Video Content and SEO
The research found three cases in which companies have used video content to boost their SEO rankings. Dollar Shave Club created a viral video that ultimately propelled it to rank for over 300,000 keywords. Brian Dean of Backlinko increased the traffic to one page of his site by 652% through a number of steps, one of which was adding video. And Wall Street Oasis found that adding video systematically throughout their site increased organic traffic by 4%. These cases are described in more detail below.
Case 1: Dollar Shave Club
- Dollar Shave Club is an online retailer of grooming products for men.
- As they were launching, Dollar Shave Club added an amusing video explaining their concept. The video was meant to inform potential customers about their products as well as to increase brand awareness.
- The video went viral and greatly increased their search rankings. It provided over 18,000 backlinks a month for the first year, including from high authority sites like Forbes and Bloomberg. It earned over 90,000 backlinks in the first year after it was published.
- In an analysis of keyword ranking results, Single Grain found that Dollar Shave Club ranked for between 300,000 and 1.5 million keywords. In comparison, their competitor Gillette only ranked for between 30,000 and 70,000.
- Sales also increased immensely after posting the video. Within 24 hours, Dollar Shave Club had earned 12,000 subscribers to their razor delivery service.
Case 2: Backlinko
- Backlinko is a blog by Brian Dean that explains how to optimize sites for search.
- In one post, Dean explains that he increased the organic traffic to one of the articles on his site by 652%. While he used several strategies, he notes that including video content was an important factor because it helped him optimize the site for user intent.
- The video content he added to the post was of him explaining tips to optimize a website's content for search. For example, his video "More Organic Traffic (Fast)" explains tips for increasing organic traffic to a website.
Case 3: Wall Street Oasis
- Wall Street Oas is is an online community dedicated to connecting people looking for careers in finance.
- In a post on Moz, the founder of Wall Street Oasis explains that they conducted a study where they changed a number of variables on over 170 pages of their website to improve SEO. One of the changes was systematically adding relevant video content throughout their site, relevant to the particular page (for each page, the particular video content was different). In one example, they included a video of tips for digital interviewing on a post about how to interview for jobs at Bank of America.
- Analyses showed that adding video was responsible for a 4% increase in organic traffic.
Why Does Video Content Increase Organic Traffic in SERPs by 157%?
- There is some evidence that Google prioritizes sites that have video content. Their algorithm gives preference to sites with video content above other sites. Since Google's algorithm gives preference to sites with videos, they are more likely to rank higher in search and are therefore get more organic traffic.
- Videos reduce a site's bounce rate. The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that visit a site without taking an action like clicking a link or making a purchase. Pages with lower bounce rates rank higher in search.
- Videos increase the time users spend on a page. People spend about 2.6 times more time on pages with videos than they do on pages without videos. Google considers "dwell time", or the time users spend on a page, as a factor in determining page rankings. The longer users spend on a page, the better that page ranks on SERPs.
- Videos earn backlinks from other websites. Backlinks are a very important factor in SERP rankings and increase organic traffic.
Why Does Adding Thumbnails of Humans Increase Clicks?
- Several sites suggest that videos with thumbnails that have humans in them receive more views than videos with non-human thumbnails. There have been several proposed reasons for this.
- It could be because people are drawn to displays of emotion. Thumbnails with people showing emotion could be especially appealing to viewers, and so they may be clicked more often.
- Others have suggested that humans in thumbnails are easier for an audience to connect with. People are more likely to click on videos when a connection has been established.
- Another possible reason is that the human eye may be naturally drawn to faces. Some suggest that faces catch our attention faster than other types of images.