As search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and beyond become more intelligent, online videos are steadily gaining search importance. It’s no secret: Google states outright “often the best results are online videos, and Google wants to help users find useful videos.”
Think about it. Google’s goal is to satisfy the billions of people who use its search engine to look for answers. In those billions, many people prefer video to text. In fact, the retention rate for information presented visually (like videos do) can reach 65% versus only 10% for text-based information.
In addition to preference, some people simply need video to get value out of search. Around 16% of the world’s population, for example, falls below the UN’s literacy standard. Around 285 million people have a visual impairment that may make reading text difficult or impossible. That’s a big group of potential consumers that Google doesn’t want to ignore.
Video is an Important Ranking Factor
We’ve seen many major brands measurably improve their search visibility and conversions simply by adding video content to their marketing strategy. Marketing Sherpa released a case study that’s a good indicator of this trend: six months after integrating video content into its marketing strategy, a B2B company saw a 157% boost in organic traffic.
Want to see this in action? Take a look at this SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for the query “Clarks Wave Wheel Oxford Shoes.” The first four organic results have video on their pages.
Top Online Retailers Lag in Video SEO
The impact of video on SEO is undeniable, but are online merchants taking advantage of its benefits? Conductor, in partnership with Invodo, conducted an analysis of the largest 100 online merchants by annual revenue to find out.
Google’s video search can be used to determine how many pages with video on a specific site are discoverable. We conducted site-specific searches on the top 100 retailers in The Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide to see how the biggest online merchants were performing in video SEO.
We found that the retailers we reviewed vary widely in video discoverability, but the majority cluster towards the bottom. Only 16 retailers have more than 10,000 videos on their site. Looking at the median provides a more accurate picture of the data, sitting at 293 discoverable pages with video. This means that only a select few retailers understand how to benefit from video SEO. The rest barely register!
Even those at the top of the IR500 don’t necessarily perform well with video in search. It’s likely that those who do rank make an effort to create quality video content and take a thoughtful approach to video SEO.
Charity Stebbins is the Senior Content Strategist at Conductor, the leading Web Presence Management platform. She writes about content marketing, SEO, UX, social, video, and all things Silicon Alley. Follow her @CharityStebbins. Download the full guide on video SEO: The Untapped Video SEO Opportunity.