Imagine seeing a feature in a friend’s home — it could be a great farmhouse sink, beautiful cork flooring, or maybe just a particular pattern of bathroom tile. Now imagine taking a photo, then using that image as the trigger for online searches.
The result could be items that are similar or even identical to the searched item. At the moment, the tech surrounding visual search is still limited, and the retail industry seems positioned to benefit the most initially.
What could the implications be for multifamily marketing, though? It’s possible that in a few years, apartment hunters could base their searches around particular features they hope to find in an apartment community.
However, only 35% of marketers plan to optimize for visual search through 2020, according to a study by the Search Engine Journal.
They could be rewarded, because according to Gartner, early adopters that optimize their websites to support visual and voice search could see their digital commerce revenue increase by 30%.
It’s important to point out that visual search is different from image search. While visual search uses images as a starting point, an image search starts with typed search terms into, for example, Google Images. That leads to results in the form of images that match the search.
If your apartment community isn’t optimizing its images for visual search, you could be missing out.
5 Ways to Optimize for Visual Search
Add alternative text.
This is important, because it will help search engines understand the context of your images so it can process and rank them accordingly. (This will also allow visually impaired users using screen readers to understand what is being displayed on the page.)
Use high-resolution images.
Not only is this the standard for any website, it becomes even more important when it comes to visual search. High-res images make it easier for search engines to match your apartment community photos with user queries.
Compress your images.
High-res images can affect your apartment website’s load time, so make sure to compress your images (free online tools are available) to preserve the quality while also shrinking the file size.
Decide on keywords.
Select some long-tail keywords (keywords containing three or more words). Since apartment searching is very location-specific, also include the city, state, region or other terms that searchers might use to describe your area. For example, if you’re optimizing an image of a balcony facing a pool in Center City, Philadelphia, the keyword could be “apartment balcony overlooking pool in Center City Philadelphia.”
Optimize image titles and descriptions.
Integrate the keywords you just selected into the titles and descriptions of your apartment community images. A file name like “img309.png” won’t suffice since it won’t help Google or your audience. Create descriptive headings and descriptions so your images appear in the right search engine results.
Don’t assume your images are self-explanatory. Adding captions to your community’s photos will help your audience and search engines understand your images and improve your apartment community’s rankings.
What are your thoughts on visual search? Do you plan to get your apartment website ready for it?
Respage offers a host of services that could help you optimize your apartment website to perform better in visual search, as well as traditional search results and voice search. To take your apartment marketing to the next level, reach out to our trusted team of experts at Respage today!