You’ve heard the term search engine optimization (aka SEO) a million times. But did you know adding video to your website can drastically improve your SEO efforts and drive more people to your website?
It’s true! Video is quickly becoming one of the most important forms of content marketing and its presence could make or break your optimization efforts.
Before we break down exactly how video can improve your organic page ranking, let’s talk a little more about what SEO actually is.
Search engine optimization is what you do to grow your visibility on search engine results pages. The higher your website ranks, the better—it means more people will see your page when they search a relevant query, click through to your website, read your content, and get to know your brand. It’s not an exact science, but optimizing your website content and structure could ultimately drive more conversions than any of your other digital marketing efforts.
In a noisy world, SEO is one of the best ways for businesses to be seen by their target audiences. Remember, when people use search engines, they’re doing a targeted search. They’re actively looking for what you’re offering, so making sure your site is the first one users see should be a crucial part of your digital marketing strategy.
If you know this, you’ve probably taken some steps to boost your SEO. You may have created specific blogs and articles based on keyword research. You may have hired a technical SEO expert to help your pages index and crawl correctly. What you may not know is that video can help your SEO ranking, as well–in a very powerful way.
Video and SEO
Google’s algorithms are increasingly prioritizing websites with video content. It’s not something you want to ignore; 93 percent of online experiences start with a search engine, so you want to do everything you can to appear on that crucial first page. And you especially want to appear in the first three results — the top three spots get 55 percent of all clicks.
But how does video help? There’s a lot you can do, but adding videos specifically helps increase your search engine results page (SERP) rank in a couple of ways:
- Increasing your click-through rates: Including video on your page drives a 157 percent increase in organic traffic from SERPs.
- Lowering your bounce rates: People spend over twice as long on a page with video than without.
- Creating quality backlinks: The higher the quality of your content, the more likely you are to get backlinks.
Video is magical, but when you combine good SEO and valuable content, that’s when the real magic happens. That’s when you create that elusive unicorn content—content with a high average position ranking and high click-through rate.
After all, video alone won’t be your website’s saving grace. Think of it as a cycle. Video gives you a boost in rankings, which allows more people to see your site, which means more people will click on your link, but they won’t actually stay on your site very long if your on-page content isn’t high-quality. As a matter of fact, this could be detrimental. Hosting a low-quality video with little or no context will make your rank plummet because the search engine doesn’t want to drive people to a useless page. At the start, more people may see your site in the SERPs, but if your page doesn’t satisfy their intent, they’ll quickly exit your page—telling the search engines your site isn’t valuable.
How to Create High-Quality Video That’ll Boost Your SEO
So you know video improves your SEO, but getting started can feel daunting. You need an SEO strategy, a good video, a plan for execution, and plenty of time to track and analyze your results.
Luckily, we’re experts when it comes to video creation and we’ve got some tips for helping you optimize your video marketing efforts. Start ranking on SERPs with the following crucial tips.
1. Use videos on your website.
Creating videos isn’t enough—you need to actually publish your videos on your website everywhere it makes sense. Again, this tells Google and other major search engines that your page is high quality and will keep users on your site for longer, not only on the pages they land on, but on other relevant pages, as well.
2. Give your video some context.
Publishing your video on an otherwise blank page won’t do much. Be sure to embed your video where it makes sense, and surround it with other relevant written and visual content. You might even include a transcript of your video to target more keywords and turn any visual graphics used into a downloadable JPEG.
3. Be sure your video educates.
If your potential customer has questions about your brand, services, products, or industry, then answering these questions will educate and empower them when making their purchasing decision. If you answer their questions continuously, you become an authority and gain credibility because of the value you provide. The search engines see this and start to boost your pages even more.
4. Be consistent.
You can’t go to the gym one time and expect six-pack abs. The same goes for video marketing! Consistency and dedication are key. Work to consistently to provide value, and work at ranking not just for one keyword, but for numerous relevant keywords that match your customers’ search intent.
5. Don’t forget the technical details.
Uploading your video to a site like YouTube or Vimeo is just the beginning. Don’t forget to enter the right information on the backend so search engine crawlers know how to categorize and prioritize your video.
YouTube uses various information to create your ranking:
- Title tag information
- Audience retention
- Keywords in description tag
- Video length
- Number of subscribers after watching
- Likes and dislikes
Not every one of these is up to you (like comments and subscribers, for instance), but work on the ones you can control so you know you’ve done everything in your power to help your video rank.
We asked Eric Enge, SEO expert and founder and CEO of Stone Temple Agency, what his number one tip for SEO would be and how video can help give your pages a boost. Here’s what he had to say!
There are a growing number of queries that contain some level of video content in them. The positions occupied by videos in those results are basically not available for regular web pages. This creates a great opportunity for you, where you can compete to get into those SERPs two different ways: with your regular web pages, and separately with your videos.
However, the first thing to realize is that Google is far more likely to rank videos hosted on YouTube. If you want your videos to rank in Google search, hosting them on YouTube is your best bet.
YouTube is a very large search engine in its own right. You can earn significant traffic to your videos from people that perform searches on YouTube, and while that traffic goes to the video, and not your site, this still offers powerful branding opportunities.
However, Google and YouTube rank videos differently. YouTube does use the metadata (title, description, categories) that you enter for the video to determine relevance and then uses view time-related metrics to determine rank.
To be specific, YouTube looks at the total time spent on YouTube. It doesn’t matter whether or not all the videos watched are from your account or not. If someone starts with your video and goes on to watch videos from other channels, this still accrues to your benefit.
Google uses a much more traditional set of algorithms to rank videos. The metadata you enter still matters here, but so do links to the video itself. To rank well in both search engines, you need to:
- Create compelling videos that people want to watch (ideally to the end) and that are worth linking to.
- Create videos that lead to people wanting more video.
- Leverage playlists that people want to use to guide their viewing. Don’t be afraid to include videos from other channels in your playlist.
- Embed the video on your own site.
- Get people to embed your videos to drive more view time to them.
- Consider paid campaigns to drive more view time into your video.
- Promote the video via multiple channels to drive more view time, and to potentially attract links to the videos.
- And, of course, be very thoughtful about how you implement the metadata for the videos you create!
SEO Expert, Founder and CEO of Stone Temple Agency
Boost your SEO ranking with video today!
Businesses are designed to solve problems for their customers. Think through the problems you solve and what terms your potential customers are using to search for solutions. You’ll have a list of potential videos to create in no time!
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