Videos are one of the most popular forms of content on the internet.
They're a great way to engage and interact with your audience. Integrating them into your online marketing strategies can result in more visitors to your website, better brand recognition, and ultimately more sales and conversions.
But many clients often wonder: Does video marketing actually improve SEO rankings?
And: How do you use video content in your SEO strategy for maximum results?
Adding video content to your own website can help improve your search engine optimization in many ways:
- It can help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), helping you get more traffic from potential customers.
- It can increase click-through-rates (CTRs) and dwell time, signalling to Google that users are getting value from your site.
- It can provide memorable and shareable content, so you'll get more social shares and quality backlinks.
There are many different kinds of visual content to choose from. They all have their own set of benefits, but videos are important contributors to website interaction rates.
In this blog post, I will discuss the benefits of creating videos for your website and how they can help boost your SERP rankings!
P.S. While you're reading, remember that the basis of SEO is aligning your content marketing strategies with what the search engine crawlers and algorithms are prioritizing. And while we don’t always have transparency from Google to know exactly what they’re looking for, we do know that a video is a powerful tool for search engine optimization.
How video helps SEO
Is there a connection between SEO and the videos on your website? Yes, there is!
In fact, there are many benefits to your video SEO efforts.
Video content increases dwell time
When you add video content to your website, you're increasing the amount of time that people spend on your site. This is important because one of the factors that search engines use to rank websites is called “dwell time”—how long someone spends on a page before returning to the search results.
This also makes it more likely they will find what they’re looking for (or at least something else interesting enough to stick around). This increases the chance that they will convert into a paying customer or take some other desired action.
Videos decrease bounce rates
Providing engaging content that keeps users on your website longer not only increases dwell time, it lowers your pages' bounce rates. This is a key signal that Google looks at when determining where to rank a web page in its search results.
Note that this is slightly different than dwell time. Bounce rate is the number of users leaving soon after clicking on your site, while dwell time is the total amount of time they stay.
Even if users aren't going to click through to other pages (i.e. increase dwell time), it's important that they don't leave your page right away (i.e. reduce bounce rate).
Videos boost click-through rates
Additionally, videos can help improve your CTR.
CTR is simply a measure of how often people who see your listing in the search results click on it.
A higher CTR means that your website is more relevant to the person’s search query, and this signals to the search engines that your site should be ranked higher. You can increase your CTR by creating compelling titles and thumbnails for your videos that make your target audience want to watch them.
We also know that when Google shows a video thumbnail next to a search result, it has a much higher click-through rate than a plain text result. So not only will adding video content to your website help you rank higher in SERPs, but it will also result in more people clicking through to your website!
Create rich results
Featured snippets (or rich results) are parts of your content that Google has determined to be particularly relevant to its users. It then highlights this content in its search results, giving it additional visibility.
By now, search engines have a wide range of types of rich snippets, like People Also Ask, Local Business, and even snippets specifically for recipes.
Incorporating video into your web content gives you more opportunity to be featured in Google's featured video results. You can increase your odds of having a video featured by adding schema markup, or by adding chapters to embedded Youtube videos.
Increase the number of keywords you can rank for
Another way video content benefits your website’s SEO is by giving you the ability to include more keywords on your website.
When you upload a video to YouTube or one of your landing pages, you have the opportunity to fill out fields such as the title, description, and tags. You can even post transcriptions of your videos to give crawlers a better idea of their content.
These are all opportunities for you to include relevant keywords and written content that you want to rank for in Google.
Generates unique content
Another reason videos can help your SEO strategy is by adding more unique content.
Unique content is another factor Google looks for when determining rankings. This helps Google identify that you're creating high-quality content, and not just putting out more 'mirage content'.
And not only does it attract more traffic to your site, it gives other relevant websites a reason to send inbound links your way.
Sharing your video content through your social media channels can help increase traffic to your website and your SEO.
When people share your videos on social media platforms, they are essentially giving you free advertising. Planning social media posts as part of your video marketing strategy can help improve your SEO strategy significantly.
What do the studies say?
A study by Comscore found that 64% of internet users are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.
Another study from Diode Digital found that website visitors who watch videos are 85% more likely to buy a product than those who don’t.
And yet another report from Forrester shows that websites with videos are 53 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google search results.
Finally, a study by HubSpot found that including a video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80%.
So according to these (and more) studies, videos can have a significant impact on your website’s SEO.
What type and style is best for video SEO?
There are many different types and styles of videos you can include when developing your website, such as product videos, explainer videos, brand videos, testimonials, how-to guides, long or short forms, and more.
Ultimately, the video content that will have the highest ROI on your SEO efforts is the video content that best serves your audience and business goals. This is a completely different discussion with a wide range of considerations. It can help to work with a professional video production agency that will know the best way to get the results you're looking for.
A note on video length
Videos do not have to be long to be effective. Studies have shown that people are more likely to watch a video to completion if it’s under two minutes.
So, don’t feel like you need to produce a long, drawn-out video. A short, engaging video is more likely to hold people’s attention and achieve your desired results.
For example, you can have very short videos spread out across your website to keep people engaged as they scroll through your pages. These types of videos are called “micro-videos” and they can be very effective in holding people’s attention.
And you can have long videos for more in-depth information, such as how-to guides or product demonstrations.
So, what are the best practices?
How can you use videos to improve your website’s SEO? Here are some tips:
- Include keywords in your video titles and descriptions. This will help your videos rank higher in SERPs for those keywords.
- Make sure your videos are high quality and informative. Engaging and useful videos will encourage viewers to watch them all the way through, which helps improve your video’s retention rate. A high retention rate is a good indicator to YouTube that your video is valuable, which can help you rank higher in YouTube search results.
- Embed your videos on your website. This will give your website an SEO boost because it signals to search engines that your website is active and relevant.
- Share your videos on Instagram, Tik Tok, and other social media channels. This will help promote your videos and increase their reach, which can lead to more views and higher rankings.
- Optimize videos for speed and engagement. Videos that have a quick page load time and hook viewers early are going to have a higher impact than Cannes-quality cinematic productions.
- You should pay attention to where your video will be placed. Placing your videos above the fold will generally engage users early and have a bigger impact on SEO (although you still might want to put them lower on your page if it's appropriate. Remember that fundamentally, you're trying to impress the user, not the search engine).
- Embedding videos that are hosted on other sites is just as good for SEO as hosting them yourself. There are other things to consider when you make this decision, but you don't have to worry about it affecting your SEO performance.
To sum up...
A solid video marketing strategy can help improve your SEO in several ways.
By increasing dwell time, creating unique content, improving CTR, and increasing social media reach, videos can help you attract more visitors and improve your website’s ranking in SERPs.
What are the best practices? Include keywords in your video titles and descriptions, make sure your videos are high quality and informative, embed your videos on your website, and share them on social media.
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