Lights, camera, action: video is the way to go

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By Traci Gentilozzi

It’s predicted that 82% of all Internet traffic will be video by 2020.

And when given the choice, four  times more Internet users prefer to watch a video than read text.

The picture is becoming increasingly clear: Internet users are choosing video over text. Most online traffic these days is people searching for video content – and the numbers are growing.

Video is also getting a lot of attention from search engines, particularly Google. After all, Google is in the business of finding and prioritizing content that is relevant to its users’ interests … and Internet users love videos.

If your law firm is not already using videos as part of its content marketing strategy, then it needs to get the camera rolling. Here is how video can help your law firm boost its online presence.

1. Video drives more traffic to your website.

Research shows that businesses using video see 41% more organic traffic than businesses that do not. With that said, be mindful of the type of video content you are creating and providing your website visitors.

What do Internet users want? They want information. That’s why about 80% of videos listed on the search engine results page (SERP) are informational.

For law firms in particular, potential clients are four times more likely to watch a video with information about the firm than read the “About Us” or “Our Firm” web page. These types of informational videos – called “explainer videos” – are growing in popularity and, as a result, have also become Google’s content of choice.

If your law firm wants to use an explainer video, it should be placed on the firm’s home page, near the top. It should briefly explain the firm, what types of cases it handles, etc.

2. Video keeps visitors on your website longer, which boosts your site’s credibility and authority.

The key to getting high rankings on Google is trust, credibility and quality content. One of the main factors that builds trust with Google is your website’s bounce rate – in other words, how long visitors stay on your website.

If your website includes mostly text, it won’t keep visitors’ attention for as long. But if your site includes videos that are about 1-2 minutes long, then visitors will stay on your site and watch them. In turn, this means visitors are sticking around your site about 2 minutes longer than if you only had a web page with text. Google notices this, and its trust in your website is enhanced, thereby boosting your site’s credibility.

3. Video, like text, offers the opportunity to use focus keywords, which increases the chances of your website being found in a search.

Focus keywords remain the single driving force behind Google rankings. But when it comes to text-only web pages, you can only use so many focus keywords or else your site will be penalized for “keyword stuffing.”

Video offers the opportunity to also use focus keywords, but in the form of “schema markup.” Schema markup is HTML code that allows you to include a description of the video where you choose to embed it on your website. Remember: when Google “crawls” the web searching for content, it can only identify and index what it recognizes. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t extract content from a video because it’s not text.

However, schema markup lets you include a written description of the video for Google to find it. Basically, you have taken what Google otherwise would not have recognized and turned it into discoverable content, which boosts your website’s authority with Google.

4. Video works with, and enhances, your law firm’s existing content marketing strategy.

It can be challenging for law firms to come up with fresh ideas for online content, whether video or text. One main benefit of video is that it can serve many purposes. A video can be:

• shared on your firm’s social media pages (note: to get more bang for your buck, upload the video directly from your website and not from your firm’s YouTube channel).

• embedded into an existing web page or blog post that includes content related to the video.

• published on your firm’s YouTube channel.

• included in your firm’s e-newsletter.

• distributed to an email list.

• used as content for a new blog post (which can be shared later across the same social media sites, etc.).

Turning a video into a blog post is simple. Use the video script to write the blog and insert additional information and resources, as well as links to other relevant blogs and web pages on your site.

And be sure to choose – and use – an appropriate focus keyword several times in the blog, so it will be found … and read!

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Attorney Traci R. Gentilozzi owns 360 Legal Solutions, PLLC, a company that focuses on legal content development and promotion for sole practitioners and small firms. She is also the Editor of BRIEFS, the monthly publication of the Ingham County Bar Association. Reprinted with permission from BRIEFS.

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