Budget changes due to COVID-19 have reduced the use cases for video as marketers focus on crisis communication and cost-effective articles to keep content campaigns on track.
While video is more of a nice-to-have rather than a necessity in the current climate, it can still really work when used in the right circumstances. Sprinkling in a range of clips alongside a core output of news and blogs during the next two to three months will keep your summer output fresh, inventive and engaging.
Video can also do great things for your search engine optimisation efforts. This is because video always works well with a number of primary Google ranking factors and signals.
Increase dwell time
A recent study by Wistia found that the presence of a ‘video on page’ resulted in a notable spike in the average time spent on that page among the top 100 ranked pages on Google. While those with ‘no video on page’ held up surprisingly well, the inclusion of a video can keep consumers around for longer, which is always a good thing.
The study concluded that video content drove a 100% uptick in the time spent on a page on average. Videos can capture a user’s attention as soon as they navigate to a website and act as a jumping-off point for further research and product and service viewing on a website.
The key metric that Google will be on the lookout for here is ‘dwell time’, which is defined as the length of time that a user spends on a webpage after they have clicked through to that page in Google SERPs.
“Your goal should be that when a visitor lands on your page, the content answers all of their needs, encouraging their next action to remain with you. If your content does not encourage them to remain with you, they will leave. The search engines can get a sense of this by watching the dwell time,” Bing senior project manager Duane Forrester notes.
Forrester believes that a two-minute dwell time is “good” as this shows that a person has taken the time to consume content, while anything less than 10 seconds is “poor” as they will have likely navigated away almost immediately.
The absolute best target is 15 minutes. This sort of time really shows that a user found content super-useful. It answered queries, addressed problems and pain points, and did so in a way that kept them heavily invested.
Video is not always the route to longer dwell times. More in-depth written content can achieve the same goal, but video is a great tool to have in your arsenal to boost this all-important metric.
Improve page quality
Google will always have an eye on page quality as it attempts to serve up the best content to users. To improve page quality, you need to deliver valuable, relevant and insightful content. It needs to be of the highest quality and combine different forms of media.
Officially, Google states that “expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness” are major factors in how a site’s quality is determined. There are a number of methods you can pursue to achieve this.
The main content needs to be prominently displayed, immediately visible to new users, and implement a design, layout and font that make content clear and easy to see. From these basic building blocks, you can start adding visual aids to improve quality.
When writing a blog post, you probably use a stock image at the top of the page. You may also be mixing in infographics. Video is another excellent way to increase the amount of content you have on a particular page.
Video that makes a page more informative and unique will be rewarded in kind with a better page quality rating, which in turn leads to better rankings in Google. As you can see, video is never a quick fix or a silver bullet for SEO. It is just a great tool that can be used with other forms of content to improve your webpages.
The benefit of mixing and matching text and video is highlighted again by a new study showing that the inclusion of both on any given webpage can lead to a threefold increase in the amount of backlinks.
Backlinks are important as they connect web resources. When you publish valuable content, more websites will link to this great content, which can pay dividends further down the line.
All you have to do to improve the quality of your website is embed the videos you make on your webpages. E-commerce sites can also benefit here by adding videos to product pages. This can also make your website more visible in SERPs as a video thumbnail may also be included.
How to optimise videos
Now that you know how it can transform SEO, you can start planning your next piece of content. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be expensive. All you need is a YouTube channel and a short-term content roadmap.
This is content marketing, so your video needs to offer some degree of value to your audience. If the time isn’t right for video or if it is unlikely to offer any benefits, then it may be best to focus your efforts elsewhere. This is unlikely though as video is generally a great tool for educating, informing and entertaining viewers.
As many brands are in crisis mode right now, you may find more mileage in relevant, educational content. People want answers to problems and help with their concerns. Videos are worthwhile in both B2C and B2B settings, so look for something that is trending, such as remote working, and go from there.
Upload and embed
A brand-related channel on YouTube is a prime outlet for video content. Setting one up is also easy. You can create and customise your channel, verify your account, and upload an SEO-optimised clip in less than an hour. Remember to add a title, description and tags.
All there is left to do is to embed the video on your website. From this first taste of success, you can move on to creating and uploading videos consistently, maybe once or twice a week. Documenting a release schedule and sticking to it will help to develop a loyal, engaged audience. It will also do wonders for your SEO strategy and results.