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We are witnessing a mass migration from written communication to visual communication on social media platforms. Pictures and videos are no longer sidekicks to tweets and posts. That shift means that marketers must rethink their approach to search engine optimization (SEO).

Today, over a billion images are shared daily, and when people communicate with pictures, they don't use many words. For example, 75% of posts to Tumblr are image posts, and 90% of those posts contain no text or hashtags.

However, the strategy of SEO, born from the rise of Google, has relied on the written word. Brands try to appear on the page-one search results for keywords, not key images and videos.

That approach to SEO must evolve.

How Marketers Must Change Their SEO Practices

The rise of visual content means people frequently search for products and services with an image in mind. Moreover, the words people use become more specific and context-dependent when they are created in response to a visual stimulus. For instance, a blender shown in a restaurant kitchen will generate different keywords from the same blender shown in a family kitchen.

So, in a world where images drive product descriptions—and therefore drive keyword choices—what do marketers need to change about their SEO practices?

1. Evolve from physical characteristics to use cases

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image of Apu Gupta

Apu Gupta is a co-founder and the CEO of Curalate, a social commerce solution, enabling brands to leverage their social media presence to sell more effectively online.

LinkedIn: Apu Gupta

Twitter: @apugupta