The local search industry is buzzing, and visual search technology is at the core of it all. What’s the latest news, you ask?

Google “Focuses” on Visual Search with ‘Lens’

First of all, Google’s recent unveiling of Google Lens at their I/O developer conference leverages AI technology and Google’s software to supercharge your phone’s camera. Imagine you’re sharpening the focus on your mobile camera to nail that National Geographic moment while hiking. Now, Google Lens identifies the flower you’re preparing to shoot.

Visual Search with ‘Lens’

Photo: TechCrunch. Google Lens could become an important piece of visual search technology.

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai highlighted other Lens use cases to include:

  • The ability to pull up Google reviews and business info when pointed at restaurants and storefronts
  • Also, integrating Lens into Google Assistant to help with translations
  • And finally, assisting with common tasks. For example: connecting to a home’s Wi-Fi network by snapping a photo of the router sticker.

However, as impressive as Google Lens sounds, no official release date exists. Also, Google isn’t the only one tapping into the power of visual search.

Think Outside the

[search] Box with Bing

Similarly, Bing recently introduced its newly revamped “Visual Search” feature that allows users to pull up a visual search box on Bing images. It also allows users to select specific items within an image for a more defined search query and perform product searches on selected items within an image.

listings managementPhoto: Bing Blogs

Consumers can drill down to perform product searches within an image.

Pinterest Scores Funding For Big Picture Visual Search Strategy

Now, let’s not forget visual social network giant, Pinterest, who recently raised a cool $150M in venture funding to focus on visual search and global expansion efforts. This comes in lieu of the recent launch of their Lens tool, which allows mobile app users to take a photo with their smartphone and receive a list of relevant pins on the app in real time. Most noteworthy, Pinterest has 175 million monthly users. And they tap into these visual search tools to save digital “pins” related to clothing and other retail goods, design projects, recipes and more.

These technological advancements in visual search open up a world of possibilities for the consumer. However, what does it all mean for enterprise brands and their local search marketing strategy?

Our Thoughts on Making Visual Search a Part of Your Local Strategy

Rio SEO experts advise that enterprise brands opt for consumer usability over gimmicky features. In summary, visual search technology should provide consumers an interactive way to engage with your brand in their moment of need. Brands can stay ahead of the customer engagement marketing curve by implementing the following:

  • Check-in to Foursquare Data. Foursquare powers over 100K apps as the “location layer” and is the perfect avenue to take your business across web and mobile. Foursquare powers social channels like Snapchat’s geofilter tagging, resulting in access to consumer data outside of the Foursquare mobile app.
  • Tag It. Utilize Snapchat as well as Instagram’s photo tagging and hashtag attribution features to display user social content within landing pages, further assisting your organic SEO strategies.
  • Showcase Your Inventory. Integrate Omnichannel campaigns locally by utilizing product inventory from your current Product Listing Ads (PLA) feeds and display them on your local pages to drive conversions.
  • Mix & Match Technology. Next, combine camera-based visual search with the latest voice search and natural language processing technology for a redefined mobile interface.
  • Markup for Local Visibility. Then, take your local SEO tools to the next level by marking up images with location data (i.e. your phone or new-age camera will capture geo data by default) and display on local pages to ensure that consumers can find relevant media tagged to each location.
  • Apply Schema to Images. Structured data (schema) helps the search engine crawlers better understand and identify website properties (content, offers, addresses, etc). Apply schema to website images for improved visual optimization.
  • Optimize alt tag content. Finally, carefully optimize alt tag content for specific images with relevant high-volume keyword phrases.  

So, are you looking for more expert advice to improve your local search optimization?

Author Bio:

Karisa Macias has extensive expertise in local search, digital marketing, and technology.