Augmented reality is a technique which many people have encountered though they might not have realised it. It is already in use across multiple applications in various industries. With its popularity growing by the day, this looks primed to become one of the next big trends in marketing. As such, learning how to implement augmented reality into SEO practices is going to be extremely important. Let’s take a closer look at what augmented reality is, and what will need to be done in terms of SEO to make the most out of it.
What is Augmented Reality?
No doubt you hear the words augmented reality and instantly connect it to virtual reality. Though they are similar in many ways, they are very different applications. Virtual reality requires a headset to be accessed and it is currently not the most mobile of devices. It is most often used either for gaming or training environments. On the other hand, augmented reality is accessed through a device like a smartphone or tablet. It seeks not to project different surroundings, as virtual reality does, but instead alter what the camera is seeing in some way. It is still very much in its infancy as a project, but we can see it expanding rapidly soon.
Augmented reality is already making waves in a variety of industries. One of the places most consumers will have met augmented reality is in the hugely popular mobile game of 2016, Pokémon Go. When playing this game, you search your immediate area for Pokémon which appear on the screen of your phone. They will be placed onto the background of the space you are in using the camera of the device you are playing on. This was considered to be one of the best applications of augmented reality so far and it allowed many people from all backgrounds to try out this technology.
Another major use of augmented reality can be found within the makeup industry. Big brands and well-known labels like L’Oréal and Sephora have worked hard to create an augmented reality app which allows you to try on makeup. You can test different looks on your face and then see which products have been used; even adding them to your basket for purchase.
It is clear that augmented reality offers the chance to take an aspect of reality and overlay it with new data in an engaging way. This is extremely exciting as there are so many applications which might appear as new developments are made. One of the key areas Google is pressing forward in is their Google Lens technology. The best way to describe this is simply to say that it is a search engine in your phone camera. You take a photo and then can use the app to discover more about what is pictured there. As with any new development in terms of a search, companies are going to have to adapt their SEO techniques too. Here is how we predict SEO might change based on augmented reality applications.
The Importance of Local SEO
Augmented reality uses the exact location of its user for its services. This means that you need to make sure that your local SEO is entirely up to date so that your business can attract the greatest number of customers possible. Many people are beginning to drop the “near me” part of a search query as it is becoming in-built into their searches. With websites like Yelp including augmented reality as part of their designs for the future, you need to make sure that your business is always going to be at the forefront, no matter what. A potential customer might stand outside your store or
restaurant and bring up an augmented reality display to look at reviews. The more options you can give, the better.
Social Media’s Influence
Social media has proven time and time again to be one of the most powerful tools of the modern era. Everything we do through SEO will be impacted in some way by social media. One of the key uses of augmented reality in social media comes from the filers popularised by Snapchat and Instagram. People can overlay images, texts, and other effects on their face for photos or videos. With companies and designers coming out with custom filters, this offers a company the option to create their own filters.
These filters can go viral and can be used in photos from influencers and ordinary users alike. Creating filters like this can be fantastic for promotion of your company. Having a filter go viral will cause more people to seek out your company’s page so they can get it too. Working a social media strategy into your SEO will make your company’s pages as accessible as possible.
As augmented reality improves and becomes more commonplace, we can expect people to want to find it on websites when they come to it. The amount of time someone spends on your website is always going to be connected closely to your SEO.
While you might not yet be able to introduce an augmented reality feature on your website, you can still begin to prepare for it. Creating a website which is accessible and has a good dwell time across all pages will feed back positively to your SEO. When you are ready to implement an augmented reality feature, whatever it may be, you will hopefully already have the groundwork ready to build an SEO strategy around it.
Prepping for the Future
We are a long way from augmented reality technologies becoming commonplace online. Nevertheless, there are plenty of things companies can do to prepare their SEO strategies for this event. Focusing on local SEO practices is going to be key, along with utilising existing augmented reality practices which currently exist. Putting together such a strategy might seem tough but it will be worth it if you can use augmented reality to pull ahead of your competition.