Visual search is a great marketing tool that helps consumers find what they’re looking for faster. Rather than trying to describe a specific item in words, they can simply snap a quick photo and upload it to find a close visual match.
Brands like Pinterest and Google have already implemented visual search functionalities, and other companies are starting to follow suit. If you haven't yet incorporated this useful feature into your user experience design, now is the time to start looking into it.
To help you, we asked a panel of Ad Age Collective members what companies should know about the impact of visual search on marketing. Their best answers are below.
1. Metadata still matters in visual search.
With nearly 25% of all internet searches occurring on Google Images, this is the second largest search category. Creating high-ranking metadata is an important SEO strategy to show up and index on the front page. Also, XML images are powerful for creating sitemaps. This step ensures that crawlers can easily access your images and show them in search results. - Warren Jolly, adQuadrant
2. You can maximize your reach with a multi-site visual content strategy.
Search engines pull image results from multiple sources. Brands can maximize the potential for their product images to top the search results by building out visual content on other websites. Strong visual content strategies on Pinterest, Amazon and specialist sites like Houzz can drive more eyes on your products and ultimately increase sales. - Kerry Curran, Catalyst
3. It will take time to gain traction, but you should start preparing now.
It's tempting with new trends to go all-in without addressing the current business climate. For brands that are used to investing in SEO to gain visibility, this shouldn't stop with the advent of visual search, as it will take time to gain traction. Regardless, carve out a portion of your SEO budget to dedicate to visual assets and you'll be ready for the arrival of mass adoption of visual search. - Patrick Ward, Rootstrap
4. Your images should give consumers a reason to click through.
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Make the image of your product quickly stand out and be visually appealing. Show the features and benefits of the product as they would appear as part of the consumer's life to give them a reason to click through and learn more. - Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
5. Don't wait to get started.
As mobile usage grows, mobile-friendly features like the vertical-video content format and visual search will become the norm. AI is developing rapidly and making it easier to carry out visual search accurately. Businesses need to get their foot in the door fast and build their audience from the outset of this new trend. It will be a lot harder to compete and stand out later. - Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner