Is YouTube important? The short answer is yes, absolutely! Today, online videos are a necessity and a key area which marketers need to focus on. According to a recent research, spending on online video alone is projected to grow 21% every year until 2019.
However, the question on everyone’s mind is, “what’s in it for us?”. The fact is that though online video platforms like YouTube offer a lot to businesses, it is often challenging to measure their exact benefit.
Before we get into the discussion of why YouTube is important for you and how it impacts your business, let’s look at what it is.
According to YouTube itself, “YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small.” In layman terms, this is a website which provides users the opportunity to upload interesting and inspiring video content which others can view. Through the years, YouTube has grown from a website dedicated to music content to something phenomenal which provides all sorts of information in the form of a video. The best thing about YouTube; and one of the reasons why it is so popular, is because instead of reading through boring instructions and manuals, users can simply watch a video.
The website, which was first created in February 2005 was later bought by Google Inc. in November 2006. Since then, YouTube has become a platform for businesses to grow in terms of traffic and revenue. So if you weren’t already making use of this 3rd most visited website in the world, it’s time you started thinking about it immediately.
The Upside of Integrating SEO with YouTube
The question on every marketer’s mind is, “how exactly do YouTube videos affect my website’s SEO? How can I use it in my content marketing strategy?”. To answers these questions, we have come up with four ways that videos help your search engine rankings and how you can make most of them.
SERP’s Are Important to Google
As with any online marketer, your one goal will be to rank on Google’s first page. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. However, if you look at the study conducted by Forrester, you can see that they say that, “pages with video are 53x more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results.” Though this study is old, Google still prioritizes video results and puts you on the top when you have video content.
One of the major reasons why video marketing has a higher chance to rank as compared to plain content is because Google’s search algorithm is now focused on quality content instead of overly keyword optimized content. Today, Google doesn’t care if you have optimized individual pages on your website to a particular keyword but about whether your website’s content provides information that the user is looking for.
Keeping this in mind, you should note that is not only important to post viral videos, but useful content that really brings something to the table. Here are a couple of ways you can achieve this goal.
- Don’t post videos that are longer than 5 minutes because user engagement falls between 4-5 minutes. If your YouTube video is any longer than the, the user’s interest will decrease.
- Write long descriptions which tell the user what your video is all about. If you are presenting a how-to video, also mention the entire process in text form so the viewer doesn’t need to play and replay that video.
- Though Google is really good at parsing videos for meaning, text will help the spiders crawl to your content. So make sure you are focusing on quality over there as well.
Videos are Interactive
One of the most interesting thing about videos is that they have a 41% higher click rate than plain text. Why does this happen? Well, when video snippets are placed beside search results, they advertise the quality video content and as a result make embedded videos stand out on a text-only platform.
The trick that YouTube does here is to create these snippets automatically because they understand just how powerful these thumbnails are. However, don’t depend on YouTube to take care of all your dirty work because though these snippets will take the viewer to YouTube, it won’t drive any traffic to your website. As a result, though you will be getting a lot of views, you won’t be able to take advantage of any SEO benefits.
Because you have worked hard to create these informational videos, it is important that you reap their benefits by directing the traffic to your website’s landing page. Here are a couple of ways you can make sure that the traffic comes directly to your site.
- Experts suggest that you should always embed your videos directly to the website so YouTube can’t monopolize your share of traffic.
- Remember to add rich video thumbnails which lure the reader into clicking the intriguing preview.
Videos Help People Stay
An average person’s online attention span is less than 8 seconds. This piece of information can be quite scary when you consider that a high bounce rate will hurt your website’s overall SERP ranking. If you use text to explain your business or product, the chances are you will lose the attention of most of your visitors. If you use an explainer video instead, you have more time to explain without the risk of visitors losing interest. Moreover, people leaving your platform after visiting a single page isn’t really a good way to sell a product. So what’s the best way you can keep viewers engaged? Give them an interesting video.
Back in 2012, Google introduced a metric into their algorithm called “dwell time”. This Dwell Time’s responsibility was to monitor the time a user spends on a website after clicking through the SERP. In a nutshell, the longer a user spent, the more likely it was that the content was relevant to their query. As a result, such sites were given more clout by Google through “Page Authority”.
An interesting piece of information revealed by a comScore Study showed that, “visitors who view video stay two minutes longer and are 64% more likely to make a purchase.” This shows you just how important high dwell time and low bounce rates can be to your SEO ranking. Here are a few ways you can benefit from both these features.
- First, calm down if you see a bounce rate of 50% or lower because this is normal.
- Forget creating sensationalized headlines to attract visitors, be honest about what you are offering otherwise the visitor will feel betrayed and never return for a second visit.
- Experts tell us to embed videos ‘Above the Fold’. This fold is the imaginary line where viewers need to score to see further content. Most browsers have it around 600 pixels so make sure you embed your video above this point.
If you are integrating your SEO strategies correctly into video marketing and YouTube, you will be able to see results in an instant. These videos can be worth more than all the search engine hacks, tips and tricks combined. So make the right decision, implement your online marketing with YouTube videos and watch your site’s rankings climb.
Increasing Brand Awareness with YouTube
When you post a video on YouTube, it takes a life of its own. This video can be viewed by thousands of users and can even be shared on a number of websites, blogs, social media and emails. What you need to do as a business is to tailor the video you are posting according to your user’s needs and requirements. Doing this will send your brand message through to the YouTube crowd, which in turn will help you generate traffic from the people who visit YouTube.
When you want to increase brand awareness through YouTube, you should remember that it’s not about individual videos or tutorials. But rather, it’s about efforts which help in promoting the brand as it is seen on television. Experts in the brand marketing area suggest that you shouldn’t only focus on one single video but should instead think bigger and make a strategy for your brand’s recognition. While single videos of a brand may get lost in the tons of videos (300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute) which are posted on YouTube daily, many small videos will have a higher chance of getting recognized and seen.
Moreover, when you are making and uploading a video, remember that your objective should be to deliver quality to the viewer. Develop something which is entertaining for the viewer to enjoy so they can unwind from the daily routine. The perfect example of such an advertisement series is the Old Spice videos which gained popularity in 2010 and were splendidly addictive from beginning to end.
Here are a few tried and tested techniques which you can use to post engaging video content which increase brand awareness.
1. What do you want viewer to do once he has watched your video on YouTube? Do you want them to visit your website, buy your product, subscribe for more videos or leave a comment? Whatever you want to do, know that you need to create a call to action within the video. When you want to maximize awareness, you need to have an end goal in mind which needs to be followed.
2. As with the Old Spice and Red Bull adverts, you need to remember to keep your videos brief and engaging. Though it can be tough to get the attention of viewer, it is even tougher to keep it. This is why you need to have a message that is quick, precise and brief. As discussed, the average person’s online time span has gone down to 8 seconds and if you want your customers to get engaged, you need to offer something truly magical in the first few seconds of the video.
3. Creating generic video content will prove to be useless for your brand recognition. One of the best ways to find your unique niche is to look for similar videos and find out what’s not being covered and focus on that. If you are selling a product or service, have an edge to the message that competitors don’t.
Once you have started posting content on YouTube for brand awareness, you can keep track of your views, likes, comments and shares with the help of YouTube metrics. This information will give you insight into which videos are working and which are not cutting it. With some luck and intelligence, your next YouTube video will go vitals and your brand message will spread to hundreds of thousands.
Driving Traffic to Your Website
YouTube, with its impressive three billion views daily, can help you gain traffic. As an online marketer, there is a lot of incredible potential if you use the right strategy and use YouTube to its fullest. If done right, your brand videos can’t only be found from within YouTube itself but it also has the opportunity to get indexed inside Google’s search engine result pages and shared across social networking platforms and blogs.
However, the thing about creating and posting videos on YouTube is that there is no bank where you can trade in your likes and views for money. Instead, you need to leverage the traffic you are getting from these videos to drive traffic to your own website. Remember, though most new businesses think that driving traffic means creating viral videos which has millions of views, this is not exactly true.
Instead, the quality of the views you are getting is a lot more important that their quantity. As with text content, Google’s algorithm track the number of minutes the viewer is watching the video and will rate it accordingly.
Your goal with these YouTube videos should be to build rapport with viewers so that when they come to your website, and are ready and motivated to take action. As a results, you’ll not only be driving traffic, but converting that traffic as well.
YouTube is known to be the 2nd largest search engine (after Google) and has a lot to offer to businesses today. Though it already has a huge impact on everything from SEO to organic traffic, there is still a long way to go. To benefit from YouTube, you should be fully invested and make sure that you are aware of the trends being followed both by your competitors as well as YouTube.
Get in touch with the experts at AOKMarketing today to know more about how YouTube can help your business. We’ve helped several brands find success with the help of YouTube, and can help you as well.