The world of search is evolving and for brands keen to take advantage of all the marketing opportunities that offers, it’s vital to be aware of the trends for the coming months. In 2022 there are three key developments to focus on when it comes to where to invest in marketing terms: the use of voice assistants in search, the way that image recognition tools are being used to find similar products and the increasing importance of social media platforms when it comes to search.

Increasing use of voice assistants

Around a quarter of online users between the ages of 16 and 64 are now using voice assistants for search on a weekly basis. There are lots of reasons for the steady increase we are seeing in the use of voice assistants for search, especially when it comes to situations where it’s difficult to interact with a screen (e.g. driving) and users who may have a physical disability that makes it hard to do, or in countries where literacy levels are low. As a result, voice search opens up a much broader audience, which is why so many big brands are investing in it – for example, the Chrome browser now features a shortcut to activate voice search. Key to integrating more voice search is understanding the differences this creates in the way people search, for example using category generics rather than mentioning individual brands.

The rise in the use of image search

Image recognition tools, such as Pinterest Lens and Google Lens are getting a lot more attention now than they ever have before and the shortcut to Google Lens now appears in the default search bar. Around 3 in 10 internet users around the world have used an image recognition tool in the past 30 days. But what are they using it for? This search trend revolves around aesthetics and has become especially popular for fashion purchases and consumers trying to find a similar look to something they have seen online. This search trend is also very relevant to brands in areas such as interiors, home improvement, gardening or consumer electronics.

Social media search dominance

Although we haven’t yet reached a point where social media search dominates, it is surely coming. Already the average social media user spends at least two and a half hours a day on social platforms. More than a quarter of internet users are already using social platforms to look for inspiration for things to buy and social channels are the second most popular way to research products, behind only search engines. More than 70% of internet users say they use social channels for this kind of research. It’s vital to note that social search works differently to search engines – the algorithms are constantly changing and the way that users interact with these platforms is different too. Optimising for social search will depend on your brand but could include anything, from account visibility to putting the right objectives in place.

As we move into the new year it’s vital to ensure that your brand is making the most of the opportunities that these search trends have to offer in 2022.

To find out how Iconic Digital can help your business rank higher on search engines, get in touch today and call us on 020 7100 0726. Find out more about our Search Engine Optimisation Agency in London.