As little as 18 months ago, many people were saying traditional SEO is dead. It’s no secret Matt Cutts wants websites that have valuable content to rank higher than those who have simply spent a fortune on SEO.
Google’s current thinking (and quite rightly) is that the over riding goal when looking at your website should be to create “high quality content”, i.e. ‘magazine quality content’ that people want to read and share.
In an ideal world (where cartoon birds tidy your room and every love story has a happy ending), it would be lovely if your website was ranking just because people actually enjoyed it.
Unfortunately for Cutts, many are finding ways to circumvent the ‘rules’ as soon as they are implemented. Many innocent sites have been unjustly penalised by the Penguin/Panda algorithms and sometimes, completely disappeared from Google’s search results.
In the 2012, SEO Industry Survey Moz revealed that over a third of businesses using SEO specialists (34.4%) were still spending over $1,000 a month. 12.9% of these businesses are based in the UK.
So if businesses are still coming to the table armed with SEO experts, can businesses who’s strategy is simply to release relevant, original, interesting content compete? If we are to put our trust in Google, then yes.
“Highly successful, high referral, low bounce, quality, and historical pages have seen a solid boost with panda.” Brett Tabke, CEO at Pubcon Inc
YouTube mirrors Google’s values and we’ve established the importance of engagement in previous blogs. Essentially if you treat your YouTube film like you would your web pages, i.e. interesting, relevant, engaging – then seemingly magical things can happen.
Wouldn’t it be great if your brand ranked locally on page one for your target keywords AND had a thumbnail of your video in the same search results?
One of the key elements, of course (and they’ll be no surprises here), is to have an engaging video. If your film is appearing first on YouTube’s search results for a particular key phrase, there is an increased chance that it will also rank on page one of Google’s search results.
Let us illustrate:
And this isn’t just a one trick pony. 16 of the key words locally targeted for this company appeared on page one. The film was originally designed to sit on the website and inform, rather than to ‘hook people in’. So you can imagine the potential a video designed specifically to advertise the company could have. Click here to see the video on the client’s site.
A video on page one of Google works across a number of layers. The first being that it appears with a thumbnail that immediately makes it stand out and adds authority. Secondly, fewer people are utilising YouTube, which means that ranking for highly competitive terms is more achievable.
Another layer to consider is brand awareness. A video (even just a thumbnail) being seen within search results increases your brand exposure. (See Impressions . .. Do They Really Matter?) Every time a video thumbnail appears on Google, the consumer is making the connection between the brand and “luxury laser hair removal”.
And finally… YouTube reflects genuine interaction. Yes, you can buy views and yes you can get it shared on lots of websites, but you cannot make people watch it and you cannot make people engage with it. Unless, that is, your video strategy is spot on. In which case, people will want to watch it and engage with your brand.