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Video Content for SEO

Video killed the radio star…but it doesn’t kill your SEO. These days, video seems to be everything. The little clips that just about anyone can create with their phones are making people famous. But what can video do for your business? Can it improve your rankings? Is the effort and energy that needs to be spent creating solid, informative video content valuable for your search engine optimization?

Is video content valuable to SEO?

In short—yes it is. But why it is can be a bit more complicated.

When we think about SEO, we often focus on key phrases, meta descriptions, and title tags. Is video going to help with any of these? Probably not. But there’s more to SEO than what we’ve just listed. 

Video helps in two main areas: time spent on the page and backlinks. Both of these contribute to the authority of that page. According to Checkerboard Digital Marketing & Design, “A page with a high authority will get a boost for its primary keywords and usually ranks for more keywords.” Though we can never know exactly what Google is using to sort its search engine results pages (SERPs), educated research has found that page authority makes a difference.

How does video help with:

Time Spent on Page?

If you have a compelling video embedded on your page, the viewer will spend the time to view that video, perhaps even more than once. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Wistia estimates, “People spent on average 2.6x more time on pages with video than without.” The longer the time spent on your page, the better that page’s authority, and therefore, Google will see fit to give you a boost when it comes to that page’s keywords. 

However, not all video content is going to have this effect. Your video content must:

  • Be of value to your viewer. Compelling content engages the viewer. Video without meaning or merit can only hurt your authority.
  • Be embedded on your site. You will not get the credit for the time spent viewing if it diverts to another site to view the video (though it should be hosted on YouTube as well).
  • Be relevant to the page it is on. The video should support the page, not be the page.


Backlinks are links from another website/page, back to yours, and they are valuable. The more that you have, the more important Google believes your page to be. Videos are easy and effective things to share, and they are shared often. 

Consider social media—it is the business of social media to encourage shares. Each one of those shares, with a backlink to your page, raises your page authority. Make sure you are posting all your videos to your social media pages with links to the page they originate from. And ask your followers to share if they value the content.

Even better than social media shares are backlinks from esteemed sites. In fact, it appears that backlinks from .edu and .org pages give even more authority than .coms. This highlights the importance of informative, inspiring, and entertaining video content. Each creation should have obvious worth and utility.

Another thing to consider…

When a search engine result has embedded video on their page with properly structured data, it will show up on the results page as a rich snippet. This will look different than the standard snippets around it, typically with a little video clip shown on the lefthand side. People are more likely to click on this result because of that fun video clip in the snippet. Another boost for your SEO!

Does video kill the written content star?

No, absolutely not! Video only helps SEO where it can, with the page’s authority; written content is still the vital element to your SEO. In fact, it is important to make written and video content work together for rankings.

Transcriptions and Stand-alone Content

There are two ways to go about integrating video and written content. It is essential to choose one or both of these techniques. You can transcribe the audio and include it in the metadata of your page and/or expand upon that video in the written content of the page. Text is indexable by Google and will give you a better chance at ranking for your keywords, according to Lemonlight. Video without a transcript or related written content is a giant missed opportunity for SEO.

What is a targeted strategy for video content?

Video content shouldn’t ever sit alone on a page, it should be used to enhance a page. Consider using a video in conjunction with written content, to illustrate a point, explain a process, or enhance an idea. Or if the video is the star of the page, create written content to support it and make sure that the transcription is present in the metadata. 

Still, there is more to video content strategy than what we’ve discussed. A solid blueprint is to:

  1. Start by creating relevant video content. Teach something, give something of value, make someone laugh, etc.
  2. Ensure the content is appropriate to the page. Solid videos on their corresponding key pages.
  3. Embed the video on your site, but host it on YouTube as well. (Lemonlight insists that Google rates videos hosted on YouTube higher!)
  4. Create consistently worthy content.
  5. Transcribe the audio and/or utilize written content to rank for keywords.
  6. Push your video on all of your social media channels. This drives more views. Encourage viewers to share and link.

Should we talk about YouTube?

Oh yes! YouTube is huge for video content. In fact, it is the #2 most popular search engine in the world according to Search Engine Journal. Though it will never be the behemoth that Google is, it is still an excellent tool. We will have more on optimizing for YouTube in a later blog.

What did we learn?

We learned that video is another terrific opportunity to improve our SEO and page authority. Like in all things, shoddy work will bring equally shoddy results. So, creating strong and relevant video content, indexing it appropriately, embedding it on our site and social channels, transcribing and surrounding it with excellent written content, and continuing to post consistently will lead to positive results.

For help with SEO solutions, contact us at Acquire Internet Marketing, your local SEO expert. We strive to keep our clients informed on all things of value in regards to our SEO services, serving Northern Colorado, Denver, Boulder, Longmont, and beyond. Get your Free SEO Analysis today and start optimizing your website to succeed!

And while you’re here, take a look at our blogs Do Hashtags Affect SEO? and How-to SEO Tutorial: Basics.

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