The complete guide to the impact of online 3D viewers on SEO

Want to know how 3D viewers and AR can impact your website’s SEO in 2022? Read this complete guide to know how to improve your SEO with 3D, hassle-free.
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In the dynamic world of physical product sales, staying ahead of the competition and overcoming transportation and display hurdles are top priorities. That’s where technology steps in, offering a transformative solution to elevate your business.

Picture this: Instead of relying on outdated 2D-based technologies, more and more companies are embracing cutting-edge tools like 3D viewers and Augmented Reality (AR). But amidst the excitement, a crucial question arises: Could integrating a 3D viewer onto your website potentially harm your SEO?

Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) change an average of 500-600 times a year. This makes it difficult for marketers to determine what works and what doesn’t when it comes to SEO.

In this article you will find:

  • How 3D viewers and AR (Augmented Reality) affect your SEO in comparison to 2D-based technologies
  • What is the impact of implementing a 3D viewer on your website compared to your competition
  • The challenges you should expect


How are 3D viewers integrated into a website?

When it comes to visualizing 3D models within a website, one widely used and user-friendly technology takes the spotlight: iFrame. This clever tool acts as a frame that displays an HTML page within another page’s content, creating a seamless integration of 3D content.

However, it’s important to note that Google’s bots have become remarkably intelligent in discerning the boundaries of iFrames. They understand that the content residing within an iFrame belongs to another website, not the one hosting it. Consequently, they attribute the ownership of the visualization to its creator rather than the website’s operator.

An example of a 3D viewer

Here is a 3D viewer created with Visao‘s 2D-to-3D transformation technology platform.

3d model seo on website

What is a computer-aided design?

How does Google crawl iframe content?

At this point, search engines work to understand that what is inside the iFrame page is not associated with the website itself and instead belongs to another website. In fact, they consider the embedded content to belong to the owner of the HTML content and not the host’s regular website content.


How to see if my website is crawlable?

If you’re concerned about whether Google can see the content within an iFrame on your website, you can use the “mobile-friendly test” in Google Search Console. This tool can show you how your website appears on different mobile devices and can indicate whether Google can access the content within an iFrame within a different web page. On the other hand, Google analytics can provide insights into the traffic and engagement metrics of your website, helping you assess its overall crawlability and performance.

Google News performance report added to Google Search Console


Two ways 3D & AR technologies can help improve search engine rankings

Before we dive into the impact of 3D viewers and AR tools on search engines, let’s clarify a fundamental aspect: Google attributes the content within iFrames to the website that owns it, not the host website. Therefore, in theory, there is no direct impact on dominant search engine optimization.

However, don’t dismiss the potential indirect benefits that integrating 3D and AR tools can have on search rankings and your overall SEO strategy. Search engines strive to deliver the best possible search results to their vast user base. From their perspective, a successful search result enables visitors to swiftly and efficiently find what they’re seeking.

This is where 3D viewers and AR tools can make a difference. By enhancing user experience, these immersive technologies contribute to a seamless navigation process, allowing visitors to find relevant information quickly.

This positive user experience can lead to increased engagement, longer page visits, and, for important pages, ultimately, a lower bounce rate – all factors that search engines consider when determining the relevance and quality of a website.


Learn how to embed a 3D viewer with Duda


270% increase in time spent on your site

3D views allow users to experience the product from any angle, zoom in for a closer look and see a wide range of detail.

In fact, on average, customers interact with a 3D model for 20 seconds, while 34% of them interact for more than 30 seconds. Furthermore, greater interactivity increases not only the time spent on the model but also the time spent on the website by up to 270%.

3D models with a number of features that require more attention, such as annotationsanimations, and exploded views, are also elements that will make visitors spend more time interacting with them.


Learn how to embed a 3D viewer with Wordpress


As an added bonus, the extra seconds spent on a particular page, can significantly reduce or negate the bounce rate, which is the percentage of visitors who leave the site without going to other web pages first.

From Google’s and other search engines’ point of view, a longer interaction time on a page means more useful and high quality content and, therefore, a better future ranking of search engine result.


11 times higher purchase rate on your website

Customers are 11 times more likely to purchase when a product is demonstrated through an interactive 3D model or augmented reality tool than with 2D-based technologies. This remarkable statistic highlights the immense power of immersive experiences in driving customer conversions.

But that’s not all. As purchase rates soar, so does the number of page views on your website. Visitors with the intent to buy tend to explore multiple pages, either to gather more information about your business or simply because your website offers a well-structured and relevant sales funnel.


From Google’s perspective, a high number of page views signifies that your site’s content is valuable and resonates with users, leading to organic traffic and improving organic search engine rankings.

Can the download time of a 3D viewer have a negative impact on the search engine optimization of a website?

3D viewers & 3D virtual tours do not negatively impact the SEO of a website, on the contrary. Since search engines consider the content of an iFrame as belonging to another website, on the surface, it will not have a direct impact on the web server or SEO ranking.

However, it is important to make sure that certain technical points are respected to guarantee an optimal result.


Want to learn how our client brought their tradeshow experience to another level?

Technical points to respect to help search engines


Weight of IFrame

One aspect to watch is the weight of the iFrame, which can slow down the loading of the website. Indeed, a too-high loading time can negatively affect the user experience, the technical SEO and consequently affect the overall SEO.

To avoid slowing down a website when an iFrame containing a 3D model is embedded, it is possible to add the loading=”lazy” attribute in the iFrame code. - Native lazy-loading for iframes is here!


Only when a visitor scrolls down the page where the iFrame is located will the iFrame load. The page will not be negatively affected by the loading of the 3D model since it will only load when a user arrives at the precise location of the model.


Optimizing the models first

Furthermore, it is possible to optimize 3D models before importing them into the iFrame in order to provide a satisfactory customer experience. By applying these recommendations, in combination with other more general suggestions, such as those offered by MOZ, it is possible to ensure optimal SEO.

A website with a faster load time means a better user experience, higher conversion and, therefore, a higher ranking.

In essence, whenever feasible, it is advisable to employ lighter 3D models on your website. These models require less loading power, achieved by minimizing textures, animations, and overall information density.

To strike a balance between search performance and visual fidelity, it is recommended to provide a link that redirects users to the full rich model.


How Google is adapting to the growing popularity of 3D modelling and AR

In early 2019, Google added a new feature that allows mobile users to view and interact with 3D objects, such as animals and cultural heritage sites, directly from their mobile search engine.


Why aren't brands using Google's augmented reality wrapper? | VentureBeat


But what does this mean for companies that have production of 3D viewers / 3D virtual tours on their website?

In their blog, Google search representatives mentioned that they are currently working with companies such as New Balance, Samsung and online store Wayfair to include their 3D content directly in the search queries, as in the example below.

John Mueller, a web trends analyst at Google, talked about wanting to start displaying 2D-to-3D transformation technology from non-partner companies on search result pages in their SERPs. In fact, Google is currently working on a type format so that its search software can identify 3D content on any website.

It’s clear that the web is moving towards 3D and AR and that companies that take advantage of these tools now will eventually see their SEO take a huge step forward.

Now you can try virtual makeup by using Google Search's new AR-based shopping feature / Digital Information World

What you need to remember

When it comes to the technical aspects, experts agree that the production and utilization of 3D models in iFrames have a neutral impact. However, the indirect influence of 2D-to-3D transformation technology on overall SEO is predominantly positive.

Embracing these innovative tools empowers you to enhance user experiences, prolong visit durations, and achieve higher conversion and engagement rates. Additionally, there are various methods available today to optimize the download time of 3D viewers, ensuring a highly satisfactory customer experience.

It’s worth highlighting the remarkable “WOW” effect these tools create for your customers, ultimately contributing to increased sales. The evolution from text, 2D-based technologies, and videos to immersive 3D models and augmented reality revolutionizes how you captivate and engage your target audience, propelling your business to new heights.


Ready to Take Your Visualizations to the Next Level?

Visao is here to help you harness the power of 3D transformation technology for your business. Whether you need interactive visualizations for marketing, sales processes, trade shows, social media, or production, our web-based platform has got you covered.

With a team of experienced 3D specialists, we can guide you through the entire process of creating your own impressive 3D product viewers. From converting your CAD files to crafting captivating visuals, we ensure your products shine in the whole digital marketing realm.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance your customer experience and drive engagement.

Contact Visao today and join the ranks of manufacturing companies that have already embraced our cutting-edge solutions. Request a live demonstration of our 3D and augmented reality offerings, and let us help you bring your visions to life.

Transform your CAD drawing into interactive 3D viewers with Visao

Create fully interactive 3D viewers of your products without any prior 3D experience

Customize the viewers to match your brand and product specifications

Host your 3D viewers on the cloud and easily share them with your audience

augmented reality mode

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Want to learn how our client brought their tradeshow experience to another level?