One type of content that is still not used enough in the world of SEO is online video. A lot of brands are incorporating video content into their online marketing strategies but most aren't. If used properly, video can be an extremely useful tool and can greatly influence your overall SEO strategy, in many ways.
It’s important to remember that the video you put on your website must compliment your SEO strategy. If you fail to determine your goals in the early stages, investing money into a video shoot might not be the best thing to do. Failing to clearly define goals is a common SEO mistake. When posting video content, you need to know what you want to get out of it. Without defining the outcome, it will be difficult to produce a video that has any hope of successfully captivating the targeted audience and leading to your desired goals.
Two main goals for video on a website, from a SEO perspective, are to build links or generate social shares and to increase conversions.
1. Build Links/Generate Social Shares
A video can generate a large number of links for a website if done well. Your video has to offer something to the viewer. It might make them laugh or shock them, educate them, or surprise them. It needs to evoke a strong enough emotional reaction that they will want to share it, either by clicking the Tweet/Share button or by writing a post about it on their blog (with a link back to your site).
All sites are different, and therefore, will require a different approach. Think about this question when making a decision: Do I have enough high-quality traffic already to attract links automatically, or do I need to conduct outreach?
But its also important to note that it doesn’t matter how awesome your outreach plan is if your video isn’t of outstanding quality. If the quality and content is not up to standards, it’s not going to attract a large number of links. You can even consider hosting videos on your own website, instead of Vimeo or YouTube, so that people link back to your domain which will help your overall SEO efforts as well.
2. Increase Conversions
The job of an SEO is to increase rankings, but to also increase online sales/revenue for the client. Video content can be fantastic for increasing conversions on most websites. Actually, more brands are using video on their landing pages and other pages on their websites to keep their visitors engaged, and possibly convincing them to make a purchase.
There are two main ways to increase conversions with video – by embedding a video on a landing page and by making use of rich snippets.
Video on a Landing Page
When a visitor lands on your site, you’ve literally got a couple of a second to grab their attention and engage them with your content. This is the whole point of a landing page. Nowadays, people are so used to seeing visual content and rich media everywhere, text content just isn’t enough to keep them busy. Embedding a video on your site can not only increase the amount of time a visitor will stay on a website, but also the number of conversions per paying customer may increase.
Product videos are perhaps the most common way that retailers increase the conversion rate of their website using video content. A large number of retailers are taking advantage of product video now and its benefits are paying off.
It’s a little different when it comes to businesses that are service oriented and don’t have a product to sell.
For these, you can increase conversions with the use of explainer/introductory videos. There’s no specific style to use but producing a video that explains and introduces a client’s business effectively and in an engaging way is the best way to go.
Increasing conversions with video isn’t only about what you show the visitor once they land on your website, but also what you show the visitor before they even get there.
If you’ve seen Google’s search results lately, there’s an increase in the use of rich snippets, in particular, video rich snippets.
You are more likely to click on a search result in Google that has a picture, video or star rating displayed as part of the search result, so having these in your listings can greatly increase website traffic.
The popularity of online video presents a huge opportunity for SEOs. Creating videos can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! Award winning films have been shot on an iPhone.
Remember, quality is just as important when it comes to online video as it is when producing any other form of content. So make sure you're offering your visitor something that is genuinely useful.