Google Loves Video

When I attend networking events and stand up to do my “sixty seconds”, I often tell people that if they don’t have video on their web sites, they should because it will significantly improve their performance on Google.  I rarely go into details because I only have those sixty seconds so this post is here to help explain the benefits.

The first thing to know is that Google is the biggest search engine in the world.  Many other search engines use Google to get their results so performing well on Google is really important if you want people to find you on the web.

There are certain things that Google take into account when ranking the search results and one is the amount of time visitors spend on your site.  Video has proven to extend that time and figures vary depending on where you look but typically, more that three times as long.

Now, Google owns YouTube which is the second largest search engine in the world.  You can get a double whammy if you host your video on YouTube and embed it into your web site, because each time someone watches the video on your web site Google will be ranking your site higher and, at the same time, YouTube will rank you higher because you’ve had more views.

So, when you want to share your videos on social media, share the link to your web site, not the YouTube link, because your website will benefit from the increased traffic and the video play count will also increase on YouTube.  If you simply share the link to YouTube you’ll lose the Google benefit. Remember that the number of links to your web site also increase your google ranking so you really want those social media links pointing to your web site.

A few points to note:

  • Google loves good content and the same is true with video, if the video is boring then people won’t watch it for long and the benefit will be lost.
  • If you want viewers to stay you have to grab their attention in the first few seconds.
  • Place video on your home (or landing) page.  That’s the page you would normally want to boost on Google. Of course more video on other pages helps. 
  • Video on it’s own is unlikely to get you on page one, your web designer must put all the other search engine optimizations in as well.  But you stand a good chance if you have the SEO and the video.
  • Your viewers will judge you by the quality of your video so if it’s poor quality or just thrown together, they may expect your products or services to be the same.  So make sure that you get a professional to produce your video.  We can help there!

It’s All About The Length


As a producer of corporate promotional videos, I’m often approached by clients with the comment, “We want to make a three minute video on…”.  You can replace three minutes with other numbers, five minutes is also a common number.

The beauty of web based video is that there are no restrictions on the duration, unlike TV adverts which have to comply with schedules and the length of the AD breaks etc., so a better starting point should really be “I want to tell people about ….” and the length of the video will be what it is.

The issue is when do people stop watching a video?  There are various statistics out there on the web which recommend various lengths but I suggest that the guideline should be to get to the point as soon as possible.

A couple of years ago, I gave a talk to some local entrepreneurs on the subject of video for business and I tried an experiment.  I asked the delegates to stand up while watching the following video and to sit down when they “got” what the product was all about. This, I suggest, is the point when the viewer will most likely stop watching.

Despite the video being almost three minutes long, all of the delegates had sat down within the first minute.  When the video had finished playing I gave them the opportunity to own up if they had sat down too early – none did, although there may have been some of the old “peer pressure” effect.

So, from this we can deduce that most viewers on YouTube have probably stopped watching the video by the time they get to 60 seconds. So why make it any longer?  

Of course, I’m not suggesting every video should be 60 seconds long.  Not at all.  The length of a video (when used on the Internet) should be as long as it needs to be to get the message across and if that’s 22, 42 or 97 seconds, then that’s the length that it should be.

Incidentally, Screwfix continue to use the video above but I notice that they’ve (understandably) edited it down to 1:18. I should also say that Space-Plug is a very nifty invention and I hope they don’t mind me using their video as an example.

Another client understands the concept of just saying it as it is. Last year, BrizeBox were launching their Smarter Post Box and simply wanted to show their product in action. I started talking about music and voice overs etc. and they said they didn’t need any of that, they just wanted to show the post box in action.  There was also a budget constraint so we filmed and edited their 45 second video in half a day.

The video has been very effective and because it’s so simple (and, yes, low cost) other versions have been made since with seasonal variations. Keep visiting the BrizeBox website or their Facebook page to catch their St Valentine’s and Easter video ads.

These days, when everything has to be instant, people don’t hang around for the whole story so it’s important to put your key message at the start of the video because if you leave it to the end, the odds are the viewer will miss it.  That goes for your call to action as well.  (The Call to Action is the bit at the end with phrases such as “Call me” or “visit us at etc.) Consider having your website address in one corner from the start, that way they can always follow up their interest in your product or service whether they get to the end or not.

TVNZ make good use of very short ads on their news website.  They’re the (commercial) national broadcaster in New Zealand and they place a 15 second ad in front of most video news items.  It’s amazing how much you can tell your audience in just fifteen seconds with a little thought and creativity and it’s so short that people seem prepared to sit through them.  Personally, I would rather they were even shorter (say 10 seconds) but that presents even more of a challenge.

Apple launched their Apple Watch on YouTube with a series of three 15 Second ads.  Ideal for social media.

So, what should you consider when commissioning a new promotional video?

  • What is your message?  This is always the first question!
  • How can we say it in an engaging way?
  • Will the viewer see the call to action?
  • You should also consider your audience – how old etc. – so that you speak to them in their own language.

Steve Feeney Productions specialise in producing promotional videos for business, NPO’s and charities.  Whether you want to promote your company, product or service we are very happy to discuss your requirements.  Your solution is just one call away 07840 400 225.