Does video help with SEO?

Does video help with SEO?

Posted by Ryan Prior | 5th October 2018 | SEO

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:

Being awesome.

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?

Dwell Time

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.

Backlinks

I’ll assume a basic knowledge of what backlinks are & how they help search rankings.

A top quality video to enhance your content can make your asset much more ‘linkable’, leading to better rankings.

If a writer is putting together content, they’re naturally going to link to content that helps to support their points, or provides related further reading. In the previous paragraph you’ll notice I linked to a Wistia study, and I’ve also linked several other URLs throughout this article.

Check out this example from the Moz blog ‘Whiteboard Friday’ series. Their approach using a video & transcription generates thousands of backlinks; this URL alone has over 600 backlinks from nearly 200 referring domains:

https://moz.com/blog/long-tail-seo-target-low-volume-keywords-whiteboard-friday

Relating this back to video again, it really comes down to how the video is used. If your content is excellent and it makes people want to share it with their readers and cite it as a resource, it can be a big advantage.

If given the option, I know i’d rather refer my readers to a quality video, infographic, or other rich media that explains my argument, compared to a plain text article.

To back up my point once again: a study by Animoto found that 4x as many customers would prefer to watch a video demonstrating a product, vs. reading about it.

The Bottom Line

Awesome content performs well in search engines, and quality videos make your content more awesome. That’s the bottom line to take away from this (and it’s also how I could have answered in 5 seconds, rather than 5 minutes…).

Blog Comments

This is a brilliant article!! Well written and full of interesting content.. Video is awesome, I’m a believer, it won’t be long before the rest of the world is too! 😁⚡ Love it!

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