People are obsessed over how virtual reality and augmented reality will disrupt the marketing sector. Unsurprisingly, with hype comes buzzwords. And the latest phrase that seems to be on everyone’s lips?
Virtual Environment Optimization (VEO). It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Just as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves tweaking your website’s performance and content to appeal to search algorithms, VEO represents all the proposed tactics, strategies, and technical adjustments required to market to users in virtual reality.
But is this actually a trend we should all prepare for, or is it like the metaverse—an overdone buzzword referencing technologies that have already existed for decades?
Honestly, at this point, the jury is still out. While it’s true that all the talk of a completely immersive, completely interconnected virtual world is largely bunk, it’s also true that we’ve already seen some very exciting applications of VR and its less advanced cousin, augmented reality. For evidence of this, we need look no further than online apparel and home goods retailers.
Seeking a means of replicating in-person retail during lockdown, many of these eCommerce brands turned to augmented reality. Users could visualize how a particular type of furniture would look in their space or how a ring would look on their finger using their smartphone. They could compare the sizes of different types of products, browse dynamically-generated lifestyle photography, and generally enjoy a shopping experience that was the next best thing to actually being there.
Of course, that alone doesn’t mean we’re on the verge of a deep dive into full immersion. There are still far too many roadblocks for the technology to reach its full potential. If you recall the shape of the smartphone market prior to the early 2000s, it’s a very familiar picture:
- Current VR headsets are far too expensive for the general public and are held back further by issues with availability.
- VR technology is either too bulky or too uncomfortable to be worn for an extended period of time.
- Immersion-breaking technical and performance glitches are still far too common.
It’s important to note here that we’re not saying VR will never be a reality, nor are we denying the notion that someday, VEO will be every bit as important as SEO. But the simple fact is that we’re just not there yet. For now, marketing through virtual reality is a niche pursuit at best, and at worst little more than a pipe dream.
Learn about it if you so choose. But don’t expect to see practical applications for that knowledge for at least a few years. And for the love of everything sacred about SEO, please stop talking about the metaverse—it’s not going to happen.
Not in the way people who promote the concept believe it will happen, anyway. Interested in more SEO content? Check out our monthly blog, and posts on topics such as Three Potential Reasons You’re Not Ranking on Google!