Google Gyaan: Video Thumbnails in SERPs

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“The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow” - Rupert Murdoch

With the advent of information technology, the world has never been changing as fast as it is changing now. It is this pace that has been instrumental in shaping today’s world. Search engines are seen as information storehouses – a place to get answers to all our questions. Internet companies recognized this market potential as many businesses went online. That’s when, we, as SEO experts, stepped in. Our job is not only to formulate search engine optimization strategies for our clients, but also to regularly tweak them as per the technological changes. After all, every one of us wants that elusive top spot on the first page which will drive in more traffic for our priority keywords. The word here is ‘smart’ – the one which makes a difference between the #1 rank and other ranks.
Importance of Ranks -

We all understand the importance of ranking higher. Higher the ranking URL, better the visibility. Considering the myriad of websites – on subjects of mass appeal to topics of niche interests there is an information overload. As a result, site visibility gains a lot of importance. A URL ranking on the first page obviously enjoys a better vote of trust than the URL ranking on the second or the third page of a SERP. To be precise, users consider the results on the first page as THE trusted sources for the information they are seeking. In such a scenario, ranking for a particular keyword with good search volumes becomes all the more important. Ranking for a highly searched keyword gives good overall site visibility and improves click-through-rate (CTR) of the site. And better CTRs drive in more organic site traffic.
Importance of CTRs -

Click-through-rate or CTR is another important metric which plays a deciding role in whether the user is going to land on your site or is he going to abandon clicking on your site. CTR measures the number of times users have clicked on your site URL every time your site is listed in the SERPs for a particular keyword. In short CTR is the ratio of the Number of clicks to the Number of Impressions. The game is very simple – even if you are ranking on the first page, how are you going to entice the user click on your site result and make him land on your site.
Enticing the User -

There are a host of factors which influence a site’s CTR. These include on page elements such as page titles and meta descriptions since these are the only two elements which are visible in SERPs. Judging from these, a user decides if a particular site is satisfying the information he/she is seeking. However, other than these, video thumbnails are the newest elements which are visible in SERPs. Findings have shown that Google puts up a small snapshot of the video present on the ranking URL.

Image 1.1 - Snapshot of the video thumbnails in Google SERPs

Video Thumbnails – Having video thumbnails certainly adds to the attractiveness quotient of the listing URL. Users will trust the ranking URL with a video thumbnail as their best bet to find the information they are seeking. Obviously this will lead to an increase in CTRs for that particular ranking URL. While Google hasn’t stated how it decides to include the video thumbnails, research has shown that natural link building is the way to go ahead.

Prospective Strategy -

Adoption of a strategy like this – having an informative video or a presentation or an info-graphic on a vital page such as a client’s flagship product page or a service page or in general, the about us page which showcases what the company is all about will improve the CTR of the overall site. Anything interactive, which is a value addition to the existing content on the page, will aid in upping the CTR of the page. Once the user is drawn to the page and if the content is engaging enough, we can expect a rise in the Average Time Spent on the Page or the Average Time Spent on the Site. These parameters are again of utmost importance because they decide if the user is finding the on page content relevant enough to successfully complete his quest for that valuable piece of information.


Importance of CTR: Connecting link between lead acquisitions and end customers

This kind of a strategy can be well applied for all types of sites; be it e-commerce companies or companies not engaged into core e-commerce activities – those who have some products on offer as well as for service-oriented companies. It all depends on the page which the client wants to give importance to; the page which can have serious implications on the number of conversions happening for a site.
Hope this post was helpful. In case you have any insights which you would like to share or have any comments, feel free to post them. I will be glad to get back to you.

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