Shawn Forno

Boost engagement and traffic. Shareaholic powers digital marketing.


You can trace video marketing as an SEO tool back to May 16th, 2007 – the day Google introduced “Universal Search.”

Today, we take blended search results – video, text, PDF, blogs, and images – for granted, but just a few years ago people used to have to dig for video online. I know, it sounds barbaric.

But what’s more shocking is that here we are, seven years after blended results changed the way people search, and most marketers still haven’t realized how important video is for SEO.

Rob Toledo, a user engagement and bounce rate specialist at Shutterstock, says:

No longer just an interesting add-on, video has become an important feature for anyone concerned with SEO, conversion rates, or brand recognition. That’s pretty much everyone, then.

So how exactly does video marketing affect your site’s SEO, and how can you use it in your content marketing strategy? Below are four key SEO metrics, and some best practices for using video to climb the search engine rankings:

Videos Rank in SERPs

Ranking on the Google’s first page is an SEO’s top priority, so it is difficult to ignore the 2009 Forrester study that says “pages with video are 53x more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results.” Yes, that study is five years old, but the point remains – Google SERPs prioritize video results.

Why is video marketing 53x more likely to rank than plain text content? A number of factors influence ranking, but a big one is a recent Google search algorithm update – Hummingbird – which prizes “quality content” over keyword optimization.

Eric Sui at Entrepeneur.com describes the shift in search results:

Google now cares less about whether you’ve optimized each individual page on your site to a particular keyword and more about whether your page’s content answers the question presented by the search user.

Gareth Davies at WordTracker, claims that as much as “80% of the video content served up in SERPs are informational videos.” So, the results aren’t simply viral lolcat videos, but rather useful content that answer queries. Enter the explosion of explainer video marketing.

Google’s Head of Web spam, Matt Cutts, estimates the Hummingbird update in September 2013 affected over 90% of search queries. The way that most people use the internet fundamentally changed, and the shift toward helpful video content in SERPs is still in full swing.

Best Practices for Video SERP:

  • Keep Your Video Short – Less than 4 minutes (engagement rates fall after 4-5 minutes).
  • Create Rich-Video Snippets – This is the thumbnail beside the description of the content on the page. Follow this nitty-gritty guide to create a video sitemap.
  • Transcribe Your Script – Even though Google is getting pretty darn good at parsing video content for meaning, transcribed text helps the spiders crawl your content for relevance.

Video Marketing SEO 4 Key Metrics

Videos Make People Click

An aimClear study shows that search results with video have a “41% higher click-through rate than plain text.” This happens primarily because of rich-video snippets beside search results.

These video thumbnails advertise quality video content and make results with embedded video stand out in a text-only wasteland.

YouTube automatically creates these thumbnails (they understand how powerful snippets are), but don’t rely on YouTube to do the dirty work for you. Rich video snippets from your YouTube channel take users directly to YouTube – not your domain. You don’t garner any SEO benefits from lost traffic, even if you’re getting loads of views.

You’ve worked hard to create a valuable video, so reap the rewards (read: traffic) by embedding the video directly to your site – like on a landing page with a clear call to action. YouTube, Vimeo, and self-hosting providers like Wistia, offer increased reach, but nothing beats the SEO benefits of landing page video marketing right on your domain.

Best Practices for High CTR:

  • Embed Video Directly to Your Site – Don’t let your video host monopolize your traffic.
  • Add Rich Video Snippets – Entice your readers into clicking with an engaging preview.

Videos Make Your Pages “Sticky”

The average online attention span is less than eight seconds. A high bounce rate – people leaving your domain after viewing a single page – will hurt your site’s SERP ranking, not to mention people leaving isn’t the best way to sell a product. Video is the easiest way to make people stay.

In 2012, Google introduced a new metric into their search ranking algorithm called “dwell time,” which monitors the amount of time users spend on a website after click-through from the SERP. The longer a user spends on a site, the more likely the content is relevant to their query. Google gives relevant sites more clout via “Page Authority.”

In 2013, Moz released their most recent Search Engine Ranking Factors – a comprehensive look at what makes pages rank well. The #1 SEO factor?

Page Authority.

While dwell time isn’t a perfect system for determining Page Authority (or the only factor by a long shot), it greatly enhances the algorithms’ ability to identify quality content – a key metric in the Hummingbird update. Video buys your site those crucial seconds that make all the difference.

One comScore study of retail sites shows that “visitors who view video stay two minutes longer and are 64% more likely to purchase than other site visitors.” Combine high dwell time with low bounce rates, and you’ll have a killer one-two SERP ranking punch (not to mention increased conversion rates, but that’s a story for another article).

Best Practices to Reduce Bounce Rate:

  • Embed Video “Above the Fold” – The fold is the imaginary line where users have to scroll to see additional content. On most browsers it’s around 600 pixels.
  • Use Accurate Video Titles – Don’t deceive users with sensationalized headlines. No one likes being lied to and if they feel betrayed, there’s no way they’ll return for a second visit.
  • Don’t Panic – A 50% bounce rate is ok.

Videos Build Links

In the same Moz 2013 Search Engine Ranking Factor study, the next 12 top factors directly related to SERP ranking had to do with links. Casey Henry at Moz summed up video marketing’s role in creating links when he said, “Having a video compared to just text will almost triple the average number of linking domains.” Awesome, video generates links. But why?

People are the ones creating links to your content – not bots – and people like video.

As much as us SEOs like to get in our own world of optimization, it is easy to forget that all the content we create is for users (you know, those real life people reading things everywhere).

In a world where even thoughtful articles get scanned and skimmed, videos are beacons of brevity, but also a signal of intent that yes, I want to communicate something to you. This “content” is going to be something you enjoy. Videos are informative, but easy to consume.

In another Forrester study, Dr. James McQuivey said, “A video is worth 1.8 million words,” and he wasn’t just being cheeky. If a picture is worth a thousand words, and video shoots at 30 frames per second, then a 60-second video really does contain the equivalent of 1.8 million words.

But a video’s value goes further than just being information dense or shareable. People like video because it is useful.

Josh Hardwick published a great video SEO article at Kissmetrics and in it he urged companies to make “videos that offer something to the viewer.” He goes on to say:

People don’t link to or share any old rubbish these days. So, to get the success you’re looking for, it’s important for you to really think about who you want to share the video and who you want to link to it.

Video communicates useful information quickly, and allows people a chance to sample content before committing to lengthy articles, but quality video with a specific marketing goal creates great backlinks to your site.

Gemma Holloway at Koozai wrote a brilliant post on using short video introductions to increase engagement with her written articles.

Her experiment compared two posts – one featuring a 25-second video introduction and another on the same topic with only text. The video introduction post received 200%–300% more pageviews and social shares (Facebook, G+, LinkedIn, and Twitter) than the text-only article.

Best Practices for Link-Building:

  • Embed Your Video – Building links to YouTube won’t help your SEO.
  • Focus Your Video on a Single Topic – Niche videos get shared.
  • Create High Quality Video – Amateur video makes you look unprofessional.

Quality video marketing will improve the way you approach SEO. That alone is worth more than all the search engine hacks, tips, and secrets you can dig up.

Thoughtfully supplement your inbound marketing strategy with video, and watch your website’s search rankings climb the charts.


About the author: Shawn Forno is the Content Manager of IdeaRocket, a NYC based animation studio.

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149 Responses to “How Video Marketing Creates Immediate SEO Results”

  1. Harish Bali says:

    hi

    You seem to have done lot of research in putting out facts together. well can you edit this post to contain some more info on how to do this….

    Improved SERP rank
    Higher CTR
    Lower bounce rates
    Quality backlinks

    You started your post with these 4 points and your readers would be interested in reading them too. thanks

  2. Steve says:

    Selling a video to most businesses is like trying to sell a fridge to an Inuit. I offer a quality product at a low price but most people are not interested and seem to prefer to continue spending a fortune on newspaper ads.

    • Danny Wong says:

      Marketing your services is always a bit harder than it sounds. Not all potential clients will take you seriously and they are generally comfortable spending money on things they’re more familiar with.

      Thanks for your comment!

      • Hello Danny,
        Here at Brazil is hard to work with marketing digital if you not have credibility alot.
        To be at the mercy of a man’s companies is difficult to compete with price.
        Other problems that entrepreneurs all do alone their jobs.
        We suffer through meetings that clients come to steal consulting information.
        In the end what gives some money is to sell sites and basic design, but do not submit.

  3. Nice post. Video SEO is such a good idea for marketing and convert visit to your consumer. Also video on your site makes more accessible and readable to search engine spiders.

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  6. Liz Angelene M Verano says:

    Sounds interesting and is very informative! Video marketing that creates immediate SEO results truly captures my senses because I am a result-oriented person who want instant outcome, so I am thankful then that you have shared this post to us!
    Now I can be more confident that I may able to pursue my plan with these ideas!
    Here are some tips to rank Youtube videos on the first page of google:http://www.semrush.com/blog/seo-2/video-seo-seo-2/rank-youtube-videos-first-page-google/

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  13. […] 22) Video Marketing: […]

  14. […] information you are providing, the more welcome the messages will be. You might link to relevant YouTube videos or sales pages on your […]

  15. fifocoralsea says:

    Great list of points. Very important! – I have also found that interlinking the YouTube videos does help. Totally white hat, and easy to do. Say you have 10 videos in your channel that is about the same topic as your New video. Og back to the old videos and add a link in the descrition to the New video. Just the ordinary link to play the video on YT. This helps make Google know what the New video is about.

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  48. Nitai Roy says:

    I used Video introduction in website and my site is now very slow. it takes about 6 second to load. Is this fine or my site is slow?

  49. […] Looking at expanding your customer base through the use of video at a more macro level, websites that incorporate video positively impact SEO in several ways: […]

  50. […] videos are 53 times as likely to rank for Google than simply text alone. This makes sense when you consider that Google […]

  51. […] In the words of Shawn Forno, “It’s difficult to ignore the 2009 Forrester study that says “pages with video are 53x more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results. “Yes, that study is five years old, but the point remains – Google SERPs prioritise video re… […]

  52. […] it is also the world’s second largest search engine, which means you can drive considerable SEO by producing solid videos, or having influencers make them for […]

  53. […] take a rather simple example, a page with video content is 53x more likely to appear on the first page of a Google search. This has to do with the way Google ranks its […]

  54. […] out for more in the year 2016 as videos head out to win this race and rule the various social networking platforms. This sounds really […]

  55. […] but rather useful content that answer queries. Enter the explosion of explainer video marketing.Shawn Forno the Content Manager of IdeaRocket can explain it in deeply for […]

  56. […] Why online video is the future of content marketing How Video Marketing Creates Immediate SEO Results […]

  57. This is great information. I am starting a video review on watches soon. I hope creating videos will help in engaging my readers and increase SERP.

  58. […] ranking, compared to the pages that have diverse content. It’s been said that you are as high as 53% more likely to rank on page 1 if you have video content. When customers see the ample amount of text they have […]

  59. […] a video compared to just text will almost triple the average number of linking domains. […]

  60. […] “Video is 53x more likely to rank on the first page of google searchresults. – Sharaholic, 2014” […]

  61. […] blog explains in detail how using a short, snappy video will increase your search-ability.  Google […]

  62. […] blog explains in detail how using a short, snappy video will increase your search-ability.  Google […]

  63. […] the site statistics and lead generation, video is also an awesome way to boost your SEO. Almost 80 percent of videos promoted by Google are educational videos, and many industry experts say that search engines give […]

  64. […] your site now is being encouraged more by Google. The proof is the website with video content has 53% more likely to rank on page 1, on Google search engine. The video content has been recommended to use by […]

  65. […] As Shawn Forno put it in his article “How Video Marketing Creates Immediate SEO Results”: […]

  66. […] improve your ranking on Google. According to a 2009 study quoted on this blog, web pages with videos are 53x more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results. […]

  67. […] traffic to your website, it’s important to know that sites with videos on their homepage are 53 times more likely to make it to the first page of Google search results than those without. Not only do videos bring people to your site, but visitors who view videos on […]

  68. […] these pages to push them further up the Google ranks. Andy suggests creating longer pages or adding video as some ways of doing this. If you’re short on ideas, here’s a rather handy on-page SEO […]

  69. […] these pages to push them further up the Google ranks. Andy suggests creating longer pages or adding video as some ways of doing this. If you’re short on ideas, here’s a rather handy on-page SEO […]

  70. […] these pages to push them further up the Google ranks. Andy suggests creating longer pages or adding video as some ways of doing this. If you’re short on ideas, here’s a rather handy on-page SEO […]

  71. […] these pages to push them further up the Google ranks. Andy suggests creating longer pages or adding video as some ways of doing this. If you’re short on ideas, here’s a rather handy on-page SEO […]

  72. […] these pages to push them further up the Google ranks. Andy suggests creating longer pages or adding video as some ways of doing this. If you’re short on ideas, here’s a rather handy on-page SEO […]

  73. […] these pages to push them further up the Google ranks. Andy suggests creating longer pages or adding video as some ways of doing this. If you’re short on ideas, here’s a rather handy on-page SEO […]

  74. […] these pages to push them further up the Google ranks. Andy suggests creating longer pages or adding video as some ways of doing this. If you’re short on ideas, here’s a rather handy on-page SEO […]

  75. […] these pages to push them further up the Google ranks. Andy suggests creating longer pages or adding video as some ways of doing this. If you’re short on ideas, here’s a rather handy on-page SEO […]

  76. […] these pages to push them further up the Google ranks. Andy suggests creating longer pages or adding video as some ways of doing this. If you’re short on ideas, here’s a rather handy on-page SEO […]

  77. […] these pages to push them further up the Google ranks. Andy suggests creating longer pages or adding video as some ways of doing this. If you’re short on ideas, here’s a rather handy on-page SEO […]

  78. […] these pages to push them further up the Google ranks. Andy suggests creating longer pages or adding video as some ways of doing this. If you’re short on ideas, here’s a rather handy on-page SEO […]

  79. […] these pages to push them further up the Google ranks. Andy suggests creating longer pages or adding video as some ways of doing this. If you’re short on ideas, here’s a rather handy on-page SEO […]

  80. […] 22) Video Marketing: […]

  81. John Smith says:

    Very nice article. Thank you for sharing such wonderful information.Video Marketing is a great way to drive traffic on your site ..

  82. […] Video Marketing helps your website for a better SEO (image credit) […]

  83. […] these pages to push them further up the Google ranks. Andy suggests creating longer pages or adding video as some ways of doing this. If you’re short on ideas, here’s a rather handy on-page SEO […]

  84. […] almost without exception. If anything, video’s worth the time and energy purely for the ways it can help your SEO. Embed links on your blog, and you are 53 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google […]

  85. […] almost without exception. If anything, video’s worth the time and energy purely for the ways it can help your SEO. Embed links on your blog, and you are 53 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google […]

  86. […] In some cases, Google values video 53x as much as text. […]

  87. […] In some cases, Google values video 53x as much as text. […]

  88. […] In some cases, Google values video 53x as much as text. […]

  89. […] In some cases, Google values video 53x as much as text. […]

  90. […] In some cases, Google values video 53x as much as text. […]

  91. […] In some cases, Google values video 53x as much as text. […]

  92. […] In some cases, Google values video 53x as much as text. […]

  93. […] In some cases, Google values video 53x as much as text. […]

  94. […] In some cases, Google values video 53x as much as text. […]

  95. […] In some cases, Google values video 53x as much as text. […]

  96. […] In some cases, Google values video 53x as much as text. […]

  97. […] In some cases, Google values video 53x as much as text. […]

  98. […] In some cases, Google values video 53x as much as text. […]

  99. […] in which Google works to help push your website to the top of their pages through the use of videos.Video Marketing Creates Immediate SEO Results. This process by which Google operates, that uses the power of videos to enable a much higher […]

  100. I wouldn’t be surprised if video was the future of blogging — with statistics like these, it’s hard not to believe the market won’t shift to favor video content over the written word.

  101. […] While Google SEO best practices change all the time (ask a copywriter about h1 keyword tags!) you can be sure of one thing—Google’s algorithms love video. […]

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  124. […] the success of video content marketing campaigns are a bit different. Here’s an idea of key metrics to look for in video […]

  125. […] the success of video content marketing campaigns are a bit different. Here’s an idea of key metrics to look for in video […]

  126. […] don’t just enjoy a higher CTR when they are found in searches; they also boost the performance of emails and other online messages.[3] Consider adding videos to […]

  127. […] Video has become a huge player in the online marketing industry ever since Google started prioritizing it in search. […]

  128. […] measure the success of video content marketing campaigns are a bit different. Here’s an idea of key metrics to look for in video […]

  129. […] ranking on Google goes up as well. Simply by having a video embedded on your website, Google is 53 times more likely to rank you first in searches relating to your company or product! Because they are watching a […]

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