Conventional wisdom should tell you that higher ranking websites receive more traffic than lower ranking websites. While there are dozens of ways to optimize a website for higher search rankings, one tactic that’s frequently overlooked by webmasters is video. To learn more about the search engine optimization (SEO) power of video, keep reading.

Videos Keep Users on Your Website

One of the ways that video encourages higher search rankings is its ability to keep visitors on your site for longer. Why is this important? Well, search engines use average visitor duration as a ranking signal. If visitors leave your site within just a few seconds of accessing it, you’ll have a hard time achieving a top search ranking. On the other hand, if visitors stay on your site for several minutes, search engines will assume your site is relevant to their interests; thus, giving you a higher search ranking.

Videos Attract Links

Perhaps the most influential ranking signal is backlinks. Google, Bing, Yahoo and even smaller and lesser known search engines use backlinks to determine where websites should rank in their respective index. By publishing videos to your website, you’ll have an easier time generating backlinks. Other webmasters may link back to your video, sending you free traffic as well as SEO juice. With each new backlink your videos generate, search engines will view your site as being more authoritative. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll automatically climb to the #1 spot for your target keyword, but it can certainly help you achieve a higher ranking when used in conjunction with other on-site and off-site SEO strategies.

Videos Generate Social Shares

In addition to backlinks, videos can also attract social shares. Assuming your video is interesting and relevant, users may share it on Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks. This, of course, creates more backlinks for your site while also encouraging higher search rankings.

Tips on Using Video for SEO

If you’re planning to use video for higher search rankings, you should consider the following tips:

  • Host your videos on YouTube rather than uploading them directly to your site.
  • Include a transcript of your video.
  • Optimize your videos for a smaller file size and faster load times.
  • Include relevant keywords in video titles and descriptions.
  • Include social share buttons next to your videos.
  • Create a video sitemap with metadata.
  • Encourage users to comment on your videos.
  • Track metrics to see what works and what doesn’t.