5 Ways Video Can Boost Your SEO Rankings
Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t what it used to be. Video content is now the media platform people pay the closest attention to, creating a new frontier for SEOs and marketers alike. If you’re looking for that extra kick to boost your search engine ranking, a well-produced video may be your ticket to success. Video is an essential tool for generating natural backlinks and social shares that should be central to your SEO strategy to get your content to the top of the page.
SEO Strategy in 2018
Google’s search algorithms are getting smarter each year, forcing SEO experts to continually transform their strategies in order to adapt. Increasingly, content beyond a site’s title and metadata are being used to signal the rankings on a search page. Rich forms of content like videos have a high potential for generating quality backlinks from other sites, making them attractive and often underutilized options for SEO. Even still, a video is only as strong as the website it’s hosted on; if you want to boost your search rankings with a video, your video needs to be part of an overall SEO strategy.
SEO develops rapidly and changes to Google’s ranking algorithms. Here are some trends for 2018 that could dictate how video fits into your overall SEO strategy.
- Security (HTTPS): Many cutting-edge website features require additional layers of security in order to function. Unsurprisingly, Google is prioritizing websites with HTTPS.
- Keywords: Google’s search algorithms are getting much better at recognizing content from within a site. Keywords in site titles matter less than they used to, and cohesive phrases within your site’s content are becoming a major driver.
- Site speed: Site loading speed is now more of a determining ranking factor, especially for mobile users. This means any video content on your site needs to be optimized for a balance of quality and speed.
- Layouts: Aggressive internal linking won’t work. Top sites use simple and direct navigation hierarchies to keep visitors on a site longer. Keep your organization as user-friendly as possible.
Why Video Matters for SEO
Google’s algorithms don’t directly analyze video, but videos still play a critical role in SEO. Simply put, Google’s search algorithms now favor high-value websites that encourage visitors to stay, click through links, and share through social media.
Videos are engaging and, if used effectively, can make a substantial difference in your site’s quality. Many websites have become successful with the launch of a single video, giving them a huge potential upside for generating natural web traffic for a relatively low investment cost.
Using Video for SEO Optimization
Videos have a lot of SEO utility; they can be used for retaining visitors on high-traffic sites or for bringing in visitors to newer sites. It’s important to think about what you want your video content to accomplish and to be deliberate about how your video serves your site’s goals.
We’ll go over a few ways you can use video to boost your SEO.
1. Establish Authority and Trust
A good video helps build your audience’s trust in your website as an authority on a given topic. That trust is key to generating repeat visits, and over time users may consider having conversations on your site that will significantly boost your SEO rankings. Video content also adds to the legitimacy of your site in the eyes of many web users.
2. Enable Rich Snippets
Google is including more rich video snippets in search engine results. These snippets contain thumbnails of video content, signaling to users that they’ll be able to see a video if they click through to your site. If your video is hosted on your website rather than on YouTube or Vimeo, your video thumbnail can appear as part of a rich snippet on a search results page. Allowing Google to incorporate your video in a rich snippet requires a few extra steps, but having a snippet on a search result page substantially helps your site stand out from the competition.
3. Reduce Attrition
If people click on your site and quickly click away, it could hurt your rankings. Getting users to stick around is an ideal job for video content. “People are clicking away from sites faster than ever. A video on your landing page is a great way to reduce that attrition,” says Stephanie Newton, SEO specialist for Business.org. Lowering attrition correlates directly with sales as well; if a visitor stays on your homepage longer, they’ll be much more likely to make a purchase.
4. Add Value for Your Users
“Value” seems to be an overused term in SEO, but it rings especially true as Google’s analytics begin to dive deeper into site content. Your site needs to create a valuable experience for your users to stand out at the top; an educational or instructional video can provide that value, especially when it’s paired with great text content. If your video is useful and relevant to your target audience, they’ll be much more likely to make a purchase. Sites like Zappos.com saw a 6% to 30% increase in sales on product pages that incorporated a video.
5. Generate Social Shares
Video is a great way to generate social media shares, the holy grail for your website’s SEO value. If you produce a video that is genuinely clever, informative, or entertaining, there’s a good chance it’ll be shared naturally through your users’ social media networks. In this scenario, your site will begin drawing more natural links, and you’ll have a higher chance of obtaining backlinks from sites with larger audiences.
Making a Video for SEO
Videos that increase your site’s SEO need to be produced with an eye toward quality, relevance, usefulness, and value for your site visitors. A hastily arranged video with poor production can actually turn visitors away, hurting your site. The best video of your site needs to be developed alongside your site’s primary content goals with explicit recognition of your target audience and their content preferences. If you can drill down your site’s niche and find a concept for a video that resonates enough to go viral, your brand awareness can skyrocket.