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How video SEO can boost your overall digital marketing strategy

When we talk about creating a video strategy, people usually see it as getting found on YouTube. And for good reason – billions of users access the platform every single month.

And then comes an inevitable argument: “I don’t think my product or service is a good fit for YouTube.”

Yet, creating and marketing videos goes far beyond YouTube findability.

Videos can make your content better, your product easier to understand and your brand more credible and relatable. Further, videos continue to receive exposure on Page 1 of Google’s search results for an increasing number of queries.

Even beyond that, a well-shaped video strategy can boost your overall SEO efforts. Here’s how.

1. Deeper understanding of your customers’ buying journeys

Video keyword research allows for discovery regarding which queries your target audience is using when searching for videos.

Knowing how your target audience is searching for related videos can give you a better understanding of their buying journeys, problems they are struggling to solve and tasks they are trying to complete.

When we turn to video content, we tend to look for informational or entertaining content, but we may also be able to uncover content opportunities that naturally solve the customers’ needs best in video format: how-to videos, product demonstrations, comparisons, and so on. A solid marketing strategy should always include both of these parts of buying journeys.

If you compare Google and YouTube auto suggestions, you will notice that YouTube search attracts a specific type of audience. If you search Google for Google Chromebook, for example, the top suggestions will be Google Chromebook laptop, Google Chromebook charger and Google Chromebook price – all three clearly signaling a commercial intent (i.e., start of a buying journey).

Some of YouTube’s top suggestions for Google Chromebook are Google Chromebook won’t turn on and Google Chromebook tutorial for beginners, which reflect an informational intent, possibly for a current owner of the product.

Not all YouTube suggestions have an informational intent, though. Based on YouTube autocomplete, people use the platform to find reviews of products from current customers of the brand, unboxing videos, as well as information on specific models.

And yet, YouTube-driven buying journeys seem to be very different from those that happen in Google, which makes YouTube suggestions such a powerful addition to any keyword research strategy.

A similar pattern applies to Google Video search, which often reveals a different angle or buying journey your target audience may take when researching their options.

Like Google’s regular search, the Google video section generates “related search” suggestions underneath organic search results. Here again, video-related searches differ from those you will see when using Google’s main search showing that people use Google videos for different purposes:

This way, Google Videos’ related searches allow you to discover keywords you’d miss if you were only relying on Google’s regular search results. 

To sum up, when you start researching video-driven search queries, you get a better understanding of your target market and where your product may fit in. Your overall SEO strategy becomes better informed than that of your competitors.

Talk about a good way to find new “helpful content” opportunities! 😉

2. Better on-SERP visibility through video carousels

Google’s search engine results are much more diverse, visual and interactive than they were a decade ago.

These days Google’s SERPs include related images, instant answers, popular questions, and more.

One of the most visible sections is the one that includes related videos.

Videos have gained huge visibility in organic search results, mainly through video carousels.

Based on Mozcast data, videos show up in at least 30% of Google’s SERPs:

In many cases, video results are “blended,” i.e., they are included in a standalone section that is not an organic listing but is added within SERPs as a standalone element.

This section is called a video carousel.

A video carousel is a separate search element within Google SERPs that contains related videos.

Video carousels are often included on the first page of search results, but the location of the section may vary depending on the specific searcher’s intent.

Sometimes video carousels show up right on top of SERPs: Try searching for “how to tie a tie,” for example. The video-only search snippet and the video carousel dominate the whole above-the-fold part of the screen, especially if you search from a mobile device. For other queries, the section may be included lower on a search result page.

In some cases, YouTube videos are not included into a carousel and simply act as organic results. This is different (a video actually counts towards the ten organic links that are allowed on page one) but still rewarding: You are able to see a huge thumbnail of the video, which is hard to miss, likely increasing the click-through rate for that rank position.

In both cases (carousels and organic results), when accessed from a mobile device, this video can be played right within search results.

In other words, in both of these cases, well-optimized and hence high-ranking videos that are branded provide additional visibility to a brand helping it dominate its target search result pages with more than a single organic listing.

3. More visibility in organic search with video-rich snippets

While YouTube video pages may act as organic listings giving you additional visibility, earning video-rich snippets allows you to get your own page ranked in the same SERPs.

Video rich snippets are enriched organic search results that include a video thumbnail from the page, making the result that much harder to miss:

Unlike video carousels that provide brands with indirect exposure (people clicking a video in a carousel normally land on that YouTube page or watch that video right away from within Google’s search result page), video-rich snippets trigger a direct click to your site.

To earn a video-rich snippet, publishers need to embed a video on that page and use video schema.

Another benefit of earning a video-rich snippet is that it creates an expectation: People seeing a video thumbnail and clicking through to a page expect to find a video on that page, so they are more likely to stay on the page and watch the video. This, in turn, increases the probability that they will continue their journeys through the site, engage with your brand more, and dive deeper into the conversion funnel.


A video marketing strategy is more than making your brand or product findable on YouTube. When you start researching video opportunities, you’ll get to understand your audience better and uncover more SEO opportunities. Additionally, you make your brand stand out in search by having your video show up in related carousels, ranking your YouTube page in organic search and/or earning video snippets.

Google has created a lot of opportunities to make your SEO strategy better informed and more diverse by including videos into your digital marketing routine. If you’re unsure where to begin or don’t have the resources to implement a video strategy yourself, a comprehensive video creation and marketing service can help transform your digital presence, improve brand sentiment & trust, and increase sales & conversions across the web.

New on Search Engine Land

About The Author

Internet Marketing Ninjas is a leading digital agency specializing in SEO strategy, link building, content marketing, and site speed optimization. Led by industry veteran Jim Boykin since 1999, IMN’s team of 50 is based in Upstate New York and brings nearly 400 years of combined experience helping their clients improve search rankings and increase organic traffic from Google.

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