There are lots of reasons why online video has surged in popularity with today’s content marketers. Some of the key advantages include higher engagement rates, new channels to extend your message, powerful sales enablement tools, and of course, the search engine optimization (SEO) factor.
For a while now, SEO experts have been preaching about the value that video marketing can bring to your company’s overall search strategy – and the numbers back it up. It seems each year we are provided with more data on the impact of combining video with the rest of your content and optimization efforts.
Of course, numbers alone don’t tell the whole story; you need to dig deeper to discover how your business can truly take advantage. With that in mind, below I’ve collected six compelling stats on the power of video for SEO, with additional insights on what marketers can take away from each.
#1. 62% of Google universal searches include video. (Source: Marketingland)
In other words, no matter what a person is searching for online, it’s highly likely that they will come across some sort of video content early in their results. It also should be no surprise that 80% of these video results come from YouTube (which is owned by Google). This is important for a few reasons.
First, it shows that search engines like Google are placing more emphasis on video and presenting them higher (and more frequently) in their search results. Second, it means companies that don’t have video content optimized around their target keywords are missing out on a huge opportunity that their competitors can easily take advantage of. Third, it creates a new opportunity (and in the case of YouTube, a different website) to get your message in front of people in addition to your other text-based content.
Speaking of which…
#2. Video is 50 times more likely to get organic page ranks in Google than plain text results. (Source: Forrester Research)
Partly because the competition for video content is so much less than that of pure text pages, it can actually be easier to rank well with online video. From the same Forrester study, it was found that video content on average had about an 11,000-to-1 chance of making it to the first page on Google. That’s not exactly a safe bet, of course, but when you compare it to the 500,000-to-1 chances of text-based content, the odds suddenly sound a whole lot better.
OK, so rankings are all well and good – but are they producing actual clicks back to your website? I’m glad you asked…
#3. Video search results have a 41% higher click-through than plain text results. (Source: aimClear)
Now we’re talking! So not only is video helping your content rank, but people are much more likely to click on them in results when compared to their text-based counterparts. That means more traffic to your website, more people learning about your brand, and more bang for your content buck.
The question is – why is that click-through rate so much higher? Well…
#4. You can double your search traffic by having a video thumbnail in your search result. (Source: IQ Visibility)
Of course! The visual element. Basically, if a video appears in search, Google will pull the thumbnail for it and present it right along with the results. This draws the eyes of web surfers and makes it more likely that they will click on your link. It might sound minor, but it’s not. It works.
Unfortunately, there’s a problem with this that you may have spotted. If a YouTube video shows up in search results and someone clicks on it, they will be directed to YouTube, not your own website. So yes, they will see your content, but that’s only half the battle.
While YouTube provides great exposure, I’d rather pass the SEO value of video on to my own business webpages. This requires more than simply embedding a video on your site, however. You should also look into adding video meta data and creating a video sitemap so that Google will be able to associate the video with your corresponding page.
As a side note, videos created and hosted with Brainshark On-Demand can be embedded straight to your website (and added to your sitemap) without the risk of driving people back to YouTube when they find your content in search. Getting people back to watch video content on your website is also important because…
#5. People stay two minutes longer on your site if you have video. (Source: Comscore)
Aside from the obvious benefits of attracting people to your site and keeping them there, it’s clear that search engines like this behavior too. Google isn’t just looking for quality content (however you want to define that) – it wants content that engages.
If people are going to your site and leaving immediately, that doesn’t speak very highly of the value your pages are offering. That’s why external backlinks and (more recently) social media shares have become such important pieces of the SEO puzzle. It’s Google’s way of “polling the audience” for the content they like best.
#6. Posts with videos attract three times more inbound links than plain text posts. (Source: Moz)
What does that mean? Simply put – video makes your content more shareable. More inbound links lead to more traffic to your website, more ways for people to find you, free promotion of your content via other sites and channels, and ultimately, higher SEO value for your pages.