It’s imminently clear that video has become an essential element of a full-scale content marketing campaign. All of the data points to an online content landscape that is quickly favoring video. The increasing number of mobile users is forcing content marketers to focus on video, as statistics show mobile users are three times more likely to view video than their computer-user predecessors.
Combine these stats with the fact that 96% of online shoppers watch online videos. Those who have watched a video on the product or service they are shopping for are 144% more likely to purchase. What we have is a growing mobile audience seeking videos to validate their online shopping.
You’d think these figures would be enough of a reason for a company to invest the time and energy to produce videos showcasing their products or services, but there are also tremendous Search Engine Optimization benefits to be had by doing so.
Let’s start with the most frequently utilized video hosting service — YouTube. YouTube videos are hugely popular not only with the online viewing public, but also with Google’s search. (Who’d have guessed Google would love their own properties?) 80% of videos that show up in a Google video search come from YouTube, while standard search frequently provides a YouTube video inside of the top 10.
The ORM and SEO Bennies
From an Online Reputation Management perspective, YouTube provides a near-certain opportunity to control a link in a search for your brand, equating the importance of video hosting to near that of Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, from an SEO perspective, YouTube (and several other video hosting services) offers numerous opportunities to optimize for key phrases important to your niche. Adding an appropriately accurate title that hits on the important keywords in your niche, combined with a useful description with a link back to your main site provides an excellent chance for some SEO juice.
Video for Small Biz
It is especially important for small- and medium-sized businesses to produce videos when seeking local mobile shoppers. With mobile shoppers being more inclined to watch videos, and online shoppers more likely to purchase after watching a video, having a video rank in a local search for a business’s product or service should help to drive high-conversation traffic to the business. Even if the business is in a highly competitive niche, a video can help showcase the product or service enough to help build confidence in the buyer, as consumers who watched a video about a product or service were 85% more likely to buy.
Getting a Bit More Technical
Apart from being a useful sales and branding tool, what else can video do for your SEO? Videos can be great at corroborating your company’s niche. By using the right keywords and terms in the video description and title, you’re building relevancy for your niche keywords.
With the recent arrival of Google’s Hummingbird relevancy engine, having your video’s description, title and meta description tags (if you chose to embed the video on your site) match up with the material on your site and throughout your other content venues will help build relevancy for your brand. Going a step further, you can utilize the Open Graph elements of YouTube and other video hosting sites to further provide relevant links.
By posting an Open Graph link on the company Facebook or Twitter pages you can create relevant backlinks back to the video that then lead back to the company’s main site where the video is embedded. You can even go as far as to post the video on your site in HTML5 format to speed up site load times. Then, have the video link back to whatever video hosting service you choose to host it on as well (presumably YouTube), which will further help build the all-so-important relevancy for Hummingbird.
Ultimately, content marketing is about connecting with your audience and building interest in your product. With the rise of mobile usage, the increasing usage of HTML5 and Open Graph, and the overwhelming video-viewing data, businesses need to take the hints and begin incorporating video into their overall content strategies.
Jonathan Silver is the SEO Executive and Brand Manager for 29 Prime, a web marketing firm specializing in helping small and mid-sized business. If you found this article helpful or interesting, reach out to Jonathan and the rest of the team on the company Twitter.