The Ultimate Guide to Visual Search for eCommerce Marketers

September 10, 2021 Written By Hemant Parmar

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Suppose you scrolling Instagram and found something interesting but you don’t know what it is whether it’s a pair of boots or sport shoes. Now you are confused and that’s why to satiate your curiosity, you turn to traditional text search engine and ask for what exactly it is. Wouldn’t be a lot easier if you took screenshot and have the result automatically show on your search? Yes, that’s visual search pulling some serious wizardry.

Many times we’ve heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but who knew this phrase was becoming a reality? Yes, visual search is the essence of the whole process, and no wonder it’s the most important. In the future, everyone will be searching using images rather than keywords, and we can already see the difference.

The number of visual searches conducted on Pinterest every month is close to 600 million, which is a huge figure. We can conclude from these numbers that visual search is starting to take the place of text-based search. Due to its instant discovery, smooth search, and better visibility in organic search, visual search is in high demand.

Is Visual Search the Future?

Visual search will become the future of the world without a doubt. As it is already widely used, it makes visual searching even more effective. By simply taking pictures of your favorite brand, you can already book your favorite dress.

The retail sector has a lot of potential for visual search. As an example. With augmented reality, you can find the perfect socks to match your shoes and then visualize them before you buy them.

Visual search continues to grow in popularity among marketers and users alike. There are some fields that benefit more from this technology than others. For example, fashion and home decor are booming.

To purchase furniture and clothing, customers increasingly use visual search technology. You can now upload a photo of clothing to a company’s app, which provides a similar item from their catalog. Due to the better user experience and simplicity of visual search, visual search continues to grow in popularity.

The Difference Between Visual Search and Image Search

The concept of visual search is a combination of voice, text, and visual search. Both visual and image search are based on imaginary, but there are misconceptions going around that they are the same. That’s far from the truth.

For an image search, a user uses text, whereas, for a visual search, a user uses an image. The image search has been around for a long time and is used widely by people, so it is popular in the market, and Google introduced the image search way back in 2001.

Top Tips to Optimize Visual Search for Your E-Commerce Business

Until recently, people have known only text-based search, since visual search is relatively new to the market. Although voice search has grown tremendously in popularity over the past few years, it must be applauded.

If you own an eCommerce store without a visual search feature on your website, there is a high probability that your business will suffer in the near future. In this article, we will explain how you can implement a visual search for your site and appeal to the new generation of visual-first buyers.

1. Include an Image in the Sitemap

Be sure that your sitemap contains a lot of original images of high quality so that visual search engines might be able to automatically scan it. Make sure they are organized, such as by URL. Google will find your photos more likely to appear in searches if you create an image sitemap, providing more details about your photography.

2. Don’t Forget to Resize your Images

It is always better to use a smaller image size when you are creating a website. Large images may cause loading times to be slow in various browsers and devices. Search engine rankings will certainly suffer as a result of this in the long run.

Choose an image file type that can be easily adapted and compressed – JPEG is usually the best choice. A video should be in AVI format.

3. Name the image

Your images will not only be scanned by search engine bots, but their file names as well. Identical and descriptive names should be given to each image, and the alt text should describe it in a few words. While the bot may not recognize your image, it can still show you in search results thanks to appropriate keywords, regardless of whether it recognizes the image itself or the name and alt text of your image.

When you have a photo of Mconnect Extension on one of your landing pages, the file name should not be DSC1456.jpg. A proper file name for your landing page would be “mconnect-extension”, ensuring the main subject appears at the beginning of the file name.

4. Add Alt Tags

Your website is scanned by a search engine bot using alt tags, as mentioned above. Still, they can also provide customers with assistance when navigating your website through screen readers. In spite of whether or not a consumer can visually see the image, alt text can convey its meaning. Don’t stuff keywords into the alt text in order to have them – write alt text that is clear and relevant for the reader.

5. Enhance Searchability of your eCommerce Site

There’s no doubt that visual search should have a prime focus, but you shouldn’t ignore traditional text-based search as well. Search engine optimization should apply to both the text of your eCommerce site and your images, so monitor your keywords, headlines, alt tags, and Meta tags just as you would for the images. With A/B testing over time, you will be able to determine if they work and if they don’t.

6. Enhance your Social Media Visuals

Today, visuals are everything, and Instagram is the perfect example. In order to retain customers, you need appealing visuals. Instagram has more to offer than just images, so you don’t just need to look at images. Instagram feeds should be designed according to the latest trends and be appealing to your customers.

Winding Up

Since Google algorithms and updates are always being updated, we can expect the same from Google. To keep up with the future of search, eCommerce marketers need to think about incorporating visual search into their websites.

Do you need help implementing visual search on your site? M-Connect Media can help you. We have an eCommerce team of experts who can design your site with visual search and make it appealing to your visual audience. For more information, please contact us.

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