Alternate realities such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are quickly becoming the norm in various industries, particularly in marketing and commerce. How exactly are these technologies related to the metaverse and why does the future of search engine optimization (SEO) depend on them?
VR, AR, and the Metaverse
With VR being able to immerse users in new environments and AR taking real-world experiences to users, the metaverse will evolve. Combining virtual and augmented reality, metaverse worlds will become realistic and immersive which will shape the entertainment, marketing, and technology industries.
VR in Practice
Virtual reality has current real-world applications but we are only seeing and experiencing a fraction of its potential.
The best example of VR in the electronic commerce (e-commerce) industry is the metaverse. Virtual shops have made retail experiences more lifelike with body scanning. Other VR in e-commerce examples includes immersion in life-like virtual stores and virtual try-on. Investing in a VR marketing strategy can really put your business ahead of competitors.
Events and Meetings
The meetings and event industry are also investing in VR because it allows attendees to interact and visit conferences that may be on the other side of the world. Events in virtual reality are just as engaging and informative as they would have been in person.
While athletes are already taking advantage of virtual reality sports training to improve their performance, fans are also able to use VR to attend games, tournaments, and other sporting events.
The healthcare industry is also being transformed by VR. For instance, healthcare providers are already participating in virtual reality medical training to practice complicated and life-threatening surgery before a patient’s operation.
E-learning and simulations are becoming more popular in education. There are companies that offer virtual reality tools for education in order for employees to gain certain skills and specialties.
With virtual reality technology, traveling and sightseeing have never been easier. Today, there are VR experiences that give potential tourists the chance of getting a glimpse of what their time in a certain city would be like. Virtual reality and tourism are changing how people can travel and experience the world.
Architecture and Design
While architects and designers are already known for using three-dimensional models in their line of work, VR is taking properties to the next level. Virtual reality designs being used in this industry make it possible to see what spaces will look and feel like before they are even built.
VR in real estate has made properties more accessible and easier to view. While current homes and spaces have 360° videos or three-dimensional renderings, real estate is also booming in the metaverse due to VR.
VR has allowed engineers and automobile designers to experiment with prototypes before physically manufacturing any parts. Automotive VR will change how vehicles and their parts are made.
SEO and Virtual Reality Commerce
AR and VR are predicted to be a part of the search engine experience which will directly impact how brands promote products and services. That being said, incorporating AR and VR into SEO strategy will engage visitors and enhance immersive experiences. This is because AR and VR content like 360° videos, 3D images, and infographics can help your products and services rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs.)
While search engine optimization has become necessary in marketing and e-commerce, virtual reality commerce has made it possible for businesses to look forward to virtual environment optimization (VEO.)
Virtual Environment Optimization (VEO) – The Next Evolution of SEO
Virtual reality and augmented reality will become vital in businesses’ search engine optimization strategies. This is evident with the creation of the metaverse, a visual environment that is being set up to present audio opportunities. While voice search is already a popular way that search engines are utilized, digital marketers will also have to take advantage of this feature and make sure that AR and VR content is also utilized to optimize SERPs.
Google is perhaps the best example of the future of SEO as it transforms into virtual environment optimization. Google Lens, an app that uses image recognition technology, allows users to take pictures on their mobile devices and interact with the information about the place or object in their photo. Instead of using the search engine, the camera is used to gain answers.
AR and VR content is changing how users search for information about business’ products and services. As the shift to this kind of searching happens, SEO will need to adapt by creating content that is optimized to provide necessary information that is triggered by mobile devices and apps. Some of the ways that you must consider in virtual environment optimization are:
Emphasize Visual Search and Interactive Content
For a search engine (e.g., Google) to answer questions via visual search, relevant VR and AR can be used to give users in-depth answers. By investing in interactive videos and 3D environments, visual content about products and services are more engaging and a search engine becomes more reliable.
Ratings and Reviews
Ratings and reviews will be available in real-time with VR. Users that are looking for certain products and businesses can simply tune into the AR ratings that other customers leave behind after interacting with or while still shopping for a certain brand.
AR and VR experiences that a business can offer nearby potential customers are another potential virtual environment optimization strategy. Perhaps your business can invest in a mobile application where those within a certain radius will be informed of certain deals of the day or the different services you offer.
There is also the possibility of Marker-based AR experiences which use a physical object, like the image of a product a business might offer, as a trigger. On the other hand, Marker-less augmented reality experiences can be triggered by a user’s location (geo-targeting), search history, and shopping preferences.
Focus More on Immersive Website Experiences
Websites are also expected to adapt to VR and AR technology by incorporating immersive and engaging experiences. Immersive augmented reality enables websites to become more interactive with the use of 360° experiences or animated media.
Enhance Local SEO
AR mobile apps make it possible for locals and visitors to search for information on businesses in a certain area. In order to keep up with competitors in a certain geo-location, AR experiences should be able to offer visitors ratings, images, reviews, products, services, and other information related to your business. These technologies will enhance local SEO.
Optimize Google My Business (GMB) Listings
With virtual listings on the rise, your Google My Business (GMB) listings need to be optimized. The ideal situation is that after a visitor scans your business’ location, your GMB listing either stands out amongst your competitors or answers any queries this potential customer has which is what compels them to walk into your headquarters or store.
Make Way for Virtual Environment Optimization
Virtual and augmented reality are already paving the way for virtual environment optimization which means that the SEO landscape will adapt accordingly. These technologies are offering a more advanced and innovative way to connect, interact, and engage with customers. As VR and AR advance, we will be able to see how else SEO marketing strategies can be optimized to stay ahead of your competitors.