How To Appear In Visual Search On Search Engines By Optimizing Your Images?

Visual Search
Digital Marketing |   January 11, 2023 by  Alekh Verma

Table of content

1. What is Visual Search?

2. Top visual search providers

3. What is image optimization?

4. Image search vs. visual search

5. How are Sites benefited from visual search optimization?

6. Best practices for image optimization

  • Alt tags and accessibility
  • Precise and descriptive file names
  • Give Google some context clues
  • File formats and compression
  • Image dimensions and compression
  • Compression tools
  • Image sitemap
  • Structured data

7. Why is image optimization important?

8. What is image SEO?

9. Conclusion

Sometimes you are inclined to search for what you see rather than searching for what you think or hear. This frequently happens when you are looking at something and you are willing to know its price or name, but you have the visual appearance or its picture only.

Improved AI on search engines like MUM from Google has introduced the concept of visual search. This service uses technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence that make search engines pretty accurate at reading and understanding visual content.

Marketers specifically in the business of products need to pay attention to the concept of visual search. Images have become a significant source of organic traffic and that can be organic only somewhere.

image search

Research says that humans can process visual data 60,000 times better and faster than text content, which makes visual search crucial for the audience. Undeniably, there are more objects compared to their names in any language. Images are important for businesses in engaging customers and holding them on the page for longer. Visual search service popularity is visible from the stats showing 8 billion Google lens searches in a month, and this number is increasing only.

Visual search allows you to upload or capture an image to search related results over the internet in real-time. Search engine bots are designed to understand the components of the object to understand the image and generate results.

Top visual search providers

The most interesting part about visual search is it is becoming very accessible with the leading visual search service providers and encouraging businesses to deliver an enhanced online shopping and internet surfing experience. Camera phones are now a primary and portable source of knowledge in daily life.

No one is far from their favorite spot of interest this way. Users are searching in their way and experiencing the best face of search over the internet with a combination of voice, text, and image search. It’s not always possible to elaborate something on the internet in a language that it could understand, at that time the visual search helped users the most.

Talking about the online market then it leverages the interactions with products, brand experiences, stores, and employees, which means SEO can contribute majorly to real-world improvements.

People can prioritize their experiences by practicing more over the tools and help companies in improvising the visual search.

The main players in the visual search are listed here introducing new perspectives on this concept. Also setting the guidelines for the website owners help them to understand the top ways to stand out on the top in visual search result page:

Pinterest Lens

The Pinterest lens was introduced in 2017, receiving 600+ million searches every month. In 2019, the company claimed to have technology capable of identifying 2.5 billion items.

Pinterest introduced a USP of letting people find, save, or shop any item they are capturing using Pinterest.

Pinterest showed a great tie-up with fashion brands, retailers, and home decor companies through the power of information. As stats show that 90% of users’ purchasing decisions are informed.

Advertisers and clothing companies like Myntra write “shop the look” with the power of visual search.

Bing Visual Search

This visual search technology is a bit different from other lenses because it provides information about the objects pretty similar to the binge search engine.

Bing Search

Bing visual search provides users with the product description and pricing information also, along with a relatable image. It is preferred by many developers for its extensive developer platform. Bing also allows developers to suggest relevant information for a particular image.

Snapchat Camera Search

Snapchat announced the camera in 2018 and invited people to search for products on amazon using it.

Whenever you scan a barcode from the Snapchat camera, it shows the same product from amazon.

And you can directly go to the amazon page straight to buy that product. It also provides several AR features in its camera.

Amazon StyleSnap

It is Amazon’s visual search app and the biggest competitor to the other lenses. It was introduced in 2019 and is already working with Instagram to form an integrated shopping experience.

Amazon shopping

Style snap allows users to find the relevant product or information related to the object on amazon mobile app. Uploading an image on style snap shows plenty of related products on amazon to purchase.

Google Lens

Google launched its Google lens in 2017 and it quickly became the most popular visual search lens. It is unique and popular because of its unique features.

Google lens

Android users can find this facility in other Google apps also like Photos, Google Search, and Google Assistant. With this integration, the power of Google’s lens is becoming limitless. Users can instruct Google apps to provide the information in their language as it can read the text over the images.

In October 2018, Google Lens was incorporated into Google Image Search. In 2019, the Google lens proved the highest recognition accuracy among other lenses in the market.

What is Image Optimization?

Image optimization deals with publishing high-quality images with the right dimensions, format, size, and resolution and other features will be discussed in this blog.

Adding alt text, right image description, and clear visibility of the object in the image comes from image optimization. There are different methods of image optimization like tools and kits. Manually optimizing images according to the search engine and social media platforms helps you to appear over the top on any platform in related searches…

Image Search vs. Visual Search

Visual search and image search are not the same at all, and this way optimization practices for both are different. Hereby we will get to know the top ideas for visual search optimization.

Image search SEO

Image search prioritizes the images with relevant text appearing when users enter text-based queries.

Best optimization practices for the image search are listed over here:

– Modern file formats

– Alt text

– Alt tags

– Relevant file names

Schema markup

Google presents images for the text-based query in return, but the main challenge to target this is the correct description and finding the best matches from the ground of knowledge graph.

Tshirt search

The above image shows the search results for the query “white t-shirt”, which is coming from the most relevant matches containing the text white t-shirt.

Visual Search SEO

The visual search process gets an image as a query. This means you can take a picture of a white T-Shirt if you see it on someone or somewhere. You will get relevant online products like it.

Visual search gives a better match because here, the clues are visual and come directly from what you are looking for. So, the visual entities give the exact match for some object.

online search

This is a great option from the user’s perspective, as they did not need to elaborate on the search engine and got the exact result. Visual search is efficient, and it has to be efficient, to assess the photo and find the most relevant element.

How are Sites benefited from Image Optimization for Visual Search?

As technology expands, businesses are supposed to gain benefits from them. Around 45% of marketers use visual search optimization for better outcomes.

Here are the listed benefits of image optimization for visual search:

Get Discovered by the Next Generation

The new generation instead of looking for exact matches, go for buying the same product on the platforms. Looking at images and then finding an exact match gets you lots of steps in between. Lenses providing visual search accessibility take the user straight to the platform. Best tech-savvy customers will find you.

Create a Connection with New Customers

Potential customers, who shop offline, sometimes search for the same product online for the best prices, quality, and availability. Visual discovery allows customers to connect with the product or service provider easily. Content on images is the best way to connect with customers.

Sell to Customers That Have Already Made a Decision

Customers who are looking for the exact product, means they have already made up their minds to buy the product. So, by image optimization for visual search, you are targeting the customers who are already convinced to buy the product.

Increase Your Revenue

Probably this is the most important benefit of visual search. Sites can look forward to a better earning opportunity by investing in visual search. Early adopters and optimizers of both visual and voice search are finding their customers more easily and efficiently as compared to other marketers.

Best Practices for Image Optimization

Best practices for image optimization cover the process in two parts:

  1. Improving Google’s understanding of the images on your page
  2. Making it easier for Google to find, index, and serve your images.

We are going to follow Google guidelines and analyze the technical advice for image improvement to drive organic search traffic.

1.   Alt Tags and Accessibility

Alt tag or Alt attribute is the text associated with the image that appears when the image is not able to load. That time alt text describes the image.

Alt tags are the text that is used to describe an image. Screen readers and visually impaired readers are benefited from this alt text practice with the website page. Most CMSs allow publishers to add alt text in pre-designed boxes easily. On the other hand, you can do this on an HTML page by this:

<img src =”example.jpg” alt=”This is an alternative text”>

  • Try including related phrases in the alt text, as it is one of the most significant ranking factors.
  • Use creative and simple text while describing the image.
  • Refrain from overstuffing keywords, it will not help but might harm you.

2. Precise and descriptive file names

The file name of the image might not appear impactful, but it has a big role in algorithm-based optimization and attaining the best outcomes. This is an amazing fact, that a significant number of search results have the same file name as the query.

Same as an alt text, create a filename that is a bit simple and understood by the search engine bots as well as the users.

– Rename your images, so they include the keyword

– The filename is an excellent place to use long-tail keywords

– Use hyphens instead of spaces

– Remember to translate the title, while using the image across other language pages.

3. Give Google some context clues

Google determines the context-based and works based on clues. Other SEO signals help Google to determine the traditional SEO signals of the page the image is served on.

– The title of the page should include the keyword

– The URL of the page should include the keyword

– Place the image near text that describes it

– Place the photos you want to rank on the top of the page.

– Follow best SEO practices for the page containing the image.

4. File formats and compression

This is the technical term that represents the best relevance to help images load fast while retaining high quality.

The longer it takes to load the page the more potential customers you will lose. Also, the customers that drop your page due to slow loading will be less likely to come back to your page again. But you also have to maintain the image quality, so for it, you need to know a few tactics here:

What format to choose?

Google can serve the following formats on Google Images: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP, and SVG. Depending on the image content and quality, the most popular image formats are JPG and PNG

Use PNG when:

– You need transparency as part of the design

– The image is made up of solid colors specifically in the infographic

– It’s the smallest file format when it’s not a camera clicked

Use JPEG when:

– It’s the smallest file size

– The content type is a photograph taken with a camera.

5. Image dimensions and compression

Finding the right dimension and compressing the image to the right limit is a big deal especially without compromising its quality and load on servers. The rule says that images should contain the same dimensions to use, otherwise scale variants can spoil the entire image orientation.

  • Use Chrome Developer Tools to know the actual dimensions
  • Find the correct image element in HTML
  • And optimize the image around the suggested size.

6. Compression tools

Before uploading the image on the site, try reducing its size by squeezing out the unnecessary factors. Always perform compression on the right amount, little compression will have no impact on the site load reduction and too much compression can impact the image quality.

So be careful with such practices every time, you can do this by:

– Using a plugin like ShortPixel for WordPress (automatic)

– Using online services such as Optimizilla (manual)

7. Image sitemap

An image sitemap is an excellent way to let Google know about your images and ask it to index them. As for the HTLP pages, they are similar to the images also.

  • Image sitemaps can point to URLs outside your domain.
  • This way CN is capable of delivering images without removing them from your webpage.
  • Just find a tool to create an image sitemap and submit it to Google.

8. Structured data

Structured data helps search engines read and index the data over different web pages easily. Google featured snippets, rich results, and the knowledge panel are the result of structured data. Google and determine your images on the web page if you structure your page using schema markup.

Learn to do this step by step, read: How Adding Rich Snippets Improves Your Website SEO: A Complete Guide

– Always stick to the structured data guidelines.

– Use the JSON-LD format instead of any other

– Generate Structured data at scale and not manually

Also read: Add FAQ Schema to your WordPress Website

Why Is Image Optimization Important?

The ultimate goal of image optimization is top ranking on the Google image search page. But deep down, several factors show the importance of image optimization.

  • Improve the user experience: The user experience of a website plays a significant role in SERP ranking. Well-optimized images display on the website pages correctly enhancing the user experience.
  • Faster site speed: Optimized images reduce the server load and increase the loading speed of the website, reducing bounce rate and increasing the exit time. Because slow websites can kill organic traffic and annoy visitors.
  • Makes your site more accessible: Beautifully visible images increase the accessibility of the site. Web accessibility is good for SEO as well as lead conversion also.

Image optimization might be another step to the never-ending practice in SEO as it leaves a significant impact on SEO and the user experience of a website.

What is Image SEO?

Image search engine optimization or image SEO is very beneficial for businesses in the eCommerce industry. It sticks to a set of principles, but it’s an old-school concept.

As discussed before image search is the text-based input giving image results in return. Whereas visual search gets an image as an entity and gives text as well as image results in return.

Content providers doing the Image SEO can do nothing other than just optimize the text associated with that image.


Google and other platforms presenting visual search accessibility have some boundaries and guidelines. Optimizing the images according to them along with maintaining the ultimate goal of the design is sometimes challenging. Leading SEO companies have teams practicing every day on new concepts and algorithms. It helps to overcome the challenges generated by them, to help businesses and website owners stand out as the leading service provider in the industry.

About the author

Alekh Verma

A Search Engine Optimization specialist known for his bold and insightful approach to every web industry trend, Alekh Verma is a proud Founder and CEO of a successful Digital Marketing, Mobile App, and Web Development firm, eSearch Logix Technologies. His practical and inventive ideology has helped to shape the success story of his firm, which has now grown into a thriving, leading digital marketing company based in NCR, India. He brings a global perspective to the industry and has helped multitudes of businesses across the globe from all sectors create an impactful presence in the virtual world.


Image Search, Image Search Optimization, Image SEO, Visual Search, Visual Search Optimization, Visual Search Services

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