Visual Search: Recognizing and Responding to the Next SEO Trend

If you read articles about SEO trends in the next few years from leading SEO blogs, then you will almost certainly find visual search to be among the barrage of these trends. Even according to Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest, future search features will be more image-oriented than keywords.

This statement is supported by the results of a survey conducted by ViSenze, that 62% of consumers from Generation Z and Millennials choose visual search as the most coveted feature when compared to several other search technologies.

The question that arises then is what makes visual search potential to become one of the SEO trends? Then how will visual search affect digital marketing trends in the future? Get the answer in the discussion below.

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What is Visual Search?

As with voice search, visual search is part of the sensory search, which is searching for something via the internet using voice or image input.

If voice search relies on voice as its input, then visual search relies on photos or screenshots that you take as search input. Images, in visual search, replace the role of keywords in traditional text-based searches.

Advantages of Visual Search

From a consumer perspective, the development of the visual search feature will help shorten the customer journey. This will indirectly have an impact on increasing the probability of consumers finding the goods they want.

Visual Search helps users to find the desired answer when the user does not know which keywords to use to search for information.

1. Accommodating Searches Without Having to Enter the Right Keywords

Imagine if you were visiting a city park and accidentally found a beautiful plant that you feel is suitable to beautify your newly remodeled room. Unfortunately, you're not a botanist so you don't know what kind of plant it is, let alone which store to visit if you want to buy one.

Then you switch to relying on Google Search to find information about these plants. The various queries you tried to enter such as “red flower plants”, “beautiful red flower plants”, and “city park red flowers” ​​failed to help you find the information you are looking for. Finally, your efforts to beautify the room failed.

Annoying isn't it? This scenario proves that regardless of how sophisticated the current Google Search algorithm is, there are some requests that even text-query and voice-based searches are possible to fulfill. One of them is looking for information about an item or object without knowing the name of the item or object.

Visual search in this context is present as a solution to the problem. With visual search, you can start your search by simply taking a picture of the object in front of you without having to think about the right keywords.

2. Displaying Specific Search Results More Efficiently

A study by shows that 74% of consumers find text-based search less efficient at providing the specific search results they want.

With visual search, the time you spend looking for the right keywords in your search can be reduced so you can get the search results that you want faster.

The giants of the search engine industry such as Google, Bing, Amazon, and Pinterest are currently continuously developing and perfecting the Visual Search feature.

This fact becomes a kind of strong signal that Visual Search will play a major role in determining online marketing strategies in the next few years. Therefore, your business needs to respond appropriately to this trend.

Image SEO: Responding to Visual Search Trends

Image SEO is a crucial step that you must pay attention to in order to adapt to visual search trends. Here are some techniques you can use to help optimize the online visibility of your business through images:

1. Pay attention to the Image Data Structure

How detailed search engines identify content will depend on the shape of the data structure of the content. This step will also help your site appear in Google's rich snippets. Take a moment to read Google's official data structure guide on optimizing this stage.

2. Add Alternative Text

Alternative text is a text that will appear in place of images that fail to appear on web pages. Adding alternative text to image data will help search engines identify the context and meaning of the image content.

3. Use Descriptive Names on Image Files

Google will find it easier to recognize an image with a file name of “black-puma-shoes.jpg” compared to a file name of “IMG_123456.jpg”. Try to pay more attention to this step even though it seems trivial.

4. Use an Image Sitemap

The use of a sitemap is to help search engines simplify the crawling and indexing process. So adding an image sitemap is an important strategy to implement.


The world of digital marketing is moving very dynamically. That way, following and anticipating current and future marketing trends is very crucial for your online marketing success.

Visual search is one of the many trends that you need to pay attention to in order to help your SEO efforts go forward. In this regard, implementing image SEO is one of the things you can do to adapt to these trends.

Harby Jay | Author

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