Augmented Reality (AR) is driving change for brands and retailers, as it reshapes what shoppers expect from an online experience. However, beyond the obvious advantages it provides for engagement, education and sales, data is showing there is one further, slightly unexpected benefit… SEO!
Although Eyekandy does not claim to be the expert in SEO, we have done research and spoken with industry experts to better understand the correlation between AR and SEO. We’ve outlined our observations below to help retailers advance their AR initiatives.
Firstly, it is well documented that Google has invested heavily in AR through recent years and at Google IO one of their presenters stated that: “they’re actively seeking out ways to make it easier for companies and users to create immersive augmented reality experiences.” It therefore makes sense that a technology which they see as so pivotal for society now, and in the future, plays favourably with their rankings.
Next, Google has incorporated AR into their search page functionality, meaning people browsing a SERP (search engine result page) can access an AR experience directly, which creates a more optimal digital experience.
Finally, there are a number of known factors that are important for SEO which tie in seamlessly with an AR experience. With the advent of ‘WebAR’, which allows shoppers to access an AR experience directly from a web browser vs. app, these benefits have suddenly broadened the reach of AR in everyday consumer behaviour.
1) Dwell time: AR experiences on the product page boost dwell time as shoppers stay longer to experience a product in AR, which is widely known to boost search engine ranking. An example of this from Eyekandy is ‘try on lipstick’ which saw people spending over 80 seconds within the experience trying on the different shades.
2) Mobile usability: AR experiences are optimised for mobile devices which is critical as more than half of all Google searches are conducted from mobile devices. Google also announced years ago that they were rewarding mobile friendly sites within search rankings.
3) Bounce rate: In a study by SEMRush, they found a correlation between bounce rate and Google rankings. Data produced by Eyekandy’s Point & Place® platform shows AR can help reduce bounce rate.
4) Repeat traffic: AR is inherently social with consumers wanting opinions of family and friends when considering product purchases. The Point & Place® platform drives the ‘sharing’ of an AR experience on the shoppers’ device, which in turn leads to repeat traffic.
With Gartner taking AR off of their ‘hype list’ in 2020, it is a clear sign that it is now a mature technology driving business. With greater technological advances year-over-year and as more brands and retailers implement activations, we continue to learn more about the benefits it provides, such as SEO gains.
One thing is for sure, AR is only going to become more prevalent in all aspects of our lives with the huge investments tech giants are making in it. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said in reference to AR: “You rarely have a new technology where business and consumer both see it as key to them.”