For website owners seeking to improve their organic search engine rankings, video is an important tool to consider. Not only is YouTube the second largest search engine in the world, video is now being heavily weighted for its SEO value by search engines and other bots crawling the web. Needless to say, if you’re not currently using video as an SEO tool, you should be.
How does video improve SEO?
Video is crucial for SEO for a number of reasons—namely because it’s yet another medium for content online and, in the words of more than a few famous SEO gurus: “Content is king.” But beyond just being something for user consumption, video has a few inherent qualities that make it great for SEO:
- Video HTML coding that’s properly tagged will alert search engine bots to the presence of diverse media on your site, helping Google to more heavily rank it for providing good, quality content.
- When accompanied with transcript text, videos serve to increase things like keyword occurrence and relevant subject matter on a page, further showcasing that page as a credible source for whatever topic is being discussed.
- Videos can be tagged with keywords and categorized into genres and styles, giving search engines a better understanding of the types of videos you have on your site and what the purpose of these videos is.
- Because people watch videos, they spend more time on your various web pages than they might otherwise with text. This leads to a lower bounce rate and better page visibility, which Google will rank in your favor when it comes to evaluating pages.
And these are just the inherent benefits of having video on your site! When leveraged appropriately, there are even more amazing SEO advantages affiliated with videos.
How to use videos for the best SEO benefits
Having videos on your site is just the first step in maximizing their potential. To properly answer the question, ‘does video improve SEO?’ we have to utilize videos in the right way. Here are a few simple video concepts, proven to increase SEO benefits:
- Put videos at the top of the page or in a lightbox to draw people’s attention to them directly when they land on a page.
- Keep your videos as short and to-the-point as possible. 30 to 60 second videos are best for quick hitters; videos should be kept under 3 minutes total whenever possible.
- Optimize your title, tags, description and transcript for keywords and phrases you’re hoping to rank for.
- Make sure you include closed captions or some other accessibility feature for your videos, so deaf and hard of hearing persons can utilize them.
How you use your videos is just as important as having them. Be thorough in optimizing them for SEO, deploy them on your website, social media and video hosting platforms, and make changes to them if they’re not reflecting positive SEO growth.
Does video improve SEO? Absolutely! Is it a magic bullet for rankings? No. But, video is one of the most powerful tools in your SEO arsenal and can attract visitors, leads and, ultimately, conversions if used properly.