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Video is the next big thing in the content marketing landscape. Know the ways how video content can improve your SEO.
The relationship between video and SEO is very misunderstood. Most people view SEO as something that supports video. That is, you use SEO strategies to get more people to watch your videos.
However, video and SEO have a more mutually beneficial relationship. Yes, you need good SEO to drive traffic to your videos. But video also drives more traffic to your other online assets by improving your SEO.
Here are nine ways video content improves your SEO.
#1: Video gives you more opportunities for SEO success
Getting featured snippets on Google is a home run for SEO. And video content gives you even more opportunities to snag the center stage in search results.
Google and other search engines display text and videos as featured snippets. Search engines haven’t revealed their secret algorithm for choosing between text and video snippets. But we know that featured snippets aren’t limited to text anymore.
If you have text and video content that address a certain search query, you have twice as much content for search engines to feature and twice as many chances to get featured snippets in search results.
#2: Search engines feature relevant videos
Featured snippets are invaluable, but they are limited to text. And as we all know, we humans are visual creatures. Google and other search engines also feature relevant videos at the top of the search results, eye-catching video links, and all.
If featured snippets are a home run, then featured videos are a grand slam.
Adding videos to your pages gives you the opportunity to get that page placed in a callout box in the search results, without hampering your chances at capturing a featured snippet. That’s literally twice as many opportunities to get your content featured in search results and attract more traffic.
#3: Video is an opportunity for exact search queries
Some search queries are difficult to work into written content without sounding unnatural. People simply don’t type complete sentences into search engines.
Video gives you an opportunity to get exact searches onto your pages, which is always an SEO boost. On any page with a video, simply include a video outline, with timestamps and clickable links. This lets you write out exact search queries without sounding awkward.
From the example above, “What is the need to use Salesforce?” and “How does Salesforce CRM work?” might be difficult to naturally include in a blog or website copy. But these search queries look totally at home in a video outline.
Additionally, adding a clickable video outline encourages people to take action on your pages. This signals to search engines that your pages deliver quality content.
One more thing: you can make your videos more searchable by annotating your YouTube videos. This creates additional space for capturing exact search queries.
#4: Video helps people find your content in more places
When people think about SEO, they usually think of Google. However, search engines aren’t the only places people search for information.
People also search YouTube and social media platforms for answers to their questions. In fact, YouTube is the second largest search engine. And social media boasts an audience of over 3.6 billion users.
Video content performs better on social media than text. A few years ago, social media platforms began prioritizing video content above other content. And of course, video is also the only option for getting content listed on YouTube.
No matter what your goals are, adding video to your arsenal of content gives you access to a larger audience and more targetable searches across many platforms.
#5: Video generates tons of traffic
One of the fun things about getting more visitors through SEO is that the more traffic you get... the more traffic you get.
Video attracts up to 300% more traffic than other types of content. That means more traffic right out of the gate. But all that additional traffic also improves your SERP rankings, which in turn generates more traffic. Using video is like a perpetual motion machine of SEO success.
#6: Video increases on-site dwell time
On-site dwell time is largely misunderstood and underrated. Supposedly, Google didn’t even track or factor dwell time into search rankings before 2017. Many marketing analytics software suites still don’t track dwell time. But dwell time became a relevant search engine ranking metric after the 2017 update to the Google algorithm.
To clarify, dwell time is separate from bounce rate and session duration.
If a person clicks on a search result and visits a page, then returns to the search results without clicking anything, that’s a bounce, no matter how long that person spent on the page. Even if that visitor stayed for an hour and read every word on the page before leaving, it’s still a bounce.
Session duration is the amount of time a visitor spends on a website as a whole. This metric adds up all the time a person spends on different pages of a website in a single session.
In contrast, dwell time measures how much time a visitor spends on a single page before leaving, even if they don’t click on anything.
Google considers dwell time a valuable metric because it reveals how useful a piece of content is. If a person clicks on a blog and stays to read the entire blog, the time spent reading that blog is the best way for Google to gauge the quality of the information. Because of this, on-site dwell time has at least an indirect effect on your SERP ranking.
How does video play into this? According to a recent survey by Biteable, most people would rather watch a video than read text. Videos also keep people on a page for 2.6x longer than other types of content.
All of this bodes well for your site’s dwell time, and ultimately, your search engine rankings.
#7: Video reduces your bounce rate
There’s some debate about which is best: autoplaying videos or click-to-play videos. But, regardless of how it plays, adding a video to your page gives you even more opportunities to keep people from bouncing.
If you require visitors to click your video to play it, that click counts as an action. If the viewer leaves after that, it’s not considered a bounce. Even if the visitor doesn’t watch your entire video, at least you won’t get penalized by search engines for the bounce.
But if you autoplay your videos, you can still entice people to click. Like the Salesforce example from earlier, include a clickable video outline to get an easy click from visitors.Viewers quickly get the information they’re looking for, and you get fewer bounces. It’s a win for everyone.
#8: Videos get mountains of backlinks
Backlinks are the gold standard in SEO. Almost nothing boosts SERP rankings like a boatload of backlinks. But building backlinks is time consuming and challenging.
Video makes it easier to get backlinks. According to Wordstream, 92% of viewers on mobile devices will share a video. True, shares aren’t backlinks. But the high share rate of video indicates that people will be more likely to link to your video content. This shareability makes it much easier to build backlinks to your video content.
You can easily send a video to other websites and offer to let them use it in their content, with a simple reference link to give you credit for your work. Videos are a great supplement for written pieces. Many creators gladly take the opportunity to add a video to a blog post or landing page, since video content improves their SEO, too.
#9 Video makes your SEO more valuable
SEO is good. Traffic is good. However, getting traffic to your website is only half the marketing equation. After that, you need people to take the next step in the buying process. Tons of traffic do no good if all those people just leave without taking any action.
Our Biteable marketing survey also found that using video boosts conversion rates by up to 80%. Adding video to your website, landing pages, and other online destinations makes your SEO efforts more profitable. The more you use video, the more you’ll see the benefits of SEO on your bottom line.
All other benefits aside, this alone is probably enough to justify using video in conjunction with your SEO strategy.
How to optimize your SEO with video
The main reason people and businesses don’t use video is that creating videos feels intimidating. It’s tough to figure out what to make a video about.
However, it’s relatively easy to slide video into your current content strategy. Simply choose a well-performing blog and make a video out of that blog. Then, embed the video at the top of the blog page. This gives readers a way to quickly consume the information in the blog without reading. And it gives you the SEO benefits of video.
But the handiest thing about this method is that turning a blog into a video doesn’t require a whole lot of video production. You can most likely film and edit the entire video using a smartphone and an online video maker.
This is an affordable, low-effort way to start using video. Run some simple marketing tests to see how much video improves your search engine rankings. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
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