Video is a massive focus for Google this year, and we’re constantly improving our expertise around the subject to better serve and advise our clients.
Recently a couple of the Hallam team had the chance to head to Vidcon in London, myself included. Here are 10 key takeaways from expert sessions on Virtual Reality (VR), influencers and video SEO.
1) 20% of keywords searched on Google serve YouTube videos
Not only that, but a massive 2% of search clicks from Google go straight to YouTube! This is huge considering millions of active sites around the world that users could click through to.
2) Video duration increases YouTube rankability
Depending on the format, videos created with a length of around 4-16 minutes tend to outperform very short videos.
3) New videos get a boost in rankings if topic is trending
A video is also more likely to rank better if YouTube feels your channel is an authority in the topic. Ahrefs can be a great tool to find new trending topics due to the how frequently it updates its data.
4) Video on social is performing really well
According to Tania Yuki (Shareablee):
- Social videos have a 70% penetration;
- There were 24.6 billion hours spent on social in 2018;
- UK brands generated 1.1m pieces of content last year;
- Influencers posted 4.6m videos;
- There were 27.8 billion actions on influencer videos in 2018;
- Instagram supported the smallest amount (12%) of video posts but drove 33% engagement for UK brands;
- In the US, Instagram drives most video engagement out of social channels.
5) Video channels with less than a thousand subscribers don’t perform particularly well
This could be down to the algorithm, but there’s a theory that YouTube holds back new channel videos in favour or established channels and audiences.
6) There are 8 underlying formats behind every popular YouTube video
The videos and channels that shine are the ones who create hybrids of these:
- Listicle – ‘Everything wrong with…’, round-ups of popular TV shows or movie franchises. These videos tend to last around 1-2 minutes and list or rank things. Are often direct to camera or a voiceover on top of images.
- Explainer – Usually posing and answering a question in front of a green screen, aimed at simplifying ideas.
- Commentary – Comments or provides opinion on a topic.
- Interview – Questions are asked of a subject or interviewee.
- Music video – A visual accompaniment to a song. Telling the story of the song (or not).
- Challenges – A subject is challenged to complete a task, generally something people don’t want to do. They tend to be created for comedic value.
- Reaction – Other videos being reacted to, unboxings, pranks.
- Narrative – Generally depicts fiction, story arcs, a dramatisation of a true story.
7) YouTube impressions are driven by your channel metrics and click-through-rate
In a simplified form, YouTube uses the following algorithm to determine search results:
Click-Through-Rate + View Duration + Frequency + Views
Your most important channel metrics are:
- The frequency of uploads – though this doesn’t matter as much as click-through-rate (CTR).
- CTR on your last 3 videos.
- Views per unique session – people starting their viewing sessions with your content.
- The more times someone comes to YouTube regularly because of your videos, the better. If your video does well with your current audience, they’ll serve to more of your audience, if that still does well they’ll serve it to people similar to your audience. Then if that does well, it’ll be people with similar interests. YouTube wants videos that bring people back and get them to stay on platform.
- How much of your videos viewers are watching.
8) 1 in 4 consumers intend to interact with VR in the next four years.
People interested in Virtual Reality already spend more money and watch more TV, however the challenge for VR makers is to show how it makes an impact in the real world. Simply showing someone what they can see in the headset isn’t very effective at increasing interest, but showing people using is.
VR is proving to be 8x more effective when telling a human story and showing the interaction.
9) The value of keyword targeting varies over time
When a video is first published, YouTube has little data about what it’s about and if people like it, this is where your tags and keywords come into play. However, once a video has been live for a period of time, they have more watch data, so keywords become less important.
There is a correlation between keyword target and rankings in the first couple of weeks on average, but as time goes on that keyword tag boost dissipates. Topical nearness and similarity of keywords increase factor weight.
10) LinkedIn video is in its infancy
LinkedIn launched video within the past year and live video more recently, but it’s arguably still in its infancy compared to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Factoring LinkedIn video into a marketing strategy for LinkedIn could work well for B2B.
Vidcon 2019 was a great experience that bolstered what we have already been doing with video, and I hope that you found the facts above interesting.
Whilst there’s much more we learned about audiences, influencers, diversity and video on search (so much, in fact, it’ll probably be enough for another blog!) there’s one final takeaway I wanted to share if you’re looking into using video with your business:
So much content is uploaded to YouTube every hour, why would they serve your video? If yours is under-performing, or the stats are better on another video, they’ll serve that one instead. Doing your research, carefully planning your video, and building your channel audience are all essential to making the most out of video.