If you’ve been around digital marketing for a hot minute, you remember the day Google released their Panda update and crowned Content as the new King of online marketing.
And if you weren’t there, you have definitely heard the Content Is King phrase at least once.
However, back in 2012, when YouTubers weren’t mega-stars and YouTube itself was still a toddler, most “content” referred to written content.
Times, they are changing – and these days, studies show that more than 500 million hours of videos are watched every day (on YouTube alone!). Even more, 87% of digital marketers use video content to amplify their efforts.
Sure, there’s a lot of video content and a lot of it is watched.
But does that make video content an actual Search Engine Optimization ranking factor?
We have plunged into the topic for you – so read on if you want to find out more.
Is Video an Actual Ranking Factor?
Back in the day, ranking factors used to be more or less clear – but as soon as Google algorithm updates started to pour in, these factors also started to change. Sometimes, ranking factor differences between one update and the other are hardly noticeable. Other times, they only target specific types of sites (e.g. Google Medic targeted medicine-related websites). And other times, these ranking factors can change overnight (such as in the case of the then-dreaded Mobileggedon, in 2015).
Officially, there is no clear information to show that videos are an actual ranking factor (such as in the case of spammy links, for example, where the ranking factor has been established for years and it stuck with the algorithm throughout all the following updates).
However, this doesn’t mean you should not consider videos (or even worse, label them as useless from an SEO point of view). And here is why:
- There are industry studies showing a strong relationship between videos and content that ranks higher on the search engines. Like this study, for example.
- A video is approximately 50 (!!!) times more likely to pop in the Search Engine Results Page than a normal web page.
- A blog post that includes at least one video is more likely to be naturally shared, giving you the opportunity to build more backlinks organically, with no extra effort put into this.
- Videos can decrease the Bounce Rate because they capture your users’ attention for a larger amount of time than written content does. This might be related to the fact that most people can find some sort of emotional connection in videos, or it might simply be related to the fact that the attention span of an average internet user stops at around eight seconds.
No, videos might not be an actual, Google-confirmed ranking factor. But they can be a complete game changer for pretty much anyone doing online marketing (which, at this point in time, should be pretty much everyone). Regardless of whether you are an educational institution or a business, including videos in your entire content marketing strategy will benefit you from at least one point of view.
How Do You make Videos that Actually Rank High?
Video marketing might not (officially or directly) affect your site’s SEO.
But it does have a huge influence (as shown in the previous part of this article).
The higher your video ranks, the more likely it is that it will have a positive impact on your site’s ranking.
But what are the ranking factors for videos and how do you “make it”, given the staggering amount of video content produced every day?
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Create genuinely qualitative video content. Tossing some photos in a slideshow with a royalty-free musical piece on the background might have semi-worked in 2008. But given how much video content is produced these days and what a high-quality it has (both from the videography and from the actual content-related point of view), it is of the utmost importance to create video content that looks great and offers excellent information.
The great news about this is that it’s also easier than ever to gain access to this kind of video content. For instance, Renderforest is an AI and machine learning-based automated video creation tool that allows anyone to create videos that are eye-catchy and entertaining. Basically, you just have to select the template you want and let the tool do its job. But if you prefer creating your videos from scratch you can use a proper video editor.
2. Optimize your content for YouTube. Google and Youtube rank videos differently, so if you want to post your content on your YouTube channel (and then embed it in your written content on the site), you will first have to make sure your YouTube video is fully optimized. Some of the ranking factors include:
- Brand your videos (not necessarily a ranking factor as a way to make sure people associate your videos with your brand – and that your videos aren’t simply stolen and re-posted as plagiarism);
- Include a customized thumbnail;
- Create a SEO-friendly YouTube description for each video;
- Create an SEO-friendly title for your YouTube description;
- Choose the right keywords and categories in YouTube;
- Create videos that are long enough to provide information and entertainment, but not long enough to become boring (a short video should be of about 2 minutes and a long one between 7 and 10 minutes);
- Be recurrent in your video marketing efforts (posting one video now and another one next year will not yield the results you are looking for).
3. Share your videos. Make your channel known, make your video style known. Share your video content on all of your social media channels and embed them in as many blog posts as you can (both those that go on your site and those you submit as guest posts to other sites).
4. Embed videos in your content. If you have embedded your videos in the core content of your site, make sure to create a video index and submit it to Google Webmaster. This might not help with ranking the videos higher per se, but it will help Google determine what your site is all about and rank it accordingly.
Video marketing can change everything for you and your business. Aside from the positive influence it can have on your SEO efforts, video content can also bring users closer to you. It can help you create a closer connection to your customers. It can help you understand them better – and help them understand you better as well.
Video marketing can push your business towards new heights!