Ten years ago, SEO was an extraordinarily simple task; all you had to do was stuff as many keywords as possible onto one webpage and as if by magic, you’d start ranking for those keywords. Obviously, this was never going to be a technique that lasted very long and sure enough, Google soon realised that people were able to manipulate their search results and updated their algorithm to ensure this didn’t happen.
Google has been regularly updating their search algorithm ever since and unfortunately, the life of an SEO has become increasingly more difficult with every update. Sure, Google might favour high quality, less-spammy sites these days, but SEO is becoming more time consuming and more expensive.
Luckily, SEO’s are starting to realise (much to their dismay) that content really is king, especially since the recent Penguin and Panda updates. However, a lot of SEO’s are still neglecting certain types of content; particularly video content.
Personally, I think video content is paramount to achieving SEO success these days, especially for larger brands; here’s a few reasons why:
#1 – Google LOVES Video
Perhaps the most obvious reason that video should be an important part of any SEO strategy is that Google loves video. What do I mean by this? Well, Google has been incorporating video content into their SERP’s for a while now and I’m sure you’ll have noticed (as I have) that video is becoming a lot more prominent.
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Why is this though? Why does Google love video? Well, perhaps the most obvious reason is the fact Google owns YouTube. Google has a number of reasons for making video content more prominent in the Google SERP’s with the main reason being that it will significantly increase their revenue.
Think about it; if Google displays ten standard website results on the first page of their SERP’s for a particular keyword, most of the searchers will navigate to one of those websites. At this point, the visitor has nothing more to do with Google and thus, Google will not see any further revenue from that searcher.
However, if Google displays a number of relevant YouTube results on that first page of the SERP’s, visitors are going to navigate to YouTube; a website owned by Google that features an array of advertising, thus bringing in more revenue for Google.
If Google loves video, then you should too as it’s Google you’re trying to impress (as you already know).
#2 – Video = Linkbait
Linkbaiting is nothing new; in fact, it’s has been used by SEO’s for years now. Common forms of linkbait include “top 10 lists”, infographics and even educational resources. However, most SEO’s would still rather pile their budget into creating an infographic than creating a video.
Linkbaiting is considered paramount to achieving SEO success in most niches as it’s one of the only ways to attract links from highly authoritative sources. However, in a world where nearly every webmaster is being constantly bombarded with guest post requests, embeddable infographics and “educational resources”, it makes sense to try and stand out from the crowd and give webmasters something their visitors will love; a well-produced entertaining video, like this one:
With over 21 million views, this video got links for DC Shoes from all over the web as it was mentioned by authoritative websites around the globe. Sure, if you’re a smaller company that doesn’t have a massive marketing budget, you might have to set your sights a bit lower but then again, DollarShaveClub.com achieved tonnes of links and press attention with this video and it only cost $4,500!
It’s important to remember that SEO is not about following your competitors, it’s about doing things better than them and attracting more, higher quality links than them. In order to do this, you need to stand out. Sure, infographics and other forms of linkbait are always going to work and will always be great link acquisition methods but there’s no denying that people love video and usually, video content creates more of a buzz than traditional forms of media, thus leading to more links.
#3 – It Boosts Social Signals
Every SEO knows how important social signals are these days; in fact, there have even been reports of websites ranking almost entirely on social signals alone. The reason that Google is placing an increasing large amount of weight on this factor is because getting genuine social signals isn’t easily done. It means that REAL people have to actually be sharing your content which of course means that it has to be good quality.
There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t see a video pop up in my Facebook or Twitter newsfeed which pretty much confirms that people love to share great video content. If a video does pop up in my news feed, I’ll usually watch it as most of the time, I don’t even have to leave Facebook or Twitter to do this. More importantly, if I’m impressed by what I see, I’ll click the “Like”, “Share” or “Retweet” button and sometimes, take a look at the other content from that website.
In reality, it isn’t the social signals that’s the most important thing here, it’s the fact that video effectively engages an audience on social networking websites and often leads them to investigate your business further. What’s the proper word for this? Brand Engagement perhaps?
Still, the social signals are a nice bonus!
So What Should You Do About All This?
I’m not saying that everything has to revolve around video, because it doesn’t. However, what I am saying is that video is an underused SEO technique that will inevitably become as common as guest posting and directory links eventually; so in a way it’s paramount to your long-term SEO success.
Getting involved in video marketing now will help push you ahead of your competitors which ultimately, is your main goal anyway. You know what they say; the early bird catches the worm.