In this Q&A with Filip Šinko Morandini, Covideo’s PPC, SEO, and Digital Marketing Specialist, we’ll discuss what video SEO is, how video affects SEO, and how to maximize its potential in an SEO strategy.
Q: In your personal opinion, why is video content so popular nowadays?
A: I would say that this question has several answers on two different levels. The first one refers actively to our human nature – we are visual creatures by nature. We process visual content 60 000 times faster than text, while video conveys stronger emotions and explains ideas very quickly. Such behavior has direct connotations with modern lifestyle; we live in a world of high pace, we bring work home, and we have very little time to read, especially while we are at work.
The second reason why video is so popular is the direct consequence of rapid technological growth in digital marketing. As we are likely to spend more time on a web page that features an engaging video, Google recognizes this video and the web page as something valuable for us.
With its constant algorithm updates, this will result in a better ranking in the SERPs. YouTube, the second most popular search engine in the world with over a billion users, is the best example which shows why is video important. It’s fair to say that YouTube introduced a habit of watching videos online to a broad range of people. Also, creating and sharing video content has never been easier then it’s today.
Q: What are the ways people can integrate video content on their web page and can you give us some tips?
A: From the SEO perspective, it’s important not to publish a video on a web page without a supporting written content. A video should never be the main content on a web page: it’s hard for Google’s crawler to identify what to do with such a web page and why should it show it in the SERPs.
Probably the easiest way to embed a video on a web page is to upload it on YouTube and then insert it on the web page. There are many pros for this video integration, but I’ll mention the three most important ones:
- It fits web pages of all scales whereby smaller sites can save money on video hosting
- It’s easy to implement – you need to copy/paste the embed code on the web page
- Google owns YouTube (which is the 2nd most popular search engine in the world) – video advertising opportunities are endless while users can find the video on both places
If you decide not to use YouTube for embedding video onto your web page (e.g., we at Covideo upload our videos directly through WordPress’ platform), there are different ways you can enrich your website content with video: using HTML5 video player, Vimeo (similar to YouTube but with more options for customization) or via Flash Player (not very popular and advisable nowadays).
Q: How does Google react to video content on a web page?
A: For Google, everything is about helping the user to solve his problem.
Since we all love visual content, Google will improve rankings of web pages with the most useful content.
However, as I’ve said before, a video shouldn’t be the principal piece of content on any web page at least from the SEO’s point of view. Google’s crawlers scan web pages, their meta tags, and the main content. Google can also crawl the video if it’s in the right format, but it has some hard time extracting meaning from the audio and video of the file. John Mueller, the Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, advises that you should always provide supporting written content on a web page with a video on it. Mueller recommends providing a transcription or a comment about the video.
Q: Are there any significant numbers and stats that support the practice of including a video on a web page?
A: Absolutely! According to Renderforest, video content will make more than 2/3 of all traffic on the Internet in 2019. Most of it will be due to the increase in the popularity of YouTube and videos on other social networks like Facebook. However, there are also two vital stats that go in favor of including videos on your web page, blog articles or product descriptions:
- According to WordStream, the average user spends 88% more time on a web page with video
- According to Unbounce, using video on a web page can increase conversion by 80%
Also, a video doesn’t just increase marketing results when included on a web page. When attached to an email with a video email software like Covideo, video can boost click-through rates by 300%, says Margot Mazur from HubSpot.
Q: How to measure success?
A: Every video marketing strategy should have a clear and measurable goal – driving web traffic, boosting brand awareness or getting new prospects – it depends on what you’re trying to achieve. From the SEO perspective, a video should improve rankings of its page. One of the factors that Google takes into account when determining the rank of the web page is the dwell time, or more commonly known – time spent on a page. A video is a unique content type for that – users tend to watch videos and therefore spend more time on a web page. How can you check your progress? Check the Avg. Time on Page metric in Google Analytics.
Another essential factor that can affect SEO strategy efforts is the number of visits to your web page. Uploading a video to YouTube, which is an incredibly sharable type of content, and creating backlinks with potentially high CTRs that will drive users to a web page is one of the methods to boost onsite traffic.
Q: What are your thoughts on subtitled videos?
A: Subtitles are a must for video marketing, no doubt whatsoever.
First of all, fewer than 1 in 20 Americans are deaf, meaning that they can’t hear our audio. Captioning our video is a must for all the users that can’t or have trouble hearing and are in our target audience.More than 8 billion Facebook video views occur every day. Eighty-five percent of Facebook users watch their videos on mute.
The reason for that isn’t fundamental – the numbers speak for themselves.
That is particularly significant for marketers that target B2B companies with their video marketing strategy. Many of their end users are in the office when watching video content, and can’t watch them with the sound turned on.
There are also other benefits and metrics that go in favor of captioning videos. Viewers are more engaged with captioned videos; they watch a video to completion, while subtitles increase video’s social reach.
However, as an SEO and PPC marketer, I always love to throw some stats and benefits of a subtitled video from Google’s perspective.
Q: How can video subtitles benefit a company’s marketing and SEO?
A: There are many SEO best practices for using subtitles, captions, and transcripts for online videos. With the rising popularity of video content, these SEO techniques should be taken seriously into account from all marketers – those with massive and those with small video marketing budgets.
Regarding transcripts – I already mentioned that video shouldn’t be the primary content on a web page. The best practice is to textually describe what’s the video about or write a transcription of the video. This way marketers can increase search traffic and align their video marketing efforts with their overall SEO strategy.
Repurposing old videos into blog posts and vice versa is just another level of creating a great content experience for both users and search engines. Another reason that spokes in favor of subtitling videos are a very logical one – if videos with subtitles have a longer watch time, it means that users will spend more time on a web page with a video with subtitles included in it.
It will ultimately increase the dwell time and, in the long run, help improve the overall search ranking of the web page. By adding closed captions to videos, marketers can make Google’s crawler determine what’s the video about and rank it better according to the user’s search query.
To conclude, creating appealing video content has never been easier. Also, creating subtitles, closed captions and transcripts has also never been easier. And the results are worth the while.