Mixpo’s Glenn Pingul has an interesting column in Search Engine Land today about online video’s growing relevance as an ad vehicle for SMBs. He hits on all the main points, discussed here in the past, about video’s benefits for local advertising, including:
Strong branding medium; traditional strengths of video advertising.
“Lean forward” mode of watching online video takes advantage of direct response capabilities of the Internet.
Online distribution has lowered the barrier for SMBs.
Broadband penetration and killer apps such as YouTube have popularized online video (comScore data here) almost to the point of an expectation in search (and by extension, local search).
Given increasingly “blended” SERPs, video can be a powerful differentiator among text links.
To add to Pingul’s argument, universal search makes video an opportune tool to improve search engine rankings. Companies like eLocalListing have taken this to heart with a focus on video SEO. Freedom Communications’ Mark Robertson also covers this increasingly important breed of SEO on his ReelSEO blog.
But given their growing ranks of SMB video content, IYPs are the ones that need to take this message to heart most. Well-optimized video has the potential to increase the search rankings for IYP listings and drive more traffic back to them. This is compared with video that is buried within listings, which is the case with many IYPs so far.
It’s well known that search is a sizable front door to most online experiences (as opposed to direct navigation traffic). Although some IYPs have valuable URLs and strong brands, they are no exception to this (Hitwise data below). If IYPs can get on the video SEO train in a more concerted way, they will benefit from a larger front door.