SEO is all about keywords, right? How can videos be of any use there?

You might ask yourselves these questions, but the simple answer is that SEO is not what it used to be. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing. While keyword research is still important, it is secondary to audience engagement.

No matter what your niche is, online competition is pretty tight today, and you need to do everything in your power to be sure you get ahead in your marketing efforts and get to that sweet, sweet first page of search results.

Harnessing multimedia

Having multiple content formats will improve the quality of your content and make user experience much more enjoyable. The sheer volume of formats available allows you to be as creative as you want. Videos, podcasts, infographics, presentations, and whitepapers can – and will – expand your audience retention which can greatly increase how often your content is shared across social media channels.

Sure, this sounds like a pain, but it is well worth the cost. Simply put, using different formats and different approaches to your content will increase your outreach. You can widen your target demographic and increase overall audience engagement. After all, different people have different habits and use the internet differently.

Some users might like a quick read on their smartphones while they are commuting or waiting, others might prefer to download e-books and read them at their leisure or in-depth, well-researched articles to read on their desktops, laptops, or tablets. Last, but not least, some might prefer video content as it is a complete experience, and it can get way more information across in a short amount of time.

Another often overlooked, but extremely useful, aspect of creating content in multiple formats is that it’s reusable. One well-researched, in-depth article can be the basis for a video (or video series), infographics, whitepapers and so on. Of course, it could go the other way, and you could expand on that short video or infographic by making an article or a longer video.

Video marketing and SEO

Of all the content types mentioned in the previous section, one that can have the most impact on audiences is video. First of all, it should be noted that YouTube is an independent search engine, which means that creating content both in video and text format, allows you to compete in two different SERP [search engine result pages] for the same topic and keywords.

In the past few years, there was a shift in search engine algorithms from keywords and other technical metrics to more social ones, like user experience and engagement, typically measured by the time spent on page, the length of the content, how often it’s shared, and the more typical metrics like bounce rate and CTR.

Several surveys have shown that video content can outperform other types by a wide margin if utilised properly.

First of all, pages with video content have been shown to hold viewers’ attention two minutes longer than picture-and-text pages.

If that wasn’t enough, CTR is also increased – by 41% percent, to be exact. Video listings that are found in the universal SERP’s have shown increase if tags and copy have been properly optimised.

Lastly, having a good video marketing strategy has been proved to increase your chance of ranking on the first page of Google search results up to 53 times.

In light of these numbers, there are some key points to be made of what a good video marketing strategy should include:

  • Short videos do better. Videos that are under four minutes work best – people’s interest starts to wane after four to five minutes, and engagement rate drops significantly. That’s why explainer videos are so popular nowadays.
  • Rich-video snippets are a must. These allow your audience to see a thumbnail of the video, along with some information on it, which can increase the CTR.
  • You need to transcribe your video. While Google has vastly improved its ability to recognise the context of the video and images, it is still a good idea to add a video transcription for SEO purposes – it makes it easier for Google to crawl through and index it. Luckily, this is going to be completely unnecessary in a few years’ time.
  • Videos need to be above the fold, ideally. The fold is an imaginary limit of what your visitors see before they need to scroll down your page.

Finally, you have to decide whether you would like to put up your video on an independent service like YouTube and Vimeo, or whether you prefer to embed it on your site. Using independent services increases your reach, but it reduces your traffic as part of it trickles to those same services. You need to balance this according to your needs.