Boosting SEO with explainer videos

Videos are everywhere you look: YouTube, Vine, Pinterest, Instagram, and beyond. Web users flock to them. And that’s why companies and online marketing teams alike are starting to use more video content. It’s no wonder. The long list of things a good video can accomplish as a marketing tool is eye-opening to say the least:

✔ Raise the conversion rate
✔ Present your own products and services
✔ Communicate your brand message
✔ Establish authenticity and trust
✔ Improve organic search engine rankings and click rates

Microdata are the key

But before a video can accomplish all of that, Google has to find it and index it. Search engines still have some trouble “reading” the content of videos. And that’s why your videos absolutely need to be annotated with microdata. The best way to do this is by working with a third-party video hosting provider. This allows Google to index the videos and generate “rich snippets” giving users information about the video on the search results page. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be a big step ahead of the competition – since at this point very few companies are actively working to make their videos easy to find.

But not all video hosts are created equal. For example, uploading your videos to YouTube is a decent option, but not necessarily always the best one. A high-ranking YouTube video won’t lead users directly to your website. If you use another provider such as Wistia to embed your videos, they will still appear in search results but also lead users to your website. That’s why we recommend using a blend of hosting options. Videos created to help build your brand tend to be better fit for YouTube and benefit from the social network’s advantages. For sales videos, on the other hand, you are best off working with another commercial provider.

Explainer videos for solid video content

No matter how well optimised a video is for search engines, it won’t have the desired impact unless it actually appeals to users. Explainer videos are a great example of original and informative video content. They use storytelling to entertain and educate viewers at the same time. Meanwhile, a fine-tuned combination of image and voice-over text helps to ensure that the video’s message is catchy and memorable.

A case study of our own: “Become a First Aid Hero” explainer video course

simpleshow collaborated with the German Red Cross to produce several explainer videos about first aid. The short videos summarise the most important steps to take in an emergency, all bundled together in an interactive online course. Entitled “Become a First Aid Hero,” the 10-minute course was provided to users on a website for free. To make it more appealing and motivating, it was set up as a game. The course is available in English, German and Spanish and can be completed on a computer or tablet.
It was promoted on the official German Red Cross website, the German Red Cross’s partner network and on simpleshow’s website. It can also be published on other pages using a publicly available embedding code (go to site) and is linked with social sharing buttons.

By the end of the month it was published – April 2013 – the page racked up 14,340 unique page views from 98 countries. And users showed an astounding level of commitment. On the German-language version, which has received 17,130 unique page views to date, the users stuck around for 6:44 minutes on average. Considering that the entire course lasts around 10 minutes, we can imply that most users planned to complete the whole course.
Not only that, publishing the First Aid Course led to a sharp rise in traffic to the simpleshow website. The number of visitors in April rose 114% over the previous month, and the average stay duration rose from 5 minutes in March to 6:45 in April.

This case demonstrates what a significant impact video content can have. Not only did the users delve deeply into the material, they wanted to find out more about our company too.