Lights, Camera, Action: Boost SERPs with Video in 2013


Web Video Can Impact on SERPs

Web video has seen some dramatic developments over the last couple of years. Previously it was standard that you needed to be a sneezing Panda, or to receive a flying skateboard square in the knackers to rack up any kind of respectable viewing figures. Thankfully, there are now far less eye-watering approaches to winning with video.

Why has this year been so important for video? Well, the continued rise in mobile and tablet device saturation, developments in HTML5, and the ever improving video compatibility of social platforms, are all great reasons. There is also a case to be made that brands are getting good with their video strategy!

Winning with viral video

Brands are starting to assign more budget and take more risks, especially with video as a viral medium. This post is making a case for investment in video beyond a purely viral and social activity, but let’s face it, we all love a funny viral video.

There are loads to choose from in 2012 but this little CRM gem from Bodyform highlights how far brands have come in their marketing mobility:


This is both controversial and funny, combining two of the main elements of successful viral video marketing – hence the 3.4+ million views. However web video is not all a laughing matter. Our top tip for 2013 is to make video work for your website in SERPS and beyond. Here’s why it’s worth it:

Web Video Fast Facts

  • Retail sites with video increase conversion by 30% and boost average ticket by 13%. (L2 Specialty Retail Report, September 2010)
  • In a keynote address at CES, YouTube’s Vice President of Global Content Robert Kyncl said that video would soon be 90% of Internet traffic. (Forbes)
  • Forbes Insight found that 59% of senior executives prefer to watch video instead of reading text (Forbes)
  • Retail site visitors who view video stay two minutes longer on average (Comscore)
  •  6% of marketers plan to add video to their sites in 2012, making it a higher priority than Facebook, Twitter, and blog integration. (Social Media Examiner, April 2012)
  •  Blog posts incorporating video attract 3 times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (SEOmoz, October 2009)

So video impacts on your conversion rates, it drives search traffic, and attracts inbound links. But what can you do to optimise this for your website?

Video and SEO

Video is already a big part of search. YouTube is the second most used search engine on the web and videos are deemed increasingly relevant in SERPs. The objective for 2013 is to make your videos work harder for your search engine listings.

Having video for videos sake is one thing. Not detracting from great viral marketing campaign and social growth, but you also need to look at the bigger picture and how it can benefit other channels. This is especially true if you are an organisation looking for direct return on your investment.

Organic SEO is one of those that can be helped significantly by a good video strategy so you should think about the following best practice:

  • If possible, host your videos on your OWN site. There are plenty of tools like Vimeo and Wistia that can help you here and will give you great view metrics.
  • YouTube is great if you have a small audience and are looking to benefit from their domain power and internal search volume but it’s NOT the place to build SEO benefit. Setting up a YouTube account does not guarantee that you can benefit from the community features the social platform has to offer. Most people will still share great video content despite it not being featured on YouTube.
  • Make sure you include embed codes next to the videos to let people share and include a hard coded link back to your site – many will leave it intact!
  • Ensure you have a video sitemap XML and especially that you have thumbnails included – these can appear in the SERPs and will help drive CTR. If you’re running WordPress then Yoast has you covered with his awesome plugin.
  • Include a transcript of the spoken audio on the same page as the video. You’ll be surprised at the long-tail volume you’ll get from this tactic. (Pro tip: there are services out there that will do this for as little as $5 per video so it doesn’t need to be expensive or time consuming). Example: SEOmoz WBF (White Board Friday).

One thing is for sure, video is here to stay in 2013. More and more companies are investing in video content to inform visitors to their websites about their products and services, or share insight with their community. By hosting a video on your site and using these guidelines you can generate traffic, build links and increase conversions.






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