Let’s face it, the majority of people prefer watching an informative video to reading endless pages of text. Videos are more fun, accessible and less time-consuming. Behavioral psychologist Susan Weinschenk has outlined the 4 main reasons people respond to video positively.
The Human Face – when presented by a human face in a video, information is more useful and credible.
Movement – by engaging our eyes and minds, movement helps to keep our interest levels high.
Body Language – We are sophisticated interpreters of body language; the right body language helps us create a relationship with the video.
The Human Voice – hearing a human voice in a video instantly increases the meaningfulness of the content.
Since the introduction of Google’s ‘universal search’ algorithm in 2007, Google has produced search results by merging listings from all its content, including video and images. As videos now had the ability to influence a website’s search engine rank, there was sharp spike in published videos in 2007. There are four main ways that video contributes to SEO: increasing the rank on the search engine results page, improving the click through rate, lowering bounce rates and helping to build backlinks.
Increasing a website’s SERP (search engine results page) ranking
Videos can improve a website’s positioning in the search engine results, because Google ranks websites that have quality videos higher. This was part of the ‘hummingbird’ update in 2013, which meant that quality content is now preferred over key word optimization.
One key way to ensure that Google bots can access your video content is to include a video transcription. Transcribing videos can be tedious, but there are service providers that will transcribe your video for you at a reasonable rate (approx. $1 a minute). From an SEO point of view, transcribing videos means you can hit the long-tail keywords and easily show Google that the content of the video is of good quality. From a UX (user experience) point of view, transcribing videos allows people to search for a certain word in the transcribed text rather than trawling through the whole video. It also allows people to ‘read’ the video in public places where they can’t watch the whole thing.
Here are some transcribing resources that could help you:
Various studies have shown that video results have a better click through rate (just over 1/3) than text results. When people are searching in Google, they are 33% more likely to click on a video link. Adding snippets or thumbnails briefly explaining your video, complete with a screen shot of the video, is a great way to get people to click on your video. Secondly, make sure that you embed the video from YouTube to your own website –embedding a video can also lead to backlinks.
Increasing page authority
Since the implementation of Google’s metric ‘dwell time’ to their algorithm, Google can monitor the amount of time users spend on a website. Videos increase the amount of time users spend on a website, which in turn increases page authority.
Embedding videos helps to build backlinks
You don’t want YouTube reaping the rewards of your hard work – make sure you embed videos so that the video traffic will be attributed to you. You can also create useful backlinks to your site by running a promotional campaign for the new video. Check out this website and see how they have embedded the video at the top of their page to further encourage clicks – does it work for you?
Video analytics are freely available to users of YouTube, and can offer in-depth graphs and charts to help you understand what is working well and what isn’t.
I’m Joseph O’Brien and I have years of experience in digital marketing and decided to share my knowledge of video as a form of content marketing.