Carin Thakrar Photography - west London newborn, family and maternity photographer

Your camera is your new search box

Today I’m very excited to share a guest blog post written by my good friend and SEO whiz Silvia Del Corso from Pink SEO. Silvia has been kind enough to write a very informative and interesting post about online searches made with images instead of keywords. This is not just the future; it’s already happening and Silvia writes about some examples of this, as well giving us some handy tips on how we can take action for this on our own websites and blogs to keep the search engines happy. 

I hope you’ll enjoy the read!

Today I’m going to write about something different than my usual SEO tips, because I’m being hosted at an amazing photographer – and a dear friend, so here’s some considerations about searches made without keywords.

Us humans are such visual creatures: we fall in love with the eyes, we travel with the eyes, so much that it makes sense that consumers are 80% more willing to engage with content that includes relevant images.

So… where does the search fit in? How do you search in this visual world?

Are we still typing keywords? Yes, in many places they’re not going to completely die. But we’re witnessing the birth of some types of searches that don’t need any keywords or typing.

Take a picture, get an answer. Convenient, right? Yes, and more.  Image searches are not just convenient, they allow us for searches where we don’t have the words to describe something.

Visual Search is not new, it’s been around for a really, really long time. But now really every main player is jumping on the bandwagon. Let’s see some of the most curious examples:

The rise of AI

About six years ago, Microsoft managed to create a product that understood what was an image and described it in a way that humans could understand as well. They started it off with dog breeds.

And now… have you ever tried this? It’s really fun - and it’s maybe the first AI that you want to be wrong, and guess you’re younger!

Accessibility and Inclusion

Google Translator app can translate words on images, too: if you take a photo of a signal on a street in Germany, you will get the photo with the words translated in your language if you want.

We have eye tracking for websites. Imagine what would happen for marketers if we had emotion tracking! And it is not the future, it’s now:

How do you take action for this, now?

We want to give Search Engines the best possible images so they can understand our visual content and rank us better.

Here are some tips:

1.    Take Stock. Start thinking of taking stock of what images you have now: could you do like your minimum viable stock and then add maybe just some more images on your landing page?

2.    Good Strategy. Could you put out images and categorise them in a better way, so that the search engines can better understand?

3.    Better quality. 

4.    Optimise the images (those SEO tactics for optimising images are still valid!)

5.    Visual ads (they’ve have been reported driving a +230% conversion rate!)

We’re so close to this future of search that we can just touch it. So try to go out and look at where the potential lies for you. Start small, at least, just start.

Silvia is a Search Engine Optimisation and Digital Marketing Freelancer and you can find her online home here.

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