For your digital marketing strategy to be effective, it’s vital that customers can search your site as easily as possible. With the number of voice and visual search technology users increasing dramatically, you can’t afford not to cater to them.
Fortunately, preparing for the voice and visual search revolution isn’t as daunting as you may think. In this article, we’ll cover the ways these new search technologies can benefit your business. We’ll also discuss how to ensure your marketing strategy accommodates voice and visual search. Let’s dive in!
Let’s start with some key definitions. Voice search involves giving a spoken command to a virtual assistant and receiving relevant search results in return. You’ll usually receive results both audibly and visually.
Visual search entails uploading an image to receive relevant search results. For example, a user may take and upload an image of a particular item of clothing, and find details on how to purchase it.
User adoption for these search methods is rising dramatically. By 2050, 30% of all online search interactions will be done via voice. Projections for visual search are similarly optimistic. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann estimated “the future of search is going to be about pictures instead of keywords.”
In addition, there are also cross-selling benefits in adopting voice and visual search. If a user wants to buy an item, configure your site to show similar items. Complementary or related items can also be configured to display as a result of a visual search.
There are a number of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) benefits to be had, particularly from voice search. Search engines such as Google are increasingly emphasizing user experience when it comes to ranking pages; voice search presents the fastest means of delivering search queries. Due to the nature of the search, incorrect spelling is less of an impediment.
Optimize your site for voice search
By optimizing your site for popular voice search platforms (such as Google Assistant), you can tap into a major demographic. This increases your exposure and conversion rates in the process.
To harness the power of voice search, you’ll need to structure your content. Fortunately, there are a variety of simple techniques you can employ.
First, you should ensure that the written content of your site is clear, straightforward, and informal. By incorporating conversational keywords, you can ensure your site will come up in response to a specific query.
An excellent way to add conversational keywords to your site is to create a well-structured Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. Where Google provided a source for an answer to a voice enquiry, 2.6% came from FAQ pages. Though this may seem small, it’s impressive when you consider desktop search results only returned 1.4% of results.
Voice for E-Commerce
To further optimize your e-commerce site for voice, you’ll need to place emphasis on localized SEO. You can do this by incorporating relevant locations into your keywords. This can enhance the likelihood of voice search results for your brand, provided this technique is pared with a robust SEO strategy. Fortunately, a number of resources to help you develop SEO localization.
Because voice search is largely performed via mobile devices, it’s crucial for your site to function well on any device. An excellent open-source platform to help you achieve this is the AMP Project.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) create high-performing mobile web pages with no coding required. Because voice searches are likely conducted on the go, ensuring your site loads as quickly as possible is a must. Because pages created with AMP are consistently fast-loading, using it will increase your chances of yielding more conversions.
Optimize your site for visual search
Major retailers like Target are beginning to realize the enormous potential of visual search. When developing your marketing strategy, consider the most efficient way to bring customers through the phases of your search funnel. In this regard, optimizing your site for visual search is a smart move. This is particularly the case with impulsive purchases based on visual elements.
The first thing you should do is formulate your SEO strategy with visual search in mind. This will involve assigning clear textual elements to your images, such as captions, titles, and alternative text (or “alt-text”). Doing this will enable your images to be better indexed, and returned in queries.
You should also consider submitting image sitemaps to Google. If you use an open-source Content Management System (CMS), there are a number of useful extensions for generating image-specific sitemaps. Examples include Sitemap Generator for Joomla! and Udinra All Image Sitemap for WordPress.
You’ll also want to make sure your social media presence is conducive to visual search. Having a presence on Pinterest is important here, due to the the Pinterest Lens function available on the dedicated app. By ensuring your brand is prominent on Pinterest, you’ll increase the likelihood of generating conversions.
Finally, if an e-commerce site has a dedicated app, you can still incorporate visual search functionality. A heavyweight option in this regard is the ViSenze API. It works by receiving and analyzing images sent by clients, and rapidly responding with conversion-generating search results. Visenze is already being utilized by major brands, including UNIQLO and Goodrich Global.
A focus of your marketing strategy should be making it as easy as possible for clients to discover your products. Optimizing your site for voice and visual search can help you achieve this goal. All it takes is some careful brainstorming, the optimization of your content, and the use of some handy external tools.
Do you have any questions about how a site can be optimized for visual and voice search results? Let us know in the comments section below!