Let’s think back to a simpler time: a time when quality long-form blog posts full of keywords were a ticket to success. People typed simple keywords into Google instead of full-fledged queries. Straightforward content advertising your services was enough, and if you got into the fancy stuff— alt text?!— well, you were practically a pro.
Now, however, mastering the art of SEO for law firms is a much trickier process. Many marketers find themselves restructuring their content strategy with every change in Google’s algorithm, and it can be hard to sift through the online noise as people scramble to put together the sure-fire way to beat Google and land on page one.
To that effect, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that there is no magic formula for conquering Google’s algorithm, and a successful SEO strategy takes both time and effort.
The good news is that there are established methods in place for boosting your SEO without restructuring your entire marketing strategy.
Perhaps the most recent buzzword in SEO is one we’ve all known for a while: video.
When it comes to content, Forbes has crowned video king.
We’ve also heard James L. McQuivey, VP and principal analyst at Forrester, say that if a picture is worth a thousand words, a minute of video is worth 1.8 million.
The Ongoing Influence of Video On Google Rankings
It’s not as if Google is enamored of the modern marvel that is the moving picture— like the rest of us, Google is interested in what works – and video works.
Video is so ubiquitous, it’s projected to make up 82% of all internet traffic by 2020.
With stats like that, of course video is going to start getting more attention from Google. To put this in perspective, when someone performs a Google search, videos are 50 times more likely to get organic page ranks than traditional text-only results.
When given the choice to watch a video or read an article, 4 times as many people preferred to watch the video compared to those who would rather read. That’s a huge difference, and since Google is in the business of prioritizing content that’s relevant to its user’s interests, video is the obvious choice.
We’ve put together a list of video’s effects on SEO with some quality info on how it all works, including actionable ways to incorporate these strategies into your current video marketing strategy.
Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be ready to use the powerful advantages video can offer to boost your own SEO and cut through a crowded digital landscape:
1. Video drives more organic traffic to your website
Businesses that use video in their content strategy see 41% more organic traffic than those who don’t.
Unfortunately, not all videos are created equal – so it’s important to be mindful of the video content you’re producing and distributing.
A fun video highlighting your office’s interior decor might be entertaining, but it won’t give you the SEO boost you’re looking for. Informational videos are key: as much as 80% of the videos that show up in SERPs are informational.
If a prospective client wants to know more about you, we know now that they’re 4 times more likely to watch an “explainer” video than read your About Us section, and explainer videos have become incredibly popular— not to mention SEO-preferred— because of it.
Explainer videos live on your homepage, ideally above the fold, and they explain who you are and what you do. Your typical explainer video can see up to a 144% increase in conversions. In short, with their huge presence in Google results, informational videos will get you seen. (And with their ROI, they’ll also get you some green.)
Workers Compensation Attorney John Gibson had slipped to the third page of Google when he made the decision to pursue legal video marketing. His phone was ringing less frequently, and he began to worry about whether his firm would be able to survive.
After implementing a series of educational videos alongside a legal brand video, he’s seen an exponential increase in calls — and he’s back on the first page of Google.
2. Video keeps people on your site longer, which boosts brand authority
Trust is critical to the modern Google algorithm. In years past, any website could stuff itself full of keywords and spam out backlinks to falsely enhance its perceived legitimacy, and therein lay the problem.
New and improved Google has embraced a quality over quantity mindset, and trust has become a coveted attribute.
One of the factors that builds trust is your bounce rate: when people come to your site, do they stay, navigate away from the homepage, and visit other pages? Or do they take one look around and exit stage left?
It can be hard to retain traffic on a site focused primarily on text, and videos can give you the upper hand. More often than not, if your video is between 1 and 2 minutes in length, people will stick around to watch it until the end. Correspondingly, people will stay on your site about 2 minutes longer if you have a video.
If you had a 2-minute video above the fold on your homepage, imagine what that would do for your bounce rate and, in turn, your trust level.
Check out this video of Military Court-Martial Defense Attorney Jocelyn Stewart, who saw about 200% growth in traffic, along with a 985% growth in video views, as a result of her video.
3. Video provides the opportunity to use schema markup, which boosts SEO
For all the changes Google has made, keywords still remain crucial. Unfortunately, there are only so many places to put them on a single page.
Video offers another opportunity to place keywords, in the form of schema markup. Schema markup is a block of HTML code that allows you to include a description of your video wherever you choose to embed it. This is a huge opportunity in terms of indexing your video and getting it found online alongside your target keywords.
When Google “crawls” the web looking for content, it can only identify and index things that it recognizes, and unfortunately, it doesn’t get any real content information from a video.
That’s where schema markup comes into play: by including a written description of your video for Google to find, you’ve taken what was essentially a void and made it something recognizable, and, more importantly, discoverable.
4. Video both complements and enhances your current content marketing strategy
Coming up with good content can sometimes be challenging, especially if you’re trying to keep up with Google’s once-every-2-weeks standard for maintaining relevance. But who says all those content pieces have to be different every time?
Producing a quality video doesn’t just result in one piece of content. In fact, if you want to see real results from video marketing, you should try to make full use of every possible channel of distribution.
We typically find that one video can be multi purposed in at at least three ways: publish a video on YouTube, share a video on Facebook (make sure to upload directly to Facebook and not from YouTube to get preferential ranking), and embed your video within a blog post.
Additionally, you can promote your video content across your company’s social media channels and add them to any other posts on your site you find relevant.
To translate your video to a blog post, we recommend you either use a script that you can easily transfer from video to blog or use a transcription service, all with the end goal of having the dialogue of your video in text form.
From there, just copy and paste it into your blog! You’ll want to expand on it, of course— add some extra information, bring in some outside sources, and use your long tail keywords.
Bringing It All Together
The reason behind Google’s acquired thirst for video is that people have a thirst for video. They overwhelmingly choose video over text; the bulk of all internet traffic is video content, and that percentage is only growing.
If your site is full of engaging content that keeps viewers interested, decreases your bounce rate, maximizes keyword use, and increases Google’s trust in your site, not only will you be immune to low-content weed-outs, but your SEO will also be optimized like never before.
Ultimately, video can help by driving significant organic traffic to a site that is fully differentiated from your competition.
If you want to learn more about how you can leverage legal video to grow your law firm, you can download our free eBook here.
Michael Mogill is the Founder and CEO of Crisp Video Group (http://www.crispvideo.com/legal), a national legal video marketing company that produces high-quality and engaging legal videos for attorneys all over the country. Crisp Video is consistently recognized for creating engaging legal videos that help attorneys see a 2 to 10 times increase in average case values.
By simply bringing in higher-value cases, attorneys who produce videos with Crisp Video see an average return on investment of 300% and routinely double and triple their revenue — sometimes within just 6 months. He has been featured in Forbes, Avvo, ABA, PILMMA, NTL, The Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.