Since the inception of Youtube in 2005, the practice of creating videos for the internet has become a billion-dollar affair. In fact, I remember the days before Youtube (The Beginning Times). Even before the creation of Youtube and various social media platforms, back when dinosaurs and AIM roamed freely, videos were still a big target of attention. As digital marketers, we must ask, do videos help SEO in 2022?
If you have a business website, then you may be dancing around the idea of creating digital content. Not only is creating videos an arduous and skill-necessary demand, but it also takes time away from the critical art of… Well.. Running your business.
Before deciding to allocate resources to creating original videos for your website, let’s break down the true importance of multimedia on SEO rankings.
Do Videos Help SEO? – The Short Answer:
No, really. It’s that simple. Any original content has a positive effect on SEO rankings. In fact, one of Google’s biggest factors in promoting websites at the top of their results involves the act of crawling sites for original content. That involves all content, not just text and articles.
For example, look at Google’s directory for basic algorithms and SEO information. They include a video in their own post. If the search engine controlling the overall concept of SEO has videos on their pages, then there seems to be nothing but upside in including them on your own. Google, along with the rest of the search engine juggernauts, love when you are posting new content to the web. Not only are you demonstrating quality effort and care, but you are adding to the neverending world of online information. Google lives for new information and media.
Therefore, creating videos can only help your website’s SEO and rankings. But is the effort worth the reward? Is stepping away from your day-to-day to create bits of footage going to lead to a noticeable improvement in traffic?
We aren’t here to make business decisions for you, but it’s always important to note the return on investment (ROI).
Firstly, creating videos for your website requires an ample amount of something. If you are doing it personally, or in-house, you are spending valuable resources on creation (time is money). If you are outsourcing, then you are spending valuable resources on hiring other people for creation (money is money). Therefore, if you are making videos alone or with others, you need to evaluate the ROI.
Your videos may help SEO, but do they really help you?
The biggest factor in making the decision involves understanding the purpose. Many sites and companies go wrong from the jump. An offset starting with a stumble is hard to recover. Creating video content may seem like the hip or smart move, but why are you doing it? Doing something for the sake of doing something will always come off like a cardboard cutout. Here for a day, but gone when it rains.
In other words, a general audience can tell when there are no true motives or intentions behind an action. It doesn’t work.
Build Links or Shares
The first and most common reason for video creation starts with building links or establishing a brand. Videos help SEO if they were made solely for SEO, after all.
The idea of creating a video for indirect promotion or sharing is clever but has a rare chance of success. Ultimately, it’s nearly impossible to both orchestrate and create a video that becomes viral on its own accord. Basically, if you want to create a video solely for online shares, you better have a world-class team of creators or an exceptional (and I mean exceptional) idea.
Let’s take Blendtec for example. Around 15 years ago, the company began creating videos of their blenders blending random items. It didn’t translate as an advertisement for the products but more so fun experiments.
The ingenious videos spread around the internet like wildfire. Not because people wanted to share the brand, but because the videos were entertaining on their own. Just look at the viewer count; over 12 million views on an ad for a blender.
What are you getting at?
The Blendtec videos were initially created in 2007 when the internet was the wild west, and there wasn’t an endless cycle of video content available. Garnering that much attention to a random video now would take a completely unique idea, which is nearly impossible. Creating a unique video of a blender in 2007 was possible. Now? There are probably a million blender videos on Youtube alone.
Simply put: if you are creating videos just for SEO or virality, you are shooting at a rapidly-moving target. It’s probably a waste of time (unless you have a surplus of it to keep trying).
Explain a Product or Website
This purpose involves using the idea of a video for its positives: speed, clarity, and entertainment.
If you want to introduce people to the purpose of your website, show how a product works in real-time, or explain a page without a wall of text, videos can be useful. Now you have videos helping your SEO and having an actual purpose.
Ultimately, a video on your website that explains something about your website or business isn’t the best way to garner backlinks or SEO ranking, but it does help keep users on your page. These videos are helpful to the psychology and persuasion behind selling a product or service, but they aren’t crucial in increasing SEO. They help, sure, but aren’t as useful.
People are unlikely to share a video explaining a product. But they are likely to watch it if they are on your site.
Provide Actual Information
The most useful and foolproof videos for SEO are ones that provide new information to the world.
If you are an expert in your field (or have unique information) and create a video to explain useful tips or thoughts, you are more likely to get it spread around. As stated, Google and other search engines love new information. If you have something to provide that doesn’t already exist, you are automatically aiming for the top spot.
It’s like written articles. Let’s take the one you are reading, for example. We are writing it because we have unique information to share. You are reading it because it’s unique information you don’t know. This transaction of supply and demand is the main base behind search engines.
How Do They Help if Not Viral?
At this point, you may be wondering if the ROI on videos is worth it. If you don’t have a viral video of a jumping cat or blending glow stick on the back burner, how are you ever going to get attention?
Will creating videos just for the sake of content help your site’s SEO?
Absolutely. Here’s how:
Click-Through Rate Is Key
According to Brightedge, 26% of search results on Google have a video thumbnail next to them. A study by RetailDive in 2018 showed that 72% of consumers prefer videos over text marketing. Henceforth, having a video not only improves your chances of getting a click but puts you above the rest.
Only a quarter of pages on Google are using the most preferred form of information! Take advantage of that with informational videos.
Think about it this way: if you and your competition are both selling a product but your site has a video, you are more likely to get a click. Click-through rate is crucial in SEO. Having informational videos drastically improves this.
One of the biggest factors of SEO is how long a viewer stays on your page. The longer they stick around, the better Google ranks said page. If your site is filled with quick content or boring designs, you will lose viewer attention quickly. Google wants people to stick around.
Parts of your website must act as an elevator pitch to consumers. Get their attention quickly and keep it for the long haul. Videos are an excellent way to do this.
As stated, people are significantly more likely to view a video than to read text. Keeping people on your site with text involves long and intimidating writing. A video takes up less visual space and is more useful in keeping (and garnering) attention.
At the end of the day, there is a reason that websites like Youtube are more popular than Scribd.
People Are More Likely to Share Videos
Much like the reluctance to read long texts, people are often reluctant to share articles. Therefore, it’s easier to get people to spread information if it’s in video or picture format.
Though your informational or product video might not be of viral variety, it can still get people to share it if it’s useful.
There Is Less Competition
The biggest tip to improving SEO is to provide information that doesn’t already exist (as we stated multiple times). The best way to create a ranking article or page is to use keywords that are both popular and less common. If a keyword has a high rate of growth with low competition, creating a page for it will often result in increased SEO ranking.
The less competition, the easier it is to rank higher. Especially for smaller websites.
As stated, only a quarter of pages on Google have corresponding videos. Therefore, the competition is much, much smaller. Refer to the last statement. Less competition is key for SEO when starting out. Therefore, it’s easier to get a video to rank highly, making the effort worth it, if the topic is of value.
Let’s say your company sells blenders. There are millions of pages on Google about blenders and blender-based information. There are probably only thousands (if not hundreds) of videos. There is no shame in picking the lesser target. You have to start somewhere.
Therefore, Use Keywords and Trending Topics
If videos are an easier way to rank for a topic, then make sure the topic is good.
Use keyword tools like Semrush to check if the topic is trending and has low competition before making a page and video about it. Despite videos being a less-common competition, there are still some topics that have an endless array of videos. Make sure yours isn’t one of them before spending time or money on content creation.
Pick small battles to build your way up.
Do Videos Help SEO? – Conclusion
Honestly, creating a video for your page, article, or website cannot hurt SEO ranking. In fact, it can only help it. Creating original and attention-grabbing content is the base of Google, after all. As long as you have the correct intentions selected from the onset and the skills, you can help your rankings with a video and potentially strike viral gold.
The issue becomes that of ROI. If you have a plethora of time and the aforementioned ability to create quality videos, there’s nothing to lose. If you are spending money outsourcing the project, you should have concrete ideas or reasons for your videos before making them.
All in all, videos are the future (and present) of sharing information. Google’s analytics continuously work to improve the optimization of video searching, so it’s always important to jump on the train.