All over the web, video has become the most appetizing content. Don’t believe us? Consider this data:
- 55% people watch videos online every single day.
- YouTube alone counts 1 billion hours of daily video content consumption worldwide. Think how many billions of more video hours are consumed at NetFlix, Vimeo and other video hosting sites.
- Facebook too generates a massive 8 billion video views on average per day.
So, there you go – video is on high demand!
Recent forecast from Cisco suggests that video content is going to eat up a whopping 80% of all internet traffic by 2019, if not already. Mobile video consumption rate is also rising by 100% every year on YouTube.
The search engines -Google, Bing, Yahoo- are aware of our growing appetite for video content and they have put up some new features to turn the web into a world of videos!
Have you noticed it yet? Google is featuring how-to videos as “Suggested Clips” for user queries.
These suggested clips are nothing short of amazing. Just type a popular “how-to” query in the search box (like “how to tie a lace youtube” or “how to fold a shirt video”) and Google shows you a video with the answer you are looking for.
What’s so special about these featured snippets?
The suggested clip can be viewed on the SERP page itself and, best of all, it directly jumps to the section of the video where you will find your answer.
Take a look:
(Note that not all “how-to” keyword queries will bring up the suggested clip box. Get more details on these featured snippets at Google.)
The suggested clip feature can make your “How to” content more popular by placing video results directly on the search page.
Bing and Yahoo started placing video ads in their search results back in 2015.
The ads contain a thumbnail with a play button. When you click on the thumbnail, the ad is expanded and it starts autoplaying.
Search engines other than Google are also placing video content in their search results offering more options to marketers. With video ads on the SERP page, marketers will have a higher chance to attract and convert their potential prospects.
Some users have reported autoplay videos in search results when they performed a search for movies or television shows in the browser.
Not all users will be able to see these videos as this is a part of Google’s regular A/B testing. But it indicates Google’s vested interest in enriching the SERP page with more video results. While we are not sure if this feature will roll out permanently, it sure points out to the “preferential treatment”.
Search engines are continuously seeking to design their search results around video content. In the wake of such a dynamic scenario, it becomes crucial for marketers to understand the importance of the video SEO landscape which is continuously transforming.
4. Facebook puts video first
Facebook is a world in itself, with 2 billion monthly users. Founder Mark Zuckerberg has already announced that Facebook will try and compete with Google as a search engine.
So, if we are to consider Facebook as a search engine, then here too video stands out as the most engaging format. The average video post in April 2017 captured 12.05% of the total page audience while photos and links received 11.63% and 7.81% respectively.
Facebook is featuring its native video features more prominently. Plus, Facebook’s algorithm updates give a preferential treatment to Facebook Live. While the average engagement for a live and a non-live video doesn’t show much difference, Facebook live does perform a bit better.
Overall, video might be your best bet with Facebook’s algorithm update.
If the engagement rate with non-video content continues to decline, we will see Facebook push it down continually while displaying video results at the top of news feed.
So when we think of social media as search engines, video content is still gaining prominence in this dominion but with a slight difference to the mainstream search engine giants.
Shorts videos rule on Facebook but recently there was an announcement that long-form videos will be getting priority on its news feed. That being said, Facebook still advises that the best length for your video depends on your marketing goals.
So before you turn your Facebook video strategy around, we suggest you stick to what works for your brand.
According to a Forrester study, sites with video content are 53x more likely to rank up on the first page of the Google.
One of the major reasons behind this magical rank boost is the “dwell time” metric that Google uses to judge webpages.
The dwell time metric indicates a user’s engagement with your web page. The more time your users spend on your page, the more it weighs on how high a search engine will rank it..
And what do you think is the best way to make users stay on your page? Yep, videos!
These days the majority of SaaS or technology-enabled business services use a product video on their homepage to educate and convert visitors.
These landing page videos encourage visitors to engage and stay on your site for more than 60 seconds ( that’s the basic length of an explainer video). And this is how adding a video can increase the dwell time on your site and optimise its ranking.
Having a video on your homepage can help you book a seat on the first page of Google. So if your landing page still doesn’t have a video, it is time you get one.
Google can now extract information from the videos through machine learning. Before this, search engines couldn’t understand video content and depended on the keywords and description fed by the uploader.
Google’s new Video Intelligence API enables it to decode video content. The tool was able to identify objects in the video, matching it with related keywords.
What does this mean for marketers?
This video API is still in a beta period, but there’s a good chance that Google will roll out this API in its new algorithm update.
And when that happens, your video rankings are going to change drastically. On top of the user-defined keywords and description, search engines may very well prioritise videos that include visual content matching the user’s queries.
With this feature rolling in, black hat SEO techniques may soon find their way out. If you really want your video content to bring better results, you might have to direct more efforts into your video marketing strategy.
Here’s another interesting case study. Apparently, videos can drive 157% more organic traffic from search engines.
Attivio, a B2B brand experienced a traffic spike with about 200% to 300% more unique visitors to their site.
Over a period of 18 months, the team observed a 157% increase in traffic from search engines when they started posting video content regularly. Their video content included a diverse set of video genres: product demos, customer testimonials, interviews etc.
For a manifold increase in organic traffic from search engines, you should invest in video content. Additionally, do not stick to one specific video format.
One more useful development is the preview feature that lets you have a sneak peek of the video content on YouTube homepage and search results. This is currently for desktop users and only for videos that are over 30 seconds long get this preview feature.
The preview helps users enrich their video browsing experience. If you are on Youtube trying to find a good video to watch, the preview feature will help you gauge its content before you hit play.
Google is testing video content on Google maps. For now, the feature is available to local guides allowing them to share glimpses of hotels, landmark destinations etc.
Searchers will be able to view these videos on their Google maps listing.
This allows search engines to target their audience through Google maps data. Google says that using intent-based audience like this can increase ad recall by 20%.
Google is targeting users more effectively with video content. For now, the google maps video feature has been rolled out to local guides and might be released publically in the near future.
Whether we talk about Google or Bing or social media sites, the consumption of video content is on the rise.
As has been pointed out by Cisco, by 2020, 80% of all internet traffic will be video content. This marks an important shift in how search engines value videos.
Given above are a few facts that clearly depict this preferential treatment.
In case we have missed out on something, we would love to know it from you. Leave us a comment.