We all know that video is HUGE in the marketing world right now, touted as the most effective way to speak to your customers both existing and potential. We’ve all also heard just how important SEO (search engine optimisation) is for getting your business seen.
But the question is, do the two work together and can we use this to our advantage? The short answer is – yes, video on your website is good SEO practice. But the long answer is much more nuanced than that. It’s not as simple as sticking a video on your home page and shooting to the top of the Google listings (although we wish it was!) but there are several ways in which video on your website can certainly help. Here are some of the headline acts –
Increase time spent on your page
If you’ve ever used Google analytics, you will be familiar with the terms ‘session duration’ and ‘bounce rate’. These are indicators Google uses to determine how compelling your content is and whether they should drive more users there by bumping you up the search results. These data points rely on users spending longer on your page and browsing the various content available there. Video can help with this in two ways. Firstly, and most obviously, video is compelling, and users will WANT to hang around to watch it. Having an obvious video on your landing page is a way to quickly engage audiences and get them interested in what you do without having to sift through a whole lot of text. If your brand film runs for a minute and each visitor watches it before taking other actions, you’ve just significantly increased your average session duration. Furthermore, if your brand film is good and connects with your audience as intended, you are much more likely to keep them on your site, navigating to other sections and watching further videos if available, thus reducing ‘bounce rate’. ‘Bounce rate’ refers to the percentage of users who navigate away from your site after viewing only one page and, to optimise your site’s search performance, we want to keep this as low as possible. Video has a very good chance of helping us do so.
Users prefer video. Particular for “how to” type searches and Google knows this. Have you ever noticed that when your search term start with “how” or “why”, you get served video results right up the top of the page? Having video on your page gives you yet another opportunity to appear here and also makes it more likely that users will “click through” to your site.
We keep saying it but guys, people just love video! If your video is compelling, it’s going to get shared – both on social media and other websites. This is great for the obvious reason that your name and brand is getting seen broadly but also has the added bonus of providing super valuable backlinks to your site. If your video is hosted on a third-party site such as YouTube or Vimeo, make sure you’ve got your web address in the channel and/or video description to keep those backlinks coming. Backlinks are a sign to search engines that other sites value your content and gives them the signal to bump it up their results.