You may have been taught that Search Engine Optimization—the practice of using text peppered with keywords that search engines pick up, vaulting your site to the top of search results and driving traffic to you—is all-important. And it is. :-)
But what happens when people arrive at your site, and you have about 20 seconds to engage them before they click away? They’re met with text (SEO-optimized text, to be sure, but still, text) and images.
Images are good; we know images are twice as engaging as text alone. Video is exponentially better, increasing engagement 12 times more than text.
Research is very clear that Millennials prefer watching video to reading text, and that Baby Boomers, pressed for time to consume lots of information, are also attracted to quick bites of video.
The key is to present the right content to the users at the time they need it in an engaging manner, across all channels they visit. ~ Jim Yu, CEO, BrightEdge
It follows, then, that you might want to consider replacing some of the text on your website with video—without damaging that all-important SEO. While it’s true that search engines use text to rank a website page, there are now methods to enhance a video for SEO. You can feed the search engines’ thirst for written content while utilizing the power of video.
Let’s take a deeper look at the pros and cons of using video.
Why video works
- As we’ve said, video is substantially more engaging than text.
- Reading requires an effort on the part of the reader; video engages people more easily and commits them to your site for a few more valuable seconds.
- Well-produced video makes your subject come to life, and influences the viewer more precisely than text, which can be more subjective. For example, have you ever sent an email which was misinterpreted by its reader?
- Website content is meant to be skimmed, whereas video is consumed; you can express a rich, complex idea in seconds.
- Video very quickly expresses your message in a compelling way.
How to make video work for you
Whether your website is about selling a product, promoting a cause, or providing information, video adds compelling material to strengthen your web presence. But there are a few things to consider in making sure your videos work for, and not against, you.
- Video is only effective if people click on it and watch it. They may pick up some information by skimming text, but they’ll get none if they don’t watch your video, so a combination of the two is the strongest way to go.
- Videos must feature a strong poster image, because people choose whether to watch it based on the image.
- You can’t print a video out to show to your boss or colleague.
- Posting a video with poor production value reflects poorly on your credibility and professionalism (just as poor writing does).
Yes, you can
You may be thinking, “Yeah, but I can put text into my website a lot more easily than I can make a good-looking video. Video is hard!”
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. -- Thomas A. Edison
It’s true that video requires different tools and skills than writing—but it also delivers higher ROI at your website. Given some time, willingness, and experimentation, you can create video good enough to post on your site for surprisingly little expense and a remarkable amount of satisfaction and fun.
For many people, it’s cost-effective to leave the learning and skill-building to others, but that route, too, has become more and more affordable. If you’d like some help, we are here to serve.