Features | April 18, 2023
Utilizing Image Search Engines as Sales Tools
By Alyssa Alford
Image search engines are commonly used to identify objects, animals or products, to name a few examples. But did you know these engines are also excellent e-commerce sales tools?
Popular image search engines include Google Images, Bing Images, Pinterest and Yahoo Images. When presented with an image such as a photo or screenshot, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms visually link the image input with similar or matching images online. While these tools have existed for over 20 years (Google introduced image searching in 2001), the capabilities of this process have expanded and developed into a far more useful resource.
Uses for Image Search Engines
There are several ways image search engines can be used in online sales strategies, including:
- Product discovery: Image search engines can help potential customers identify products they’re interested in. Consumers can take a photo of an item, and the image search engine can find similar products available online and direct them to your online store.
- Visual search: Customers can search for products based on their visual characteristics, such as color, shape and size. Patterns, textures and other features may also be recognized and matched or compared to similar-appearing items. This can be particularly useful when searching for items such as clothing and home décor.
- Brand protection: Image search engines can help businesses protect their brands by monitoring the internet for unauthorized uses of their product images. With reverse image search, you can find images of your products being used online without permission, identify unapproved resellers and crack down on scams using your branding as their own. This can help prevent counterfeit or misleading products from being sold online.
- Competitor analysis: Businesses can analyze images of competitor products to see how they differ from their own, using information on pricing and product offerings to adjust their strategies accordingly.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): Image search engines can also help improve a website's SEO. By properly tagging images with relevant keywords and descriptions, businesses can increase their chances of appearing in image search results and driving more traffic to their websites.
Best Practices for Boosting Your Business With Image Search Engines
Here are some steps businesses can take to increase sales traffic using image search engines:
- Optimize product images: Make sure all product images are high-quality and optimized for search engines. This includes using relevant file names, alt tags and captions that describe the product accurately and include relevant keywords. This can help image search engines collect accurate information on product details such as the size, shape and color of the product you’re offering.
- Use structured data: Structured data markup on your product pages can help search engines understand the content of your images. Structured data is stored, organized data that is arranged in a standardized format to be read easily and efficiently by AI or human eyes. This can improve your chances of appearing in relevant search results.
- Submit a sitemap: Submit a sitemap containing all product pages and images to different search engines. This can help search engines find and index your offerings more efficiently.
- Utilize social media: Share your product images on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, where users often search for products by image. Use relevant hashtags and descriptions to make your images more easily discoverable.
- Monitor brand mentions: Use image search engines to monitor mentions of your brand or products online. This can help you identify opportunities for partnership or influencer marketing.
- Leverage visual search technology: Consider integrating visual search technology into your website or mobile app. This allows users to search for products using images rather than text, which can improve user experience and increase sales.
- Maintain a responsive strategy: Continuously monitor your image search performance and optimize your strategy accordingly. This can involve adjusting your image tags and descriptions, experimenting with different social media platforms and testing different visual search tools.
Image search engines are not new technology, but they continue to be a fantastic resource for driving sales. As AI technology is constantly evolving, the possibilities of using these tools to your advantage will only continue to grow.
Technology Business/Growth Strategies