The Rising Impact of Video Content on SEO

| November 6th, 2019 | Video
  • Last Updated: 6 November 2019
  • by Charles Travers
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In the last few years, video content has made its way to the forefront of every digital marketing strategy. According to Review 42, 86% of businesses have videos on their website. These businesses have incorporated video into their marketing strategy as a result of the many benefits it offers:

  • Videos are a great way to communicate and connect with your target audience.
  • Videos help you create awareness of your company’s offering.
  • Videos help improve consumer engagement.
  • Videos increase your conversion and sales exceedingly.
  • Videos also help to build a bond and trust between you and the consumer.

But that’s not all:

Videos are also an incredible tool for improving SEO ranking. 

Would you like to know how? Then read on.

Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/camera-event-live-settings-66134

SEO, an acronym for search engine optimization, is one of the best ways businesses can increase their online visibility, improve brand awareness, and get more customers. It aims to optimize your website and its content so prospective customers can find your business or digital property online. 

Now:

You may have considered hiring a technical SEO expert to help optimize your website and its content on search engines. At the same time, you have underestimated the power of video marketing to get that same job done. 

One of the questions on your mind right now probably is: 

“How can videos optimize my site and improve my SEO ranking?” 

In this article, we’ll discuss the role video content plays in increasing search engine ranking. But before we get started, let’s find out why videos are so popular today and how Google adapts to the prevalence of video content.

 

Reasons for the Growing Popularity of Videos

 

Videos Tell a Story Better

When it comes to content creation, nothing beats storytelling. And truth be told, no other form of content tells a story better than a video. In today’s world of marketing, storytelling is crucial if you’re going to captivate your target audience and make a lasting impression. For this reason, marketers and brands have all turned to video content to explain their product with the help of a story.

 

Videos Improve User Experience

Unlike other forms of content marketing, video content focuses on user experience. People sometimes get tired of reading bulky content or interpreting an infographic. Studies have shown they’d much rather watch an explainer video about your product. People love to get entertained, and that’s what a video does. 

 

Videos Are Short

There’s a popular saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you follow this logic, it’s safe to conclude that you can communicate a staggering 1.8 million words in a one minute video. Now isn’t that fantastic? This is one of the main reasons why video content has become a popular tool in digital marketing today.

 

Videos Engage All Sorts of Audiences

Over the years, videos have proven to be a useful tool for getting engagement – this is because people love videos. A study has shown that 80% of users can recall a video ad they viewed a month ago. 

Whether your target audience is made up of a bunch of kids or a group of adults, a captivating video can engage them and turn them into paying customers. Videos have also been known to engage even the laziest individuals – something you can hardly achieve with an article or even an infographic.

 

Search Engines Love Video Content

Numerous studies have shown that websites/pages that contain video content are 53x more likely to appear on the first page of Google. 

All of these reasons have made video content the favorite tool of every brand and marketer – they simply can’t do without it.

 

Google’s Response to the Growing Popularity of Videos

Seeing how prevalent video content had become, Google released Hummingbird in 2013. This new search algorithm shifted its focus away from keywords and paid more attention to the user’s intent behind a search query. 

Google never lets out its ranking algorithm secrets, but it does give out pointers. What the new search algorithm meant was that the search engine giant was now more concerned with providing users with the best experience. A user who Googles “how to grill a well-done steak” will be shown only the most relevant results. 

As a result: 

This new search algorithm forced website owners to start creating content that perfectly matched searchers’ intent if they wished to improve their search engine ranking. 

And since people prefer videos to other types of content, Google decided to give video content that matched a searcher’s query more visibility and a higher ranking position on the SERPs. It’s 2019, and things have not changed in this regard.

Now to the heart of the matter: 

Let’s look at how videos can impact your SEO ranking in 2019 and beyond. 

 

Video Content and How It Boosts SERP Ranking

 

#1 Video Content Increases Dwell Time of Users

If used properly, video content can make all the difference to your SEO ranking. 

Here’s how:

Google pays close attention to the amount of time a user spends on your website. So, if a user visits a site only to return to the SERPs after a few seconds, Google receives a signal that the website isn’t helpful. On the other hand, when a user spends more time on a website, a signal is sent to Google that the website is trustworthy and offers value to users – which is a good thing. 

Here’s the thing:

Google is incredibly concerned with user experience. How much value does your website/page offer users? 

The engaging nature of videos allows you to keep a visitor on your site longer than a text or image could. The more time a user spends on your site, the better your chances of ranking high in search results. This makes video content a powerful tool for boosting anyone’s search engine ranking.

And if your video content is great, users might feel the need to dig deeper into your site and check out other cool pages. This results in more page views and a low bounce rate for your site – both of which are great for SEO.

So, if you’re having a hard time engaging visitors on your website or just can’t seem to keep them around for longer, adding a video to your homepage or incorporating videos in your content will go a long way to tipping the scale in your favor.

 

#2 Video Content Gets More Backlinks and Shares

Ever come across the term link equity? 

Here’s what it is:

Link equity refers to the amount of value or authority a backlink passes to the website it connects with. Link equity or link juice, as it is popularly known, is a search engine ranking factor.

When a good number of authoritative sites link back to your website in their content, it tells Google and other search engines that your content offers value and that your site is trustworthy. And the more links that point directly to your website, the higher your chances of improving your SEO ranking.

But how can you earn those high-quality links? The answer to this has been in front of you all along – videos.

When we say video content, we aren’t just talking about any old material – we’re talking about a video so exceptional and captivating that reputable domains would want to link to it. An entertaining and informative video will also earn you thousands of shares on social media.

Let’s consider the super-viral video from Dollar Shave Club in 2012. Before releasing this video, only a few people knew the brand existed. But shortly after the video was published and promoted, that all changed.

Only a few hours after it was uploaded, the video had been featured on some of the top news sites across the Web. Mashable, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and a host of other top sites were all talking about it. In a few weeks’ time, the video had been featured on more top sites like Business Week and Forbes. Every top site that wrote about the video linked back to Dollar Shave Club in their articles.

Image Source: http://mashable.com/2012/03/06/youtube-startup-dollar-shave/

The video turned out to be such a great success because it was original, unique, and hilarious. And above all, its target audience could relate to it.

The Dollar Shave Club video has garnered thousands of high-quality backlinks since its release in 2012.

People love sharing great content and will do so on their blog or social media page. Your video only needs to evoke a fierce emotional reaction, and they’ll have no choice but to share it. 

And yes, there’s a high correlation between social signals and SEO ranking position

But let’s not digress.

Hosting a good video on YouTube and adding a link to your website will earn you not only backlinks but qualified referral traffic. And by the way, Google owns YouTube and will include your video on the relevant search results.

If your website is host to the top-notch quality video, it will also earn you all the link juice needed to increase your SEO ranking.

 

#3 Video Content Increases Click-through Rates

Click-through rate (CTR) is one of the user behavior data Google relies on to influence search ranking. 

Click-through rates are like user votes. Among other factors, Google uses the number of clicks a page has amassed over a while to determine if the website should be ranked higher or demoted on the SERPs.

If a web page appears on the organic listings of a search result, and only 9% of search users who checked the search engine result pages click on its link, it means that the web page’s CTR is 9%.

If you wish to improve your SEO ranking by increasing the CTR of your web pages, videos can be a powerful tool.

Check this out:

Studies have shown that adding video content to your page can drive an incredible 157% increase in click-throughs and organic traffic from search engine result pages.

Over the years, Google has discovered that web pages with the most clicks on the SERPs are pages with video content. So the search engine giant tends to rank pages that contain video higher than pages with just texts or images.

Looking at the image above, which of the pages on how to play the guitar will you click on? The pages with video content (YouTube) or the pages with just text and images? Chances are, the former.

But it’s not enough to simply add a video to your page and leave it at that. You also need to include textual information about the video and an attractive thumbnail. A video thumbnail is what determines if a user will click on your video or not. Giving your videos a good title is essential, but an attractive and relevant thumbnail is what draws users to your video content.

From the image above, it’s clear that only the second listing has a relevant thumbnail. This is because the thumbnail image shows someone doing exactly what we searched for. The second listing is more likely to get the most clicks from people searching for how to waterski.

So, when next you’re publishing a video on YouTube or your website, make sure you use the perfect thumbnail.

 

#4 Video Content Impacts Google My Business Listings

For most business owners, this should come as no news: 

Google has added a video upload feature to its My Business listings. Business owners can now upload videos to their Google My Business listing. 

Why is this great?

Here’s the deal:

The upload of a video option on GMB listings allows business owners to show potential customers why their brand is different. A video goes a long way to build trust. Additionally, you get the chance to tell customers about your incredible company and yourself.

Google rewards brands that take full advantage of its My Business listings with a cozy spot in the local pack. Taking full advantage means using images, text, and, most importantly, videos to inform potential customers about your business and what you have to offer.

Creating and uploading an appealing video that explains your business or shows what you do will give you an edge over your competitors whose videos were poor or those who didn’t even bother to use one in the first place.

Adding an excellent video to your GMB listing will help consumers learn more about your business. And if they are pleased with what they’ve seen, you can be sure they’ll pay your website a visit. A good video will also get your GMB listing ranking high in the local pack.

And now you know how videos can improve your SEO ranking, let’s move on to types of video content you can create for your brand for optimal results.

 

Types of Video Content Your Brand Needs

 

Every video you create should aim at meeting one or all three of these goals:

  • Awareness: Videos created to raise awareness helps you get on the radar of your target audience – like the Dollar Shave Club video we discussed earlier.
  • Educate: These videos aim at teaching your audience something new. How-to videos are an excellent example of such videos
  • Engage: Videos in this category spark a reaction from your target audience. Likes, shares, and comments are what this sort of video aims at.

 

Roundups

This type of video informs your target audience and raises your brand awareness. Roundup videos have titles like: “The Top 10 Best Antiperspirants for Women” or “6 Bucket Hats for Men In 2019.”

A good roundup video should be short, entertaining, and punchy. Here’s an example of an effective roundup video – Best Restaurants In San Francisco by Travelocity. This video is informative and also increased the brand’s awareness. Those who didn’t know Travelocity existed learned about them from watching their video.

 

Company Culture

The goal of a culture video is to show your company’s personality. With a culture video, you get to show prospective customers your organization’s mission, values, team members, and why your brand is so different.

A company culture video could be a look at what goes on in your office on a typical workday. Meet MailChimp: Joanna is an excellent example of such videos.

 

Interview Videos

Interview videos are great, as they help position you as a thought leader. This type of video requires you to interview a prominent figure in your industry. The interview guest may not be popular, but he/she should be someone you’re confident has something unique to offer.

Interview videos are an effective way to boost your SEO ranking, as the interview guest will most likely share the video on their site or social media pages. This will earn you high-quality backlinks and increase your brand awareness.

Anthropologie’s Interview with Jacquelyn Jablonski, a renowned model and activist for non-profit Autism Speaks, is an example of a good interview video. Her interview resonates well with Anthropologie’s demographic.

 

Behind the Scene Video

Numerous studies have shown that people love watching what goes on behind the scenes. When a company produces a behind the scene video, it makes it appear more human and relatable to its audience. 

Brands that have used this medium to capture the hearts of their audience include HubSpot and The New York Times. Here’s a cool behind the scene video from HubSpot.

 

Funny Videos/Skit

One of the most effective ways to spark engagement from your target audience is by creating humorous videos. This type of video works to capture the attention of your target audience, make them laugh, and also get them to trust your brand.

Think about it:

The most memorable ads are those that make us laugh. Brands hoping to stick in the minds of their audience much longer should pay more attention to creating videos that not only raise awareness but are exciting enough to evoke laughter.

Lots of business brands have benefited from incorporating funny videos in their marketing strategy. When people love your video, they’ll be moved to share it with their audience.

Here’s an example of an amusing video by Direct TV.

 

Product Review Videos

Product reviews are another suitable type of video content. People love it when someone takes their time to check out a new product and talk about their experience in a video. The best tech sites and blogs in the world use this method to raise their brand awareness, earn backlinks, and improve their SEO ranking. 

If you have an audience that trusts your brand, one of the most helpful video content you can offer them is a product review. Your audience will value the product reviews you create and will share it with their friends online.

These days, only a handful of consumers purchase a product without first consulting their friends or looking online for product reviews. You could leverage this by creating such reviews.

Meal Kit Service by Blue Apron is a great example

 

Animation

Animated videos can leave a wonderful impression on your target audience. A good number of people love them, and they are more affordable than live-action.

If the product or service of your brand is difficult to explain, an animated video can help you connect with your target audience and make them understand your product or service better. 

An animated video can also help you make business presentations and explain clearly what your business does without boring your audience.

 

Testimonial Videos

Nothing encourages conversion like testimonials and case studies. People want to make sure others have had a positive experience of using a product before making a purchase.

So, you could hold an event featuring some of your existing satisfied customers. At the event, you could do a video recording asking them what they thought of your product and if they would recommend it to a friend.

 

Conclusion

Content is king. And Video content is the new king of kings. 

Bottom line:

If you have been running your business without a video marketing strategy, you’ve been missing out on a lot. Investing money and effort into the production of video content for your business will bring back incredible results from both an SEO and a marketing perspective. 

And that’s something we’re confident you’ve always wanted.

 

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