Is video important for SEO?

Here is the first of two guest posts from our digital marketing and SEO guru, Tom Pratt 
The ongoing development of smartphones, coupled with the improvements in broadband connectivity means video content is becoming nearly ubiquitous across any website or social media account. How can adding this content benefit a brand and does having video content help with search engine optimisation (SEO) campaigns? First let’s start with some numbers.
Video stats: How much video content is watched, by who & where?
YouTube is the largest video platform (and second largest search engine behind Google), by itself it boasts some impressive stats:
  • Over 1.9 Billion logged-in users visit YouTube each month
  • 1 billion hours of video watched each day
  • More than 70% of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices
  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
Vimeo is the second largest video network and boasts some impressive statistics in its own right:
  • 715 million monthly views
  • 80 million members
  • Users are active in 150 countries
Between the two main video platforms there are a staggering 2.5 billion+ views each month showing there is definitely appetite from consumers for content in this format.
Why is video content good for SEO?
Firstly, a more general point, video is good for SEO because it is good for your customers and the people visiting your site. The stats above show the majority of video content is consumed via mobile devices. This fits in with a bigger trend of the growth of mobile in general which now accounts for 73.3% of visits and 40.4% of sales. Google switched to mobile first indexing in 2018 meaning it now uses a mobile version of a site as the authoritative source. Providing a good, quick, engaging experience on a mobile device will be good for your SEO (and business as a whole) and video content should be a key part of this.
As phones and broadband connectivity improve, video (and audio content) often has a higher engagement level than text. People can easily consume this content on the move or while they are completing another task. This increases the value to the end user of video content and thereby increases the significance search engines place on it, giving it greater prominence within the search engine results page (SERP).
A good rule of thumb is ‘what is useful for your customers is good for SEO’