will help out users during browsing
- Each section should be around 15 to 20 seconds long as it allows for the best user experience. Google measures this and assigns relevancy based on this factor
- Information should be broken up into smaller sections so you can clearly speak it.
How to Implement Technical SEO for Voice and Visual Search?
One of the main reasons for the introduction of voice and visual search is the users’ need to get information quickly and effortlessly. As previously mentioned, these search methods allow people to acquire data on the go, without being stuck to a computer.
In terms of technical aspects, business owners have to consider pre-rendered content as the focal point of search. Nowadays, browsers cannot perform as much processing so it’s necessary to prepare content in advance and make sure that it is ready for users.
When it comes to structured data elements, companies should focus on:
- Product name
- Social profiles
If you do everything right, you have a good chance of reaching your desired level of traffic. Keep in mind that search requires some time and you might not get the results you want right away. In fact, you might never be able to outrank your competition regardless of when you started the process, but well begun is half down. And with the help of our guide, you should be able to provide yourself with the best starting point.
Credit: Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay.com