Does having video on your web page improve your search engine rankings?
The answer is… well, yes, it can. There isn’t some innate algorithmic reward for having a video on your page. If you simply start embedding irrelevant Youtube videos on every article thinking it will help, it won’t. But let’s discuss how video can improve your SEO performance.
One thing we know for sure that does and always will help content to rank better:
It’s Google’s job to satisfy the queries a searcher has. If they fail to do that, people stop using Google, and their billions in ad revenue dries up. If a piece of content perfectly satisfies the query, it’s going to have a good shot at ranking, and then staying at the top once it’s there.
And guess what? Videos can be pretty damned good at satisfying a search query, and engaging a user.
So, which ranking signals are relevant, and how can video help?
The short version:
Using video in your content leads to a longer session time per visit, which can positively impact rankings. Let me explain.
Dwell time is a bit of a buzzword in the SEO world. And really, it isn’t even a metric in itself, or a data point that is measurable or publicly available. Rather it is a combination of things like bounce rate & time-on-page metrics.
If lots of people spend a very short amount of time on an article before clicking back to the search results and choosing another web page, Google learns that the content doesn’t have the answers people are looking for. Conversely, if a page has a particularly long dwell time, that’s a positive sign that the page has quality, relevant information.
Check this out for confirmation that Google uses machine learning in this way to impact rankings.
A study by Wistia found that video did make a clear and substantial difference to time spent on page.
In fact, their visitors spent an average of 2.6x longer on a page that had video, compared to those that didn’t.