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While there is plenty of disagreement among marketers as to the best method to improve your search rankings, there is one specific strategy that is sure to benefit your business. What’s the secret sauce? Believe it or not, leveraging your online videos is often key to increasing search rankings.

We all know that the search engines use social signals as a factor in their overall ranking algorithm, and as the role of social signals becomes increasingly important, so will the role of online video in your overall search and social strategy. 

This year, the number of consumers viewing videos online is predicted to reach 169.3 million in the US alone. With numbers that significant, what marketer would argue against the tremendous opportunity video can offer to enhance online presence search rankings?


Customers prefer two minutes to ten

Let’s face it; most people would rather spend two minutes watching an interesting video than spend ten minutes reading an article. Consumers are extremely busy, and they are constantly bombarded with messages that may or may not be relevant to them.

Video is the fastest way for your company to show your audience why they should do business with you. Not only is video a great way to share your story, it’s also a great way to build links back to your site, and if all of the stars align, maybe your video will even go viral. This is where the major search engine optimization benefit comes into play.


Videos are shared

In their simplest form, search engines bring searchers the most relevant data to their query, and inbound links help the search engines determine the data’s relevancy. When viewers find your video to be valuable content, they are likely to share it, thus facilitating the linking-fest.

Whether it is in the form of information, humor, controversy, entertainment, instruction, or inspiration, the video needs to be compelling enough to make the viewer want to share it. The more shares, the better for your overall online presence.  


Videos increase engagement

A recent comScore study showed websites that contain videos hold a viewer’s attention two+ minutes longer than sites without video content. Visitor time spent onsite is just one more factor that the search engines are looking for to determine relevancy. The fact that your website can hold your viewers’ attention is a big thumbs up. Another recent study, from aimClear, states that videos in universal search results have a 41% higher click-through rate than plain-text results.


It is no secret that SEO is essentially one giant puzzle with numerous moving pieces, but with universal search, videos offer businesses one more way to get heightened exposure in the search engines. According to a Forrester research study, having a good online video marketing strategy can actually increase your likelihood of achieving first page Google rankings by up to 53 times. For as popular as online videos have become, video marketing is still widely underused by businesses.


Grab it while you can

The “video” search is far less competitive than the “everything” search on Google, yet most marketers are ignoring this opportunity to jump ahead in the search results by implementing an online video strategy. There have been many instances where I have performed a web search using the “Everything” option. A particular business may not rank in the top ten positions on the first page, but when I perform the exact same search using the “videos” option that same business is number one.

This is a tremendous opportunity for businesses to get a one up on their competitors. Granted, the content contained within the video needs to offer value to the viewer. Google tends to show favoritism to informative videos versus strictly sales videos, so this is something that you may want to keep in mind as you develop your strategy. 


Americans spend a day a month on video

In February of 2012 comScore reported that 181 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 40 billion (yes, BILLION) videos online in the month of January alone. This equated to the average viewer watching 22.6 hours of online video content in January. So what? So people are watching a ton of videos online!  

If you think about it, people are watching nearly an entire days worth of online video each month. This is huge. If people are spending nearly an entire day every month watching online videos, there is a tremendous opportunity for businesses and marketers to embrace the opportunity and invest the time into creating quality online content for their target audience to view.


Where is the best place to host your videos?

To be successful with your online video initiatives, and make the most of the SEO benefits, you will want to inundate the web with your videos. Having your videos on your website is just step one to improving your search rankings.

There are numerous outlets for you to take advantage of. YouTube is considered to be the third largest cornerstone of social media strategies for larger companies with 42% or respondents saying that YouTube was in the top three of their priorities for social media execution. 

In addition to being among the top three social media outlets, YouTube is regularly ranked among the top three most visited websites online in the US overall.  Although YouTube is the mac daddy of online video viewership, with more than four billion videos being viewed daily and over one hour of video being uploaded every second, there are still other outlets that you should distribute your video to as well. 


YouTube should be your first stop, but make sure to include other video and social sites such as Facebook, Vimeo, Metcafé, DailyMotion, Google+, LinkedIn, and other similar sites to heighten the exposure and linking potential for your video. Make sure to properly title and tag the videos, as well as enable features that make your video easy to share before posting to all of your outlets. 


When strategizing how to improve your search rankings, always think customer first, search engine second. If you are offering true value to your customers (whether in the form of videos, images, or just good content), you are more likely to be rewarded with favorable search engine rankings and enhanced revenue-earning opportunities. It really is a win-win situation.

Jennifer Dunphy

Published 12 April, 2012 by Jennifer Dunphy

Jennifer Dunphy is currently the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Vayu Media. You can connect with Jennifer on LinkedInFacebook,  TwitterGoogle+ and YouTube.

4 more posts from this author

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Nick Stamoulis

I am huge fan of video marketing for SEO. It's a nice way to present your content in a new and more engaging format. You're right that most people would prefer a two minute video than a 10 minute article. It's easier to get the one piece of information they are looking for that way.

over 4 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks of the blog and links to research.

I agree that video can (and in many cases should) be an important element of the marketing plan and a big boost to SEO.

However, i'd be careful not to use blanket statements like "The fact that your website can hold your viewers’ attention is a big thumbs up." That's not necessarily correct - if the video is used in a way that interrupts the customer journey and adversely impacts conversion paths, then that extra attention could be a red herring. I know from looking at data that lots of video content does not guarantee positive results - it's the same as any form of content marketing, you have to understand where that content fits in the customer journey to ensure it hits the spot.

'Engagement' is a vague term used to describe all manner of things and marketers need to think carefully about how and why video should sit alongside other forms of content marketing.

I'm also surprised by the statement "you will want to inundate the web with your videos". Perhaps I'm interpreting your words incorrectly, so apologies if this is the case, but that makes it sound like chucking the video content out there in any place you can find. Marketers have to work out where their video content can add value to audiences and where it logically fits to be relevant to people who will come across it.

Your closing comment "always think customer first, search engine second. If you are offering true value to your customers (whether in the form of videos, images, or just good content), you are more likely to be rewarded with favorable search engine rankings" is bang on the money. The success and impact of video content is driven by value and relevance.

Thanks
james

over 4 years ago

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Ross Chapman

Great tips on using video in your marketing mix. We've been recommending YouTube as the number one destination to host video as well.

And would totally agree with the 2 minute duration - after that, there's little point - keep your videos to 2-3 minutes.

Thanks again, Ross

over 4 years ago

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Anish Patel

One other important point is that you must have good analytics in order to see the impact of your video. Even though you created a video, that doesn't mean people are watching it. By using video heat maps, you can see how every viewer behaves while watching every video you create. It works because you analyze which videos your consumers watch before buying your product, and now you have discovered exactly how to appeal to them. Thanks to analytics, you can understand your market, the effectiveness of your product placement, and therefore your sales increase.

over 4 years ago

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Dan Nedelko

Good stuff in here. We use video heavily in all of our projects and campaigns, it's a tipping point media format without a doubt and while it certainly helps with SEO the more important metric is engagement time.

I'm not affiliated http://vidyard.com just a customer and we use them to host our videos, add calls to action, enable advanced chaptering and then push out to YouTube for wider distribution.

Just my 2 cents.

over 4 years ago

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Jon

It's hard to argue with the facts, YouTube continues to grow dominance and with internet tv 'almost' ready to explode, video should be a crucial element of the marketing strategy.

But throwing a few videos up on YouTube won't be effective, as with anything, only a clear strategy and good quality videos will you really see any return for your SEO efforts.

I find creating useful videos that provide either help on how to use software or training on how to improve skills is one of the most effective ways to build trust, add value and create videos that get shared.

over 4 years ago

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Jennifer Dunphy

Thanks Everyone. I am glad that you found the article to be helpful.

James, you make some great points as well.
I absolutely agree that the video, or any content for that matter, must help to guide the sites visitor down their desired path and make their visit more pleasurable and not be disruptive. It is all about creating the most positive visitor experience and if you can leverage video to do this, great.

I am glad you pointed out the comment “ you will want to inundate the web with your videos” because the intention on my part was not suggesting to spam the web, but was simply meant to propose that people should distribute their video to all of the possible outlets that the video may be relevant to and not just to the usual suspects like YouTube and their own website. The most important thing to think about is what is best for your client/ prospective client, and give them the information that they need to make informed decisions.

Anish, Yes analytics are critical to see what your clients actually care about viewing. When you know what is important to them, you are able to take better care of them.

Best

Jennifer

over 4 years ago

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Mahesh Mohan

Of course videos are nice if used in relevant posts like Matt Cutts. I used to watch videos only if its less than 4 minutes... Otherwise I dont care to click it.

over 4 years ago

Jennifer Dunphy

Jennifer Dunphy, V.P. of Sales & Marketing at Vayu Media

Thanks Everyone. I am glad that you found the article to be helpful.

James, you make some great points as well.
I absolutely agree that the video, or any content for that matter, must help to guide the sites visitor down their desired path and make their visit more pleasurable and not be disruptive. It is all about creating the most positive visitor experience and if you can leverage video to do this, great.

I am glad you pointed out the comment “ you will want to inundate the web with your videos” because the intention on my part was not suggesting to spam the web, but was simply meant to propose that people should distribute their video to all of the possible outlets that the video may be relevant to and not just to the usual suspects like YouTube and their own website. The most important thing to think about is what is best for your client/ prospective client, and give them the information that they need to make informed decisions.

Anish, Yes analytics are critical to see what your clients actually care about viewing. When you know what is important to them, you are able to take better care of them.

Best

Jennifer

over 4 years ago

Tom Howlett

Tom Howlett, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

It is definitely a good strategy to have if you have the resources. It is a shame that it isn't hugely easy to do for a client and not to mention time consuming. But the good thing is that not all videos have to be viral in nature. They can be informative, educational and more.

over 4 years ago

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Joe Stephens

I worked for a company that developed video technology over networks, and left the company a few years ago to start a business dedicated to creating and optimizing web video content for businesses and non-profits. I recognized that the rapid deployment of broadband and improvements in video codecs, were going to mean steady growth in the demand for good video content. The added bonus was this discovery of how video can impact SEO. Most of my clients still do not get that yet, however I think thats starting to change. The offering I make to potential clients now is two fold: I produce and OPTIMIZE web video content.

over 4 years ago

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JP- Web Designer, London

Videos are indeed an essential for any marketing mix, even for promoting a small businesses. I think one of the main reasons for many small businesses not to use video marketing is the lack of knowledge of how to create videos easily for free using available tools.

over 4 years ago

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Seotipswrite

Hi, Good job but you can also give the examples then it will be more beneficial for us. but i must say your tips are so good. I came to know to your info that Video marketing is so powerful for SEO.

over 4 years ago

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CLARiiON

Great write up! Video SEO is commonly overlooked, and more commonly not used to its fullest potential. Utilizing video SEO to it's fullest can really help your site gain SEO traction, ultimately improving it's rankings.

about 4 years ago

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Dawn Damico

Video SEO, Video Marketing - it's all so sexy, right? And as some have commented, it does take a little bit of effort. But, it's not hard. The best course I've reviewed (and use) is Video Traffic Academy. I know James Wedmore, founder and creator, and he really is a great asset to the online marketing community. He has integrity and over delivers in everything he does. The course will show you how to create and optimize your videos, and he will also give you a system for syndication. Tom Howlett, you mentioned local business marketing - several of his students have used his training to grow their local marketing business. This is the real deal for learning and succeeding with video marketing! I encourage you to check it out, if you use my link - great - but you can go direct too. Just get the info - it's that good! http://www.YourResearchDiva.com/video-marketing

Thanks
Dawn

about 4 years ago

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seo experts melbourne

Great blog nice n useful information , it is very helpful for me , I realy appreciate thanks for sharing. I would like to read more information thanks.

about 4 years ago

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Robert

What a great and useful article! Great tips on using video in marketing campaign.Thx from B2B Werbeagentur Muenchen

almost 4 years ago

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Musikstudio

I agree! It is really a beautiful blog. Regards Cornelia from Musikstudio Ebert

almost 4 years ago

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Web Video Production

Thanks Jennifer for creating this post. Yes online video sharing is an effective way to convince the watcher about your services or products. Video creating not only enhance your brand, but also a great tool for SEO. You can share your video on facebook, vimeo, youtube and other countless services for grabbing visitors in heavy quantity. By sharing your site video on social networks, you get a better chance for good ranking on SERPS. Nice post anyway.

over 3 years ago

Justin March

Justin March, Freelance SEO Consultant at Justin March

Someone I know implemented video on their product pages, they weren't benefits focused and each one started with boring blurb about the company (the same blurb on each video).

Yawn...

Can you guess what happened?

Video can be a case of style over substance and is never a panacea.

over 3 years ago

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