As a communications platform, video brings with it a wide range of different benefits that can’t be ignored. Human beings think visually, and they’re likely to have an easier time both understanding and remembering information if it’s presented to them in a video versus if they read it in a piece of material like a blog post. Video is also very popular – to the point where about 1/3rd of all online activity is spent watching video on any given day.
But maybe the biggest advantage that video brings with it has to do with three little letters: SEO.
According to one recent study, an amazing 93% of all online experiences still begin in the same way: with a search engine. This means that any opportunity you have to improve those search rankings is an opportunity worth taking. To that end, using video content on your pages (like blog posts and landing pages) is a technique that offers not one but seven powerful, compelling benefits for your larger SEO efforts that you need to be aware of moving forward.
1. Video Helps You Reduce Your Bounce Rate
One of the biggest benefits of using video content on your pages in relation to SEO has to do with an important metric Google uses when determining search results: your site’s bounce rate. As the name suggests, this is the percentage of your total visitors who visit your website and then either leave immediately or who leave after viewing only one page.
Google’s theory is that if your bounce rate is very high, there must be a problem with your site. Either you’re serving up low-quality content or you’re just not offering anything of value. Based on that, your position in the rankings will go down as a result.
Video, however, offers a click-through rate that is 41% higher than plain text. Another study estimated that people spend about 2.6 times longer on pages with video than those without. So not only are more people going to find your page, they’re going to stay there for longer – thus increasing your rankings as a result.
2. Videos Increase Engagement
Another one of the major metrics that Google uses to determine your search engine rankings is engagement. The more people engage with your content, the more value that content must offer – thus, your position in the rankings increases accordingly.
The fact is that most people don’t read all of the text posts anymore – in fact, most people don’t make it beyond the headline. About 46% of people who start watching a video, however, will finish it – in fact, most people watch at least 2/3rds, if not longer. So not only will the simple matter of including video content on your pages get more people to show up, but it’ll also get them to engage with that content – and your SEO will get a major boost in the process.
3. Videos Increase Social Shares
Social media is another factor that impacts your SEO efforts a great deal, and video can also help to that end. If you have an important product launch coming up, for example, not only should you create a helpful video explaining what it is and why it matters – you should also post that video to social media channels, and VoD platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
This type of social video generates 1200% more shares than related text or image-based posts combined. Not only that, but 64% of consumers say that they’re likely to make a purchase after watching branded social videos. So not only will your SEO efforts get a boost because of all the social activity you’re generating, but that activity is also very likely to translate into higher sales.
4. Videos Help You Build Better Backlinks
In SEO terms, a backlink is exactly what it sounds like – a situation where someone else has linked to your website. Google essentially sees them as a “vote of confidence.” If someone who is seen as an authority, links to your site, it stands to reason that you must have something important to say yourself. The more real, credible backlinks you can build across the Internet, the greater the benefit to your search engine optimization campaigns.
Video is a terrific way to start doing this, as blog posts incorporating video tend to attract an average of three times the number of inbound links as those without. It’s a bit like the social sharing effect described above, but instead, people are doing more than just sharing your video – they’re linking right back to your primary domain where that video is hosted.
5. Videos Have an Amazing Reach
Ultimately, one of the most important factors dictating your search engine rankings has to do with the amount of inbound traffic you have. The more people visit your website, stay around and find valuable content, the higher your site will appear for your relevant keyword.
To get to that, whatever marketing tactics you use need to not only be high caliber – they need to be seen by as many people as possible. That’s another area where video has all other methods beat.
YouTube alone has over one billion users spread out all over the world – that’s about 1/3rd of all people with an Internet connection. Facebook has about 1.59 billion monthly active users, and Twitter can help you grow that number by another 320 million. Not only that but also more than 40% of US households now use video streaming platforms such as Roku channels, to watch video content on a daily basis. If you want to make sure that your marketing efforts don’t exist in a vacuum, video is how you do it.
6. Videos Are Mobile
Over the past few years, Google’s algorithm has placed a higher priority on mobile content than ever before. If your site has a mobile-friendly design and attracts the attention of a lot of smartphone and tablet users, it will naturally rank higher than those that don’t.
For as popular as Internet video content and OTT services are on desktop and laptop computers, it’s even more valuable in the mobile realm. Not only is over half of all video content viewed on a mobile device, but 92% of those users say that they’re likely to share content they like with others. Therefore, creating quality video content as a part of your site’s content strategy and larger marketing efforts won’t just increase your SEO because of the mobile factor – it will naturally increase your reach and your ability to speak to a larger audience, too.
7. Video Increases Organic Traffic
Finally, one of the most important thing to understand about Google’s search results is that organic traffic is the most important target of all.
Organic traffic is that which comes naturally – meaning the visitors that you get not as the result of your ad spend, but because you ranked highly for a particular term they were searching for. According to one study, 70% of the links that search users click on are organic. Somewhere between 70 and 80% of them say that they ignore the paid ads altogether, instead choosing to focus on the organic search results.
So when you find out that video drives a massive 157% increase in organic traffic from the search engine results pages, it’s easy to see why this is something you should be paying attention to. You should be using video on all of your pages – but if there are some that are very important (like offer pages or other landing pages), video can be a much-needed injection of adrenalin at a time where it’s desperately needed.
Wrapping this up…
The benefits listed above may be powerful as individuals – but when taken together, they add up to the kind of significant, meaningful gains for your pages that you’re just not going to be able to replicate in any other way.
Likewise, if you want to take all of these benefits to the next level, you should definitely add Schema.org’s markups to all of your pages with video content. Scheme.org is a collaborative, community-based effort to build, maintain and maximize schemas for structured data on the Internet. They help you better define how the elements on your video website are organized and, more importantly, their relationship to one another. These markups will help search engines like Google and Bing, understand your content better, you can, for example, specify what type of content is on the page, whether it’s an article, a review, or a recipe. When it comes to video content, these markups can include information such as the video length, the title, the thumbnail. Not only can efforts like these further boost your SEO and visibility, but they also generate the most important benefit of all: a better experience for your users.
Not only that, but over 10 million websites currently use these markups to create richer, more organic experiences – including sites from providers like Google, Microsoft, Pinterest and more. If it’s good enough for Google, it’s good enough for you, too.
But if nothing else, understand that video content is here to stay – believe it or not, it’s only going to get more powerful as time goes on. In an era where 85% of the Internet audience in the United States watches video online, these people have made their opinion overwhelmingly clear: they want more video and they want it now.
The only thing preventing them from getting exactly what they want is ultimately your willingness to do so.