The Rise of Video and How it Impacts Your SEO

January 4, 2016

Video is not just a passing fad anymore. It has become an integral, even dominant part of the web. YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and its third most popular website. Every day, over 100 million people watch videos online, spending over 16 minutes watching video ads alone each month.

Video is particularly useful for employing SEO techniques since YouTube and other video properties dominate the search results. On that note, here are 4 ways in which video can drive search engine traffic to your website:

  1. Boost your SERP Rankings

A 2009 Forrester study stated said that web pages with videos are 53 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results. If your video answers the search query, your page is likely to come up higher in search result page.

By any measure, this number is likely to have increased exponentially today.

To improve your SERPs, bet on informative videos rather than funny videos that go viral once in a while. Keep your videos short – ideally less than 4 minutes. Consider transcribing your script so that spiders can crawl through your content and check whether it is relevant to a query (since search engines can’t ‘read’ videos yet).

  1. Get More Clicks

Rich-video snippets or thumbnails of videos beside search results get clicked up to 41% more than plain text results. YouTube (and other such video hosting websites) automatically create such snippets for you. Unfortunately, they also direct users to their own domains, not yours.

The solution is to embed videos on your own website. Snippets of these videos can then show up in search results, netting your more visitors.

  1. Control Bounce Rates

Your average user has an attention span of just 8 seconds. Most users ‘scan’ a webpage; after landing on your site, if they don’t like what they see within seconds, they’re likely to leave.

As you might imagine, this hurts your bounce rate. A poorly engaged readership is not only less likely to convert, it is also likely to affect your search engine rankings (since bounce rate is a ranking factor).

Once again, video is the solution. Human beings are visual creatures; we process information faster when we view it in the visual form (by one estimate visuals are 60,000 times easier to process than text). Since video is entirely visual, it can help keep visitors engaged longer and reduce bounce rates.

This higher engagement can also result in better conversions. A study on e-commerce sites revealed that video viewers stayed on a domain for at least 2 minutes longer and were 64% more likely to buy something from there.

Of course, it goes without saying that you should place your videos ‘above the fold’ – the area you see just as you open the website – without having to scroll down to see the additional content. Else you’ll lose all the bounce rate benefits of videos.


  1. Create Quality Backlinks

Videos are an essential type of content marketing that’s often easier to consume than articles – especially when their purpose is to convey information about something. Videos with useful information get shared more and are thus, important tools for link building. In fact, with some simple hacks and services, you can even get backlink credit every time someone re-embeds your video on another site.

Besides easier consumption, videos get more backlinks for another reason: there are just too few of them going around. While there might be hundreds, if not thousands of articles on the same topic, there are only a handful of videos vying for your audience’s attention. This means that every video you create helps you stand out, and earn more backlinks.

Closing Words

Video is here to stay. With faster internet connections, easier access, and better content quality, video consumption is set to explode in the next few years. Data already shows that video consumption doubled YoY in Q4 2014. With Facebook video, this is only going to increase even more in the future.

It doesn’t matter whether you are executing internet marketing strategies, PPC or SEO – you need more video in your marketing mix..

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