Virtual reality (VR) has been a major topic of popularity in recent years around the world. From VR to the metaverse, people have been searching for how to create a perfect experience in the virtual world. Therefore, the marketing potential of virtual reality is becoming more and more difficult to ignore.
Whether it's using it to view a potential new home without ever leaving the couch, or exploring a popular scuba diving spot without a drop of water, the possibilities are endless and exciting.
Virtual reality offers a new and exciting way to present content. Now more than ever, there is a need to differentiate yourself from your competitors and deliver content that excites, inspires and impacts. This is a great opportunity to create differentiation.
With VR content, the storytelling is immersive and the information more impactful. An experiment conducted last year showed that VR drives interaction and empathy more than traditional video. These factors make virtual reality a powerful weapon in a marketer's arsenal.
Yet despite the clear advantages of VR, businesses remain hesitant to dive in. In addition to the question of cost and accessibility, there is a more fundamental question of discoverability: Can VR content be found using a search engine? Is it even possible to optimize virtual reality content for search?
The good news is that the idea of search-optimized VR isn't as foreign or impossible as you might think.
Increasing VR Accessibility
While many believe the technology is still in its infancy, virtual reality has changed a lot over the past few years. This is due to some handy and practical innovations from Google to increase accessibility and ease of use. Notably, in 2016, Google introduced VR View, which allows users to embed 360-degree VR content in desktop and mobile and native applications.
One of the main reasons why companies fail to embrace technology is a misunderstanding of its accessibility. No, you don't need an Oculus Rift to experience VR content. Actually you don't need anything. By simply adding an iframe, VR content can be embedded into a website, and anyone can get the benefits it has to offer.
Now on your phone, you just need to spot a 360-degree VR video in your Facebook feed, wave your phone in the air, and you're engaged in the virtual reality world. For a more immersive experience, a simple Google Cardboard headset will suffice, or go a step further with Daydream, a more powerful version but without the Oculus Rift's huge price tag.
Google Cardboard glasses, one of the affordable VR glasses, is great for
optimizing VR search with
all these fancy new technologies, but if you can't find it in a search engine, your potential for content to be viewed is diminished. If you have questions about the visibility of VR content in search, there is an important fact to keep in mind. Google itself is investing heavily in VR technology. So the Big G will not only make it as accessible as possible, but also reward those who embrace it.
VR content is usually in the same file format as standard video content. So optimizing for VR search is like optimizing for traditional video. Below we share our tips:
Embed using Google VR Views
Google created this tool for a reason, but don’t use it wrong. The VR View handles all the tricky technicalities to ensure maximum compatibility, and also means that the video doesn't need to be embedded via YouTube or other video platforms. This is important in terms of SEO and content marketing because you want to avoid users leaving your website.
Writing relevant metadata
makes it as easy as possible for search telemarketing list engines to find and index your content by adding the appropriate metadata. Write a short title and use the description to add more details. Include any necessary keywords to help indicate what the content is.
Don't forget to tweak filenames as a bonus way to provide extra details to search engines - avoid generic media filenames like "vrmedia123.mp4".
Add schema markup
Go one step further than metadata and add schema markup, as this will help search engines better understand the content and thus improve its appearance in the SERPs. It's also worth submitting a video sitemap, which will make your content more discoverable by Google.
Optimizing the page itself
Optimizing the VR content itself is critical, but don't forget to apply standard SEO best practice