Article

Asad Ali
Asad Ali 12 April 2017

Can Visual Search Change SEO for E-Commerce?

A user will easily be engaged in images related to the content than reading the content itself and will retain it longer as well. Every content with relevant images earns 94% more viewers than the one without images. Purchasing decision is majorly based upon the images available next.

Good visuals play an important role to SEO and E-Commerce be it in the form of images, graphics, illustrations or a video. 

A human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. That is why the ratio of customers holding and recalling a visual is more than of an audio or text 60:10. A user will easily be engaged in images related to the content than reading the content itself and will retain it longer as well. Every content with relevant images earns 94% more viewers than the one without images. Purchasing decision is majorly based upon the images available next. 

This is not a news for marketing experts that persuasive visuals are necessary for sales and views. Google keeps proving this point year after year by updating its advance image searching and reverse image searching. Because great visuals are important to SEO.  

How Visual Search can Change SEO For E-Commerce: 

Customers and e-commerce retailers find it difficult to search specific products using a text inquiry. Especially when a user will have less information about a certain product or is unable to describe it using a keyword. But again keywords can only help you if that word has thousands or hundreds at least relevant products.

A visual search aim is to change the way we look for products or queries online. Image search (which returns images for a text-based query) or reverse image search (which often relies on metadata to matching results), visual search uses pixel-by-pixel comparisons to return results with similar brands, styles, and colors. It’s better to consult an ecommerce web design agency to optimize your store for visual search.

Linda Bustos says in her GetElastic post, “Visual search ‘reads’ images to identify color, shape, size and proportions, even text to identify brand and product names. This offers an advantage over keyword-matched search, in which results are only as good as the searcher’s ability to describe them.”

Visual Search on Pinterest:

Visual search is not a news itself. Because sites like Pinterest which come under one of the most preferred-commerce visual aided web portals have quickly become powerful platforms. Pinterest is home to many online retailers who desire fast visual search results. It has more than a 100 million active users a month. It contains a built-in “Buy” button. It has introduced numerous brands to audience by its most useful “promoted pins” advertising unit.  Now Pinterest has also invented a visual search feature. That helps you find something you watched and liked on Pinterest but unable to name it to find.  This new tool lets you spot similar pins with the help of which you can click on any object from images to purchase products related to that category your eye is looking for.

Showing customers by describing examples of how and what to do helps them live a better lifestyle using that very product and how to keep it. Such images aid in making similar product purchases as well. 

Here are a few advantages visual search has over text-based search for e-commerce sites other than Pinterest as well. 

1. Reduce Extra Steps

The less stairs a customer will get to step up and down purchasing a product the more checkouts are expected. The check-out process is one of the biggest turn downs for e-commerce conversions. It asks customers first to log-in or create a new account by signing up followed by long forms of personal information to payment options and information. Then it shows offers, ask to avail gift wrap service or coupons etc. While visual search aids the customer to jump direct to the product relevant to image.

While testing your site for usability always try condensing unnecessary steps first to facilitate consumers by visual search only. 

2. Refine On-Site Search

Visual search technology is intended to help refined search results beyond keywords only by recommending products based on visual similarity, complementary styles, and other items that customers have viewed. There are multiple benefits to refining your on-site search function. 

Simplified buying process: Customers spend less time searching through menus.

Higher conversion rates: Customers hit fewer dead ends on their path to your checkout.

More sales: Cross-promote products by suggesting complementary pairings.

3. Eradicate Dead Ends

There are two dead ends that customers might face when searching for your products. The first dead end happens off-page, and it can occur long before customers ever find your website. For example, on websites like Pinterest, users can see your products without ever visiting your home page. Visual search solves this problem, by allowing users to find items that visually fit and continue searching for products that match their selection. The second dead end occurs on-page, when users can’t find what the product they’re looking for, so they leave your website. While you might not have an exact match in stock, a cleverly implemented visual search program might show customers a suitable replacement for their query. By matching their style, color, and size preferences, you can ensure that your users always find something they like.

Will Visual Search Replace Text-Based Search?

Compelling images indeed are a chief ingredient to visual search. But one can’t say without any doubt that it will completely replace keywords. You will still require keywords aside to reach its metadata.

David Amerland says, “As a marketer or a business owner, you should be building your identity on the visual web with the same care and attention that you are building it in the more conventional text-driven one.”

Visual search will probably never replace text-based search, but in an industry that’s already wholly reliant on beautiful images to appeal to its audience, it’s certainly a trend to watch out for.

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