e·mo·ji   /ēˈmōjē/

noun

 a small digital image or icon used to express an idea, emotion, etc., in electronic communication.

Why emoji play a vital role in modern day SEO

While it might seem like an odd tactic to use, emoji placement on your website can play a vital role in your company’s or website’s SEO. Most everyone is familiar with emoji, the funny faces, characters, animals and symbols that you can add to a text message or social media post. We use emoji to add flair to the message we’re trying to convey, and it helps convey a specific tone. What you might not be aware of, is that each emoji has corresponding text, that is read by computers to display the emoji on your screen. For example, if you were to post an image on Instagram of your favorite pizza place, and caption the image with “About to get a slice of 🍕 from my favorite place on earth!”, viewers would see the post one way, and computers see it another. Web crawlers would see that emoji as its corresponding placeholder text “pizza”, adding that keyword to the post.

Emoji and local SEO

If you search a string of random emoji you will get nonsensical results, with no relevance to any given topic. However, if you were to perform a Google search for” 🍕 near me “, the SERPs (search engine result pages) would pull up local pizza places based on your location.
This clever tactic applies to nearly any industry, as there are 1,088 emoji available for use (as of June 2017).  Another example would be the utilization of emoji in conjunction with a business name. A company that sells multiple items, such as dresses 👗, shoes 👠, and swimwear 👙 should include the term and the corresponding emoji on individual page descriptions and titles, in order to rank for a specific query, such as “Women’s Shoes for Sale 👠”.

Emoji and Branding

Aside from targeting specific searches, brands are using emoji more and more to reach their audiences. As of 2015, 92% of connected device users utilize emoji and that number has most certainly grown in the past two years. Companies are using the bright and inviting graphics to draw in users and apply a more colorful means of communication. Email newsletters and text drip campaigns utilize them as a means of staying more relatable and with the times. Twentieth Century Fox even pulled emoji out of the digital realm and took them straight to the billboard, in an advertisement for last year’s action hero movie “Deadpool”.

Emoji are here to stay

What started as a collection of 78 unique characters for use on Japanese smartphones in the late 1990s, has evolved into a global phenomenon, and is gaining momentum as each year goes by. Whether you enjoy using the text-replacement icons as a fun or quick means of communication, or you prefer reading or typing a regular sentence, emoji are here to stay.