Both virtual and augmented reality are here to stay. It’s no secret they will definitely impact the future of marketing. Just like marketers everywhere had to accept that SEO is a vital part of their marketing strategy, the sooner you accept virtual environment optimization, the better.
Now, hold on – I didn’t come up with the term – Taylor Kurtz from Search Engine Land did and with good reason. We have to call this new thing something, right?
Anyways, VEO – or Virtual Environment Optimization is, well, optimizing for virtual marketing. Basically, as Taylor explained, it’s “the task of working within a virtual environment and utilizing the resources available to best position the clients’ products and services within an alternative reality”.
With SEO, you focus mostly on content and work hard to get on the top of search results.
With VEO, you strategize how to best position your products in another reality.
Why Should You Do It Now?
Because – statistics. At the moment, marketing and advertising are at the bottom of the list of industries where VR is the most useful, at 16%. Clearly, there is room for growth and improvement.
So, why should you try VEO?
According to Finances Online, VR’s top benefits for workforce development are:
- Providing information in real-time;
- Facilitating training and mirroring in real-life experiences;
- Enhancing creativity in product design and development;
- Enabling a remote workforce to collaborate in real-time;
- Allowing users to live out someone else’s life experiences;
- Capturing novel user data like behaviour and eye and gesture tracking.
In 2020, the combined markets of both augmented and virtual reality were worth around 12 billion dollars. By 2024, that number should be 72.8 billion, and retail is the sector projected to deliver the biggest commercial investment in AR and VR technology.
How the Shopping experience changed
Online shopping saw a massive increase during the pandemic and changed the way people shop. Both millennials and Gen Z plan to continue shopping online, simply because they prefer that way over in-person shopping in a physical store.
Add VR to that equation.
A VR experience can influence a consumer’s buying decisions – VR statistics indicate that conversions in e-commerce could increase by 17% when VR is adopted.
According to a Kibo survey, sixty-one percent of consumers would rather shop online with augmented reality experiences, and 40% would spend more on customizable items with AR.
Everything is online now, we’re practically living on a cloud (pun intended). Who’s to say trends won’t continue to shift even more towards a reality where old-school shopping and trying clothes on is done from the comfort of your home?
We’re almost there, after all – with the grocery and furniture shopping, right? You can use your phone to check if that statement chair you’re dreaming of goes well with the rest of your decor – let’s now forget how cool and advanced that is!
Virtual Content Is King
Yes, content is king to the SEO queen, and you should still continue to create great content and try getting up there in SERPs. But, as we start to enter this new meta world, you should think about adjusting to it, too.
As Taylor mentioned in his article, Google might index, crawl, and rank web content based on visual search results for AR-based content soon.
You will need to focus on visual content like infographics, videos and images. Combine that with SEO-friendly content and you might just have paved yourself a road to success. A virtual store is one of the ways to go!