Can adding a video to your e-commerce site really boost traffic and sales? Absolutely — as long as your video is relevant, entertaining and/or informative and optimized for search engines. According to studies conducted by Forrester Research, having a search-engine optimized video on your e-commerce site increases your odds of showing up on the first page of Google in an organic search dramatically — more than 50 times greater than if you just had text on the page.
Not only can a good product or promotional video increase your Google ranking, it can increase your sales. Just ask Zappos, which recently revealed that it typically sells between six and 30 percent more merchandise when a product also includes a descriptive video.
But it’s not just large companies that are benefiting from video. HudsonGoods.com, an online furniture store that specializes in vintage-style, environmentally friendly pieces, saw a 25 percent increase in sales after owner Karl Miller added videos to the site (and to the Hudson Goods blog).
Simply embedding a video on your e-commerce site is no guarantee of success, however. Indeed, a bad video (one that bores viewers, has bad production values or is unrelated to your products or company) can do more harm than good. To help ensure that your video gets positive reviews from your customers and the major search engines, we interviewed several small business owners who shared their tips for creating great video on a small budget.
Three Reasons to Add Video to Your Web Site
If you are selling a product online, especially something that is best experienced in three dimensions, like furniture or clothing, it helps to include a video.
“I compete with retail giants such as Pottery Barn, so I wanted my products to stand out,” explained HudsonGoods owner, Karl Miller. “So I decided to add videos of me and my dog, Buddy, to the blog and online store to help demonstrate the products. Since I don’t have a brick-and-mortar store where consumers can go and touch the products. It’s also hard to get a feel for the size and weight of a product through a photograph. Video is a better way to achieve that.”
Five Tips for Video SEO
|• Upload your video to YouTube. Then embed it on your Web site.|
|• Add SEO keywords in the video title, description and tags. Use the same keywords you used on the Web page where you plan to show the video. If you’re not sure what keywords to use, find popular videos similar to yours and use their keywords (or similar ones).|
|• In addition to uploading your video to YouTube, consider uploading your video to sites that are specific to your industry, e.g., Zipvo.com for realtors.|
|• Create an XML video site map on your Web site. Then submit it to Google.|
|• Encourage users to post comments on your video (e.g., in the comments section on YouTube) to increase your rankings.|
Everyday Oasis LLC is an e-commerce site that specializes in relaxation and stress relief for busy people. According to founder and CEO Lora Canary, a video on the home page helps visitors easily get a sense of who they are and what they do.
“Our Web site is a bit of a different concept, so having a video that spoke right to the heart of the matter was important to us,” she said.
Video can also be a powerful marketing and social networking tool, especially for businesses with a younger clientele, say in the 18 – 34 age range. Indeed, young consumers have come to expect it when they shop online.
That’s why Greg Selkoe, the founder and CEO of Karmaloop, a go-to site for cutting edge urban fashion and street wear, created KarmaloopTV. He recently added clickable videos (from Klickable.tv), where you can click to see which clothes are featured and buy them on the spot. “Lots of people come to KarmaloopTV.com every day to see new videos, and our sales and traffic have definitely increased since we added video,” said Selkoe.