If you are looking for a fun, yet SEO-friendly way to bring shoppers to your site, think about using videos. Videos work for Google searches and rankings, as well as Google Panda. Part of the reason videos are good is that the longer a person stays on your page, the higher up Google will rank you. Here we will discuss five ways in which Gareth Davies suggests one should use video as part of their SEO strategy.
Google recently implemented “universal search” in which all searches include news, photos, web, video, and shopping results on one search engine result page, or SERP. Many times we search Google and see video thumbnails along the top of the search page. They even can take up more space than organic search results.
Recently people have discussed and observed how users react to various types of search options and listings, and SEO companies have often found the results to be surprising. YouTube currently has about 48 hours of video uploaded to it each minute; even so, Forrester research from 2010 has shown that websites and companies with videos are a shocking 53 times more likely to be on the top of Google SERPs.
Google Panda has changed the way we search, and they way results are shown to users. So, here are the five reasons why videos are a smart idea to use on your webpage and as part of your SEO marketing strategy:
1. Videos improve product rank: We mentioned earlier that pages with videos are 53 times more likely to be ranked high on Google; part of the reason for this is that there is not much competition in this area of marketing.
But what types of videos are good? Google likes informational videos, and over 80% of the video results that Google shows are informational. But, videos that are purely to sell something are not favored by Google, and often are ranked lower. So, the wise choice is to put an informational video not only on your page, but also on YouTube.
2. Content creation from videos: Often people say that videos have thin content and give search engines little to work with for indexing purposes. This does not have to be an issue, however, and here are a few ways to get around that.
- Text transcripts
This is a simple and obvious solution, and involves transcribing the video and posting it on your page below the video. This allows both users and search engines to search the page for keywords or phrases and find the videos. This also helps users who cannot turn on sound, or who have none, as they can still get the information they are looking for.
- Screenshot images
This goes along with the transcriptions, and involves taking screenshots of the video and posting them as images on the website. This can help with exposure and backlinking. This also helps those users who, for whatever reason, cannot get the video to play.
It is easy to turn videos into powerpoints. THis also allows users a variety of options for viewing, including downloading and sites such as www.slideshare.net.
Taking your texts and photos and creating a PDF with them is always a great option, and allows users to download the information and store it for when they most need it.
Sometimes simply the audio of a video can be useful and turned into a podcast for users to listen to.
3. Videos help with linking: If you upload your video onto multiple sites and search engines, your exposure will increase very quickly; your link building will improve as well. Some of these sites include YouTube, Metacafe, Daily Motion, and Vimeo. You can also add links in your video description on these various sites.
But which site should you use? This is an important decision to make. The company site, a video hosting site, a search engine? If you would rather people come to your website, spruce it up some. Add a video, information, and maybe a coupon or gift.
One option is to place multiple videos on your webpage; a series of related videos is always a good idea. You could also add some videos that are related to your product or services. Including things such as PDFs, presentations, podcasts, images, and the like to your clients will be beneficial and allow them to feel like part of the company. A good phrase I like is, “Optimize for users, not for search engines.” If your page is good enough, you can even outrank YouTube.
- Social media linking
Using sites like Facebook, Reddit, Digg, and StumbleUpon will allow you to create links and help users from around the world find you. Twitter is another great option. These sites work because your link is not only on your page, but others share it through posts and blogging. This allows for an even broader range of visibility.
This is a great way to keep full control of your videos, and also helps you freshen up your website, keep it original, and store all the content users will need to know about you and your company. This will also help others to link to you as well.
There are some downsides to this, however. Some of these include high costs for servers that are required to stream and host videos, and the fact that about 80% of video search results are from YouTube and less than 20% are from self-hosted videos. Do not despair though, because as we talked about above, self-hosted videos can still promote themselves, and can often appear on Google SERPs.
- Embed links
One last way to obtain and spread links to your site is to include script in your video code; this will allow a backlink for the user to find your website as a source. This is commonly seen in other parts of the web as well, including video search engines and polls.
4. Pages with videos are more “sticky”: Google has been open about the fact that current algorithms take into account how long a user spends on a page in order to determine the page’s quality. What this means is that high bounce rates, or those pages with high short time (short clicks) users can be viewed as low quality pages, which those with longer click (or low bounce) rates can be rated as higher quality. So, this means that if you put a properly placed video on your page, your stickiness will improve and your search ranking will as well.
5. Traffic from videos: When deciding what you are trying to achieve when utilizing videos, you must be clear about your goals. Are you simply looking for traffic, or do you truly want people to watch your videos? If you are looking for clients to visit your site, then having videos on YouTube may be enough.
However, if you are looking for site traffic, YouTube will not be enough. Typically YouTube viewers only convert to websites about 1% of the time. If you can host on your page, and are looking for traffic, than self-hosting is the method you should use. The good news is that there is another way:
- YouTube as a trailer
This method involves both self-hosting and using YouTube. So, if you want both viewing of videos and traffic to your site, think of YouTube as a way to post your trailer of a video hosted at your site. This will allow you to both spread your name, and encourage users to visit your site. You can either create an actual trailer, or you can simply take a snippet from your video and use that. This way, both goals are achieved, and users will find you much easier.
When it comes to SEO and marketing, it is crucial that you think about what you are trying to achieve. These goals can vary from keyword targeting, brand recognition, or link building. Are you looking for people to simply watch your videos, or do you want site traffic?
Whatever your goals, videos can help. They help products to improve their rankings, are a way to add content to a site, increase your backlinks, allow for users to stay longer (more “sticky”), and bring more traffic to your company.
Don’t forget the three methods we discussed, and find out which one will work best for you and your company’s goals.