Today, I’ve got a featured guest, Jolyon Ludbrook, who is a Film and Video Producer with over 12 years experience producing videos for business of all shapes and sizes. I asked Jolyon to help me write this post about the value of including video content as part of your search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy, and why you should definitely include video in your ongoing content mix.
Here’s what Jolyon had to say:
SEO is a broad topic that includes many different elements, so this blog post is going to focus solely on video, and whether investing in video content actually helps SEO and organic search results. Well, does it?
If you’re doing online marketing for your business, then you will know that effective SEO on your website is critical to your success. Optimised content, keywords, meta descriptions, meta tags, social media, links etc, the list can seem endless. But one thing that is often overlooked is the use of video as part of your search engine optimisation arsenal. WHY? Because we get so focused on the “words” that Google and the search engines ‘crawl’ that we often forget about the content! We often forget about engaging our audience and don’t realise that the search engines use engagement metrics to assist in judging whether your site is important to people. So yeah – it’s not just about the keywords!
But first the most overlooked and seemingly obvious fact that very few people realise is that YouTube is the SECOND BIGGEST search engine on the internet today, and who owns YouTube? Why Google of course! The BIGGEST search engine on the web. And as you know YouTube stores and searches video productions of all types.
But why is this important? Simply put, video is about engagement. Google and YouTube know that video keeps people on a particular website for longer, that the videos entertain, educate and engage people for longer all of which adds to the profile of your website when considered for SEO and organic ranking purposes. Its called ‘engagement metrics’, and yes they are measuring it.
Google and YouTube also know that because of the video on your site, it is much more likely to provide relevant content to your potential market and therefore be more useful to them. This is simply because in the world of search, providing people with the most relevant traffic and popular links to sites is what keeps them ahead of their opposition.
And then there’s the statistics:
- More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
- Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on earth
- 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute!
- 80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the USA
- Mobile makes up almost 40% of YouTube’s global watch time
- According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more adults ages 18-34 than any cable network
These are staggering when you really think about them.
So not only is video a simply massive part of the web today, it has now grown to the point where people expect to find video as part of a search, and they expect to find it on your website and on YouTube.
It can be a loose term but for the purposes of this article, engagement simply refers to the metrics that are associated with people visiting your website. So simply put these are:
1) Time spent on your website
2) Number of pages visited on your website
To address point 1) first:
Video on your website increases your audience’s engagement by increasing the time they spend on there. And not just one page but multiple pages, if video is a part of your web strategy then it’s recommended that video are on at least three different pages, starting with your home page and then two other pages accessible by only one click. Why? Because if the site is relevant to the visitors search they will watch the video on the first page, and believe it or not they will watch the video over and above reading the text. Once they are engaged here they will look deeper into your site and click on a link that seems relevant to them. Figuring out where your visitors are most likely to go next is crucial. Put a video on each of these pages and you have immediately set up an expectation and increased the engagement time on your website for your visitor.
Not only does video on your website increase engagement and improve your organic search results, it also has the added benefits of increasing sales and educating your audience as to your product or service once prospective customers reach your site.
As an online marketer you will no doubt be aware of the statistics of using video as part of presentations and as sales aides and how it increases your conversion rates and increases sales. So instantly having video on your website improves everything you are trying to do in selling to your audience.
But lets be clear, it must be high quality video with a quality production value and an engaging story. There is no point putting a video on your business pages made from your phone or handy cam, as you will look like an amateur and those things are really only designed for use as personal tools not for professional production values. You could include additional videos off your phone as part of blog articles, but you should not have them on critical sales landing pages on your website. Professional video requires the right people, equipment and story to have impact and reach above and below the line. It’s certainly worth the investment.
Further, having a video available on your website means that people are more likely to stick around.
And this then Leads nicely into number 2):
Engagement means that your visitors are spending time on your website, the more engaged they are and the more pages they will visit to find out what is they are trying to find out. More Pages = More Time = Improved Rankings = Improved Traffic. Simple!
Be aware though that page placement matters. If you have video, put it at the top of the page. This allows Google to understand its video content. It’s amazing what kind of results digital marketers will see from this small change.
An additional benefit to creating a video for your website means that you have a wonderful asset also available for tradeshows, presentations, in reception at your offices/branches/etc. So the value versus the cost you receive from a professionally produced business video is massive.
And back to SEO, a quality video is more likely to get shared than any other post or meme on the web through various social networks, increasing your audience, reach and potential client base.
SEO is critical and its competitive. We all know this and standing out is increasingly difficult. Video is not a silver bullet that’s for sure, but it should definitely be a part of your overall online strategy and budget. The pluses are huge for your organic search results and the benefits to your customers are endless. So really it’s a win-win for everyone.
So, have you got a video on your website or are you planning on getting one?
Blog post contribution by Jolyon Ludbrook of JolyonLudbrook.com