The Role of Video in a Best Practice SEO Strategy
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a key element in any business’s overall digital marketing strategy, and a vital foundation to its online visibility. SEO is the process of improving a site to increase its organic visibility in search engine results and drive increased organic traffic to the site. The higher a business is ranked by Google and other search engines organically for targeted keywords, the more likely it is that the business will gain attention from prospective and existing customers online.
There are many different channels and tactics to consider in a SEO strategy, and one of the most important is content creation and optimisation. Video is a crucial form of content for today’s B2B and B2C consumers that can be leveraged to deliver exceptional SEO results. This article covers what video SEO is and why it is invaluable to your business’s SEO strategy.
What is Video SEO?
Video SEO involves optimising your video content to improve its ranking and visibility in search engine results. As with any content, unoptimised content is essentially invisible content and that is useless as far as using it to drive traffic, engagement and, ultimately, revenue goes. Given the prevalence of video content and video consumption now it makes sense to develop a video marketing strategy and use video SEO to leverage that channel for the benefit of your business and to do that you need a strategy that encompasses your video content as well as its optimisation.
Why Is Video SEO So Important?
While a huge proportion of businesses use video in their digital marketing strategies, few are actively optimising that content for SEO. Creating high quality content that is informative and entertaining will bring your business higher traffic, conversion rates, and ultimately sales. But creating video alone is not going to get you seen in search results, this is where video SEO comes in.
Let’s look at video SEO has evolved over time, and why optimising your video content is key to delivering target SEO outcomes. For more information on this and our video services, get in touch with our expert team today.
How SEO for Video Has Evolved
Video has been a part of the digital marketing tool kit for years, that isn’t new. However, from an SEO perspective, video has taken the digital marketing industry by storm in recent years. That fact is supported by the understanding that YouTube (which is owned by Google) is essentially a search engine in its own right. The way users consume video content has changed, with over 250 million hours of videos on YouTube watched every day, video is quickly becoming the most popular content type for B2B as well as B2C users to interact with. Videos rank for keyword searches and so are an effective way to drive traffic. It is also worth acknowledging here the rise of video-based social platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, as well as changes to the way other social platforms share video. Video has quickly become a far more accepted and expected media, that is proven to increase engagement.
When digital marketing first emerged, businesses started to digitise their marketing efforts by creating websites and digital ads, whilst also figuring out how to rank in search engines. As time has gone on, audiences have changed the way they consume content, now trying to avoid ads on the internet all together. Along with this, search engines have developed algorithms to push businesses to create quality websites and content for consumers that respond to users’ needs and questions rather that focus on selling. As the value of video in digital marketing has grown, so has the need for effective and strategic video SEO.
The Impact Of Google Algorithm Changes On Video SEO
Algorithm changes, such as E-A-T, have made content marketing into a priority for businesses that want to rank well within search engines. E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. This algorithm change, along with the understanding that users want unique and informative content over ads, directed marketers and SEO experts alike to understand that content is king in the eyes of Google and the user. This is where the evolution of video as a marketing tool starts to unfold. Users do not just want to read content anymore, they prefer content in the form of video because it demands less, is more accessible and, when done well, allows users to understand ideas, processes, services and products more easily.
All this combines to make video content more important than ever. SEO experts have long understood the need for high quality content, and optimising videos for search engine results pages is the only way to achieve targeted organic visibility from it. Great quality, relevant video can also gain you coveted visibility with video rich snippets that sever your video in SERPs with a thumbnail of your video at the top of results.
What Does Video SEO Involve?
There are a number of ways to effectively optimise your video content for SEO. The aim is essentially to make is as accessible, informative and useful as possible for users and search engines alike. Here are a few key ways you can optimise your video content to deliver better value from it.
Choose The Right Video Hosting Platform
It’s worth noting that the video hosting platform YouTube is the second most used search engine on the internet, with its own search rules, keywords, and intent. Incorporating YouTube into your video SEO strategy is key to delivering optimal digital visibility for your business. You Tube is not the only option to consider when choosing the right video hosting platform for your business though, there are also options such as Vimeo with different tools and features that may suit your video SEO strategy.
First Impressions Count - Video images
They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but we do. Same applies to videos, the video thumbnail image you use for your video should be engaging, attractive and informative. It needs to catch the eye and the attention or it's simply going to be overlooked. The same goes for your graphics, images and animation in the video body. If the video isn't engaging, with useful and attractive graphics, you're likely to lose your audience's interest before the end, which is typically where your CTA will be.
Use Your Transcript To Add Value
Search engines (including You Tube) will use your video transcript to understand more fully what the video is about and so more accurately serve it in search results. Your audience will also derive more value from being able to understand what is included in your video and where in the vide they can find the information they are looking for. To make your videos as useful as possible, add section headings to your transcripts and don't forget to add a list of section headings and times to the video description either. As with your video transcript, your video description is valuable in helping users and search engines alike find and serve your content at the right time. Undertaking relevant keyword research and optimising your description and the website page the video is embedded on for the right keyword(s) is a key element in optimising your video content.
Optimise Your Page
You can't expect the video to do all the work on your own website video pages so ensure the pages you embed videos on are fully optimised for your target audience too. Google will focus on the first video on your page, so best practice is to keep one video per page and ensure the page content is relevant, aligned with your keyword research, useful and sufficiently detailed with the right calls to action and internal links. Also, remember not to use the same video on more than one page, otherwise you will be diluting the value of your efforts and essentially competing with yourself.
Benefits of Video for SEO
The benefits of utilising video in digital marketing are almost endless. Quality video content is now one of the most effective content types available.
Not only is video a fantastic and convenient source of content for users, it can also contribute to user experience on your website, not to mention, search engines love it, especially when supported with video transcripts, allowing users to both read your content and view it. Video can simplify complex ideas and concept, explain frequently asked questions, demonstrate use cases, prove efficacy and a million more things in a way that simple text and images can't, and that is just for users. Video also delivers measurable benefits in terms of search engine ranking too. Google scans websites for a mixture of content, but not just text, capitalising on quality visuals such as video means Google will interpret your pages as varied as well as informative, enhancing your position in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
One of the key means by which video enhances your SEO strategy is by improving the amount of quality, high-intent traffic delivered to your website. Users are more inclined to visit your website after watching a video on YouTube or other media platform than any other type of content. This is because they have received the information they were looking for, and now are more engaged with the brand, products and services behind the video. Along with this, video is ranked in Google SERPs. If your video is on your webpage, users can access it there as well as on YouTube, which is why it is important to host your video on platforms like YouTube but to also embed them on relevant pages on your website, to enhance user experience there too.
Video & Social Media
Video can also bring in further traffic through social media sharing. Social media has cemented itself as a vital part of digital marketing, and video has become a favourite format of choice for users. Sharing your business videos online will help push social media sharing, which in turn increases reach, builds brand awareness and has a direct correlation with higher search rankings.
Time on Site
Search engines pay close attention to how long users stay on your website once they arrive and this metric is a ranking factor in itself. If users come through to your website but only stay for a few seconds, it is more than likely that the content you are delivering does not answer the users question and they have made the journey to find the information elsewhere. However, by employing video marketing, users are more likely to stay on your website for longer periods of time because they are watching and are engaged with your video content. It’s part of the human condition that movement and content that employs more than one sense capture the attention more quickly and for longer than those that don’t.
Improved website metrics
As users are more likely to watch a video than read a full blog post that relies solely on text content, implementing video will increase the amount of time a user spends on your website, positively impacting metrics such as bounce rate, which in turn will help boost your rankings in search engine results.You can still get the best of both worlds by using video transcripts as content to support your embedded video, in a blog for example.
Backlinks are an incredibly important part of any SEO strategy because search engines see websites with quality backlinks as signals of trustworthiness and authority. In creating those backlinks, linking websites are more likely to organically link to video content and to domains utilising the use of informative and quality videos because they provide a better quality experience for their users.
There is a strong correlation between high volumes of social shares and higher positions in search engine results pages. Social users will share the video content that they find informative and useful and social platforms, even business oriented platforms like LinkedIn, are specifically designed to make that sharing easy.
Building Video into Your Best Practice SEO Strategy
So, it’s clear, as users have changed the way they consume content, video marketing has become an essential element in delivering a best practice SEO strategy, but video is still the most underutilised tactic when it comes to SEO, because digital marketers are failing to optimise their video content.
There is a lot to consider when planning your video content marketing; topic, style, script, positioning to name but a few, but failing to take into consideration how you will optimise them for SEO effectively means you will also fail to extract full value and results from your investment and your competitors will have the upper hand in claiming that share of market.
Getting Started With An Effective Video Strategy For Your Business
Ensure your business has a complete SEO strategy designed to target today’s user to achieve your organic search objectives. To find out more about how our dedicated, expert in-house video team can leverage our video and SEO services for your business, why not get in touch today.