As video content has become increasingly popular across the internet and social platforms, it has left many wondering if such content can have an impact on their site’s search engine optimization (SEO). The short answer is yes, but as with most things in digital marketing, it will require time and effort to get it right and reap the benefits. It is not as simple as embedding a few video links on your website and calling it a day. To see a real impact on your goals, you will need to invest in developing high-quality video content that your audience actually responds to. Otherwise, you are wasting your time. But, it is worth the investment. According to a study published by Cisco, video content will account for nearly 85% of all internet traffic in the United States by 2019. That’s a lot! But how exactly do videos help improve your SEO? Let’s take a look.
1. YouTube is the 2nd Largest Search Engine
YouTube, the video sharing platform which was bought by Google in 2006, is currently the second largest search engine on the web. Processing over 3 billion searches per month, it is only outranked by Google itself.
All this to say that if you aren’t posting video content, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with your audience.
We have found that some marketers are hesitant to host their video content on third party sites because they feel as though they are giving away their SEO benefits to a site that isn’t their own. However, there are many benefits to hosting on YouTube. First, hosting the video off your site and embedding the link means you won’t slow down your own site’s speed with large files. Secondly, your content will be readily available and searchable to a highly engaged audience that may not otherwise find your content on your site. Keep in mind there are 1 billion unique visitors to YouTube every month and by hosting your content there, you have an increased chance of connecting with them. In fact, YouTube content now reaches more adults during prime-time TV hours than any singular television network! That alone should tell you how important this channel has become.
2. YouTube Content Ranks on Google
Given the strong preference for video content that internet users have, it is no wonder that Google is eager to rank sites which can offer this content to its users. This is contradictory to popular belief that Google only crawls text when assessing the relevancy of your web page to a specific keyword. In reality, the search engine also looks for other media you have to offer their users. As such, a mix of text, images, and videos helps show Google that your content is varied and valuable to your audience.
For content strategists, the key to reaping the benefits of video content ranking is to ensure that your videos are optimized for search. This means carefully researching video keywords and including them in your video’s meta tags so Google can find them. You may also want to consider adding a transcript to the video posting. This not only helps viewers if they are hearing impaired or have their volume off, but it can also help Google interpret the relevancy of the video.
If you choose to incorporate scripts for your videos, be sure include primary keywords as well as relevant synonyms to get the most out of your posting.
3. Video Content Boosts Results
Posting video content can help you achieve a number of different marketing results including earning links and driving traffic to your site. By including direct links in your channel information or video descriptions on YouTube, or other social platforms, you perfectly capture an opportunity to earn qualified referral traffic. Placing video content on your website also increases the effectiveness of your outreach and link-building strategies as a whole. After all, the more unique and shareable videos you have available, the more compelling your site is for bloggers and other to link back to.
This remains the case even if your videos hosted on YouTube and embedded on your site rather than hosting them yourself. Plus, the more your video is linked to on other sites, the more views it is likely to get and the number of video views is a factor of impact when it comes to ranking. As a result, your video will appear more valuable to Google, which in turn boosts its rank.
4. It’s Shareable
Great video content is extremely shareable and dispersing it across your social media channels should be a crucial part of your video promotion strategy. Again, not only will sharing your videos in this way increase the number of views, but there is also a strong correlation between the number of shares on social media and the ranking of a video in search results though there is not complete transparency into how the two on connected. Thus, making shareable video content is in your best interest when seeking boosted SEO results.
However, keep in mind that the way you format and produce your videos can have a direct impact on your success. For example, roughly 85% of video content on Facebook is watched without sound and square videos, as opposed to landscape, may receive up to 30-35% more views on social media. So when you create your video content always research the best practices for each platform you plan to utilize in order to ensure your content performs to its full potential. Plus, social video content generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
That said, make sure you have formatted your videos to be easily shared on social media and that your social share buttons are accessible. If your viewers have to work to share the content, they’ll probably just give up and move on.
5. It Increases Conversions
Did you know that watching a product video nearly doubles the likelihood that a shopper will make a purchase? This is a pretty clear indication of the impact video content can have on your conversion rates. Once you have succeeded in developing a successful SEO strategy around your video content, it follows to increase the value of that content by using it to boost your sales.
However, these impacts on conversion do not just apply to e-commerce businesses. According to Google, nearly 50% of consumers research a product online and seek out product videos before visiting a physical store. Hence, adding video marketing into your SEO strategy for your brick and mortar locations can have an impact on conversions there as well.
Tips to Create Great Video Content
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you how important video content is for your overall digital marketing strategy as well as your SEO efforts. But it’s not enough to simply have video content available on the internet, you have to do more to stand out and connect with your audience. Fortunately, 43% of people actually want to see more video content from marketers so you have a willing audience.
You just need to use some video marketing best practices to create the content your audience craves.
- Get to the Point Videos can be a great way to quickly communicate a lot of information to your customers, but you will need to grab their attention fast because most users will only watch the first three to ten seconds of a video before they click away. There is a lot of content to choose from so if the quality of your video, graphics, and title do not pique user interest instantly, you will lose them. Think of the first few seconds of your video in the same way as the headlines on your blog posts or subject lines of emails, you use them to seize viewers’ attention and make them want to learn more.
- Avoid the Hard Sell Your audience wants a solution to their problem and to learn more about how you can help, what they don’t want is a sales presentation. Keep the messaging of your video focused on how you can make a customer’s life easier, this is far more interesting to them and will be more likely to catch their attention.
- Focus on Quality Similar to the above, your audience wants to spend their time watching high-quality video content. Much like your images in blog posts and on social media, your video content needs to display valuable information in a beautiful way. Your audience doesn’t want to watch grainy, poorly scripted content.
- Brand Your Videos A great way to increase brand awareness is to include branding within your videos. This branding does not need to be explicit or time consuming for your viewers. A short and simple title card or end card with your logo and website, or you a small watermark on the video itself could do the trick. This keeps your brand top of mind for those watching your content off of your site without being invasive.
- Don’t Forget Your Personas Just because you are creating videos doesn’t mean you can throw other content marketing best practices out the window. You are still providing valuable and targeted information to your customers, you are just using a different medium. This includes utilizing your carefully crafted personas to ensure that the videos you create are relevant and engaging to your audience.
- Adapt to Each Platform As we already mentioned, viewers tend to prefer square videos to landscape and most Facebook users view videos without turning the sound on. You need to make sure you know the statistics of viewership on each platform you plan to post on and adjust your video accordingly.
- Keep it Short Finally, you will want to keep most of your videos under 90 seconds in order to see the best retention rates and combat short attention spans. This is especially true for your product videos; keep them short and sweet, don’t ramble!
With more and more consumers seeking out video content, you can no longer ignore it. If you want to remain competitive in the marketplace, you have to give audiences what they want and right now, that’s video content. But video content isn’t just about creating content for the sake of creating content. When done produced and used correctly, your videos can help to boost your SEO even if you don’t host them directly on your website. So what are you waiting for? Start creating great video content now to take boost your SEO and connect with your customers in a new way.