Over the past few years, especially since Google rolled out Penguin and Panda, SEO has transformed largely from a system of creating tonnes of links to one that offers website visitors a great experience.
Sure, it’s still about creating links, that will probably never change, but it’s about creating enduring content that will attract a large amount of natural links over a long period of time.
As an ecommerce agency, we’ve seen first-hand how video content can shake up conversion and offer something more dynamic to visitors looking to buy products. Despite this however, we still feel it is perhaps the most underutilised aspect of a fully rounded marketing plan.
We believe that video in SEO is the future, and when done correctly can be a mighty powerful asset to your business.
In this blog we’ve gathered together some of our most trusted allies to discuss this topic and help users to understand the future and how they can be utilise it for themselves.
Ben Heath, CEO & Founder of Lead Guru
The first thing that needs to be noted, is that it is possible to rank on Google without video content.
That said, it’s much easier to climb the search results if you do include video content.
There are a number of reasons why, but here are some of the most important:
Videos Help Generate Long Clicks
Google loves long clicks. When someone searches for something in Google, clicks on a search result and stays on that page for a long time – that is a long click.
Long clicks indicate that the searcher found what they were looking for.
And Google is in the business of providing people with exactly what they are searching for.
Therefore, how long your website visitors stick around, has a big impact on your SEO.
Video is one of the best ways to keep people on your website for longer. It is more engaging than text alone and can help break up a lot of text, which makes pages easier to consume.
Videos Help Generate Natural Backlinks
One of the most important factors of SEO is undoubtedly backlinks. If you want to generate more organic traffic from Google and other search engines, you need other websites to link to yours.
There are hundreds of link building strategies, but one of the best ways to generate backlinks is still (and will always be) producing really high quality content.
The more valuable your content is, the more people are going to want to share it with their audiences.
On the whole, content that features videos, is going to provide more value than similar content that does not.
Videos Encourage Engagement
Not everyone absorbs information very well by reading text.
A lot of people are visual learners and video content caters much better to these people.
Of course, this is important because you want people to have the best possible experience when they visit your website.
When website visitors navigate to other pages, leave comments, make a purchase, create an account, etc. Google takes notice.
With video content, it’s easy to encourage further website interaction.
For example, you can ask people to leave a comment below or tell them about something on your website that they should check out.
Including video content is better for your website visitors and your SEO.
It’s more difficult to create than written content, but the rewards can be well worth it.
Craig Murphy, Managing Director & Founder of ALT Agency
Users love video content and with video traffic expected to be 80% of internet traffic come 2019, it is more important than ever to keep users engaged and to help your SEO.
Video content is far easier to consume than text, around 69% of users would prefer to watch a video than read text and a further 76% of users would share a brand video if it was informative and entertaining.
The impact that this will have on SEO means that videos will have to become better quality. For brands, if they want their videos to be shared and go viral, they will have to inform the user in an entertaining way about their product/service/brand.
With videos being “sticky” and engaging customers, the average visitor will stay on a website 2 minutes longer than those without video – Google loves metrics like this so there is SEO benefit there.
SEO is no longer about optimising for “desktop or mobile”, you need to optimise for everywhere and ensure your content is everywhere. This could mean that websites could take a backseat in the future and for ecommerce websites for example it could be a case of a user watching a video and clicking a buy now button during or after the video and checking out straight away without ever actually visiting a traditional ecommerce website!
Google loves providing the best answer to questions and videos appear usually inside the top 5 search results on Google as long as it’s relevant, so providing videos that answer questions is a great way to get traffic. YouTube is also the second biggest search engine in the world, which shows just how much video content is being consumed.
Charlie Lawrance, Founder & CEO of Gecko Squared
Video content is becoming more important in SEO and your business as a whole.
Let me explain…
If you ask a business owner what they think of when you mention SEO, their go-to response would probably be about building a blog and creating articles to rank in various Google search results.
And it’s true that the best way to rank your website is to create articles and build quality backlinks to them.
However, ranking a website with a long-term view is not just about building the most links to your articles but also creating high-quality video content that builds links organically over time.
With more than 2 million blog posts published every day, only truly exceptional – the top 1% – of written content will rise to the top of the search results and stand above the rest.
However, the same can’t be said for video content. You can still deliver exceptional value to your target audiences with video content, that isn’t in the top 1% of production quality.
The slower adoption of video content by businesses, due to the perceived high cost and time required to create it, means that it hasn’t hit a saturation point with consumers…yet.
Creating video content that delivers real value to your target audiences, which subsequently goes “viral” or is widely shared and written about, can generate lots of links for your website.
Your video content could entertain by making people laugh or cry; it could educate or inspire them to be a better version of themselves. The point is that it needs to be evocative enough to get people to share your content or write about it on their websites with a backlink to your own site.
For example, just look at the video content that went viral and launched companies like Dollar Shave Club, which generated thousands of links to their websites.
In the next few years, more and more video content will be published, and it will become harder to stand out and get noticed.
Now is the perfect time to start creating video content for your business and particularly with an SEO benefit. Great video content can drive inbound links to your site, which positively impacts your campaigns.
Jon Perry, Digital Marketing Executive & SEO Specialist at Square Media
Video content continues to be a strong ranking factor for SEO, and also benefits the user by providing a form of interactive media that they’re able to watch and listen to, rather than read.
In a world where users are increasingly expecting content to be easily accessible and easy to understand, videos provide a perfect opportunity to market a certain product or service and provides users with a more realistic idea of what it is that they’re getting for their money. User experience counts a lot towards SEO, and making the most out of the traffic coming towards your website.
Aside from User Experience, video content (especially when hosted on large platforms like YouTube) has space available for you to target specific keywords relating to the video, and to the business that the video is published by.
If you’re in an industry where there are plenty of frequently asked questions, a video guide is the perfect thing to have made to quickly answer some of those questions and help users get a better idea of what it is that you’re selling or offering.
The great thing about video content is that it can be used on social media too, especially on LinkedIn, where the recent rise of audio-less videos have taken the platform by storm and have massively increased user interaction rates and interest rates.
Like most SEO methods, video content can also be used as part of a grey-hat / black-hat SEO campaign of which we don’t suggest anyone use, but we consistently see other businesses use to quickly climb the rankings and cheat the system with no immediate penalty. Inserting location keywords in as many places as possible within the video’s meta information and having it attached to pages on a website that match the same description causes you to immediately start to gain ranks, and eventually have your videos featured on the homepage.
Overall, video content is pretty powerful and should be utilised in the right way, where possible. It’s primarily great for the user experience, and Google like that you care enough to make videos about your services, helping those users that visit your website or search about that specific topic.
Jason Acidre, SEO Expert & Author of Kaiserthesage
Video content can definitely help boost any text-based content’s performance in terms of search visibility. As integrating other visual assets (both images and videos) can also help improve how users consume a site’s content – thus increasing its engagement metrics, which is one of the most important ranking signals that Google seems to measure these days.
It adds more depth to your content, and also allows users to have another option on how to get the information they need, seeing that some might prefer watching than reading.
Aside from that, a well optimised video (and having a video XML sitemap in place) can allow a site to compete for better brand positioning through video SERP features, especially for highly competitive informational search phrases. Pork Adobo for example has 590 searches a month in the UK, so if you video content comes up in the SERP for this search query, you’re in a great place to hoover up traffic.