Alternative search methods are becoming increasingly popular and are expected to take off in 2019 among other digital marketing trends, including chatbots, artificial intelligence, and vertical video. Visual and voice search are already rather common. Think Siri, Alexa, and Google Lens. With these technologies already being used by various search engines and platforms, there is a huge opportunity for marketers to step in and incorporate visual and voice search into their digital marketing strategy.
What is Visual Search?
These days, nearly everyone has a smartphone and it goes nearly everywhere with us, as does the camera. According to Google, 10-15% of the pictures being taken are of practical things like receipts and shopping lists. With that being said, it is predicted that the camera will go well beyond taking photos and will help you search what you see.
Visual search works by utilizing machine learning and computer vision to capture a photo in real life and then gather information online about what you see. For the most part, visual search is being used to search for and identify products. Google Lens, for example, can copy and paste text from a recipe, identify a breed of a dog, and offer home decor/ style suggestions. Snapchat and Pinterest, among others, are on board too.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search uses audio technology and voice recognition to generate search results from users speaking into a phone or other device. Essentially, voice search allows users to search the web and gather information without actually having to scroll through sites on desktops and mobile devices. Google Assistant, Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Amazon Alexa have dominated voice search so far. You may have already started to see voice search queries in your site’s Google Analytics data. That’s an indication that your audience is using voice search.
How Marketers Can Utilize Multimedia Search
According to Forbes, by 2020, 30% of all website sessions will be conducted without a screen. With technology’s major players placing their products in homes, cars, and offices, brands have the chance to better connect to their audience through voice and visual search. Making use of these capabilities is important in order for companies to increase brand awareness, boost conversions and drive traffic to their website.
It’s critical to ensure that your brand’s online presence is fit for the different forms of searching. In terms of digital marketing, this means making sure you are optimizing for both visual and voice search. Here are a few tips on how to do just that:
Optimizing for Visual Search
- Follow Image Optimization Best Practices. Here is a great guide by Google.
- Use Image Sitemaps. The more information you can provide to search engines about your images, the better. Here’s another Google guide.
- Build a Visual Identity. Be consistent, as search engines can tell which company an image belongs to based on its aesthetic qualities.
Optimizing for Voice Search
- Write The Way That You Speak. Keep it conversational. Voice optimization is different, it doesn’t use the same short keywords that SEO requires.
- Concentrate on Local Search Optimization. 22 percent of voice search queries are looking for location-based content.
- Focus on Speed. Just like traditional SEO, Google voice search favors websites that load quickly.