Many of us in the online video advertising space have been encouraging small businesses to deploy video to stand out in search results and level the playing field with larger competitors. Some colleagues and I have been working with select clients to test, learn, test again, and learn again from placing video in search and other distribution points. The early learnings have been interesting and reinforced some tips outlined further below.
Big picture search marketing that leverages video will be among the most effective ways to market, specifically when video gets decent placement in search results and can show that it drives action.
Let’s take a look at a video seo test case:
For several months, one law firm we work with has been testing video on the agency’s web site, in ad networks, and in both search engine marketing and organic video search.
For some FAQ videos on the agency’s web site, we’ve seen views-to-impressions ratios as high as 70% and conversions to consultations of almost 40%. We believe these amazing ratios reflect the value of keeping video relevant to what viewers expect to see when they view it.
On Google local search (like what you would type in from your phone-where Google knows your location), the law firm videos have achieved six of the top ten video search returns on some pretty broad search terms related to their specialty in their market. Pretty impressive results, considering the cost per click in their local sector ranges from $8 - $61.
However, when you type the same broad search terms in Google universal search, the agency’s videos appear on the sixth search engine results page—as the 45th result. Results, on universal search, of course vary based on a number of factors, including the tags, keyword competitiveness, and in paid search, the bid.
What does it all mean to small businesses or local law firms? We believe it signifies both the promise of online video and the still-early nature of video used in organic search.
Some video-related tips to keep in mind in 2018
Relevance is key. We’ve said it before—it’s all about relevance. The higher the relevance of the video to the information that surrounds it, the better the results.
Use focused keywords. The tighter, the better. For the attorney, we can track what keywords people type to locate video ads. We’ve seen specific questions, called “long tail” terms like “how do I stop my ex from getting visitation” return video ad landing pages toward the top of universal search results pages.
Create useful content. We are often asked, “How long should a video be?” We have deployed video ads for a number of clients and are finding that viewers watch an average of 70% of an ad, regardless of video length. If content is useful, people will watch it.
Some video-related things to avoid:
Redundant multiple postings. Posting to every video sharing site does not necessarily result in higher placement on search engine results pages. This makes sense, because video search sites don’t want a high duplication of results in their returns. Several months ago, we would see our client’s videos “stacked” on search engine results pages because of all the sites to which we’d submitted. We’re seeing less of that today.
Irrelevant content. Get to the point. The more targeted the keywords, the more focused the video must be. We have seen that less relevant videos tend to lose viewers in the early part of the video – often with high abandonment at the less than 10% of video mark. We often help clients with scripts to “re-arrange” what is said and see viewing improvements.
Online video is still very new and its power in search is still based on the promise of both the discoverability of the video and what happens when someone sees the video. In the early stages of a medium that holds so much promise for marketers, it’s most important to test, test, test and learn, learn, learn. The search algorithms are constantly changing and, consequently, so is the game. But advertisers who stay true to consumers are bound to come out on top.
If you would like a free strategy session to talk about if video might work for your Tampa Bay business, contact us here!