How Live Streaming Videos Can Boost Your SEO

They generate 600% more interaction on Facebook than pre-recorded content

After Facebook's algorithm update, livestreaming became a better way to reach a higher number of audiences.
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When I mention live streaming to my clients, they often react dismissively. Usually they know someone who started steaming on Periscope or Twitch and then gradually lost interest. That’s what happens when you jump on the latest trend without considering your ROI. Now, I would never suggest using a new tool or platform simply because everyone else is doing it. But live streaming absolutely represents real value for brands right now, and there are stats to prove it.

On Facebook, 78 percent of audiences are already watching live video regularly. Not only that, but live videos are a great way to beat Facebook’s notoriously fickle algorithm: One study found that live videos on Facebook generate 600 percent more interactions than pre-recorded videos.

I have no doubt that there are plenty of savvy marketers who have already figured this out and are incorporating livestreams into their marketing mix right now. But there’s one other reason I recommend live streaming to my clients that is not widely known: Livestreams are great for SEO.

One of the reasons live streams perform so well on Facebook is because the site actually updated its ranking algorithm in 2016 to give preference to live videos in Facebook Graph Search results. Additionally, YouTube—the number two search engine by query volume right behind Google—promotes YouTube Live videos to the top of relevant search results while the video is live on air. This should come as no surprise: Live video is the type of content that social networks (and search engines) love. It brings their users the absolute latest information available, and the high audience engagement means that it keeps people on the site for longer, which means more ad views and more ad revenue.

If you’re new to live streaming, there are plenty of platforms available. If you’re looking for maximum SEO impact, I’d recommend sticking with Facebook and YouTube. While some have found success with smaller sites, you’re likely to restrict your audience size or be limited by niche functionality (Instagram live streams disappear after 24 hours).

Both Facebook and YouTube’s services are relatively straightforward, and it should only take a few minutes to get set up for streaming. However, there are a few details you need to get right. Most importantly, both Facebook and YouTube allow you to embed your streams, which is essential since you’re going to want to send people to a URL on your website.

So, what are the main factors you need to consider when utilizing live streaming as part of your SEO strategy?

Live videos on Facebook generate 600 percent more interactions than pre-recorded videos.

First off, when setting up your stream, make sure you include keywords in the title and description. (You can use Google Trends to do keyword research for YouTube.) Search engines still can’t understand audio, so they need text cues to help them categorize your video properly. Titles that are too clever or obscure could result in your stream not being indexed properly, if at all.

Quality is also important. You don’t need to spend thousands on HD equipment, but you do need to make sure the sound is clear and crisp and the image is focused and free from glitches. Poor quality will send your engagement down the tubes.

Next, put some thought into your content. Your main goals should be to generate backlinks and maximize watch time. To do that, your stream will need to be remarkable in some way.

Naturally, live streaming is a better fit for certain types of content. If you’re attending a conference, giving a talk or running a workshop, why not live stream it for people who can’t make it? Set up a dedicated page on your site where the stream will be embedded (with the keyword/event name in the URL) so people can easily link to it. Other formats that work well for live streaming are exclusive interviews (why not live stream your podcast?), sports matches or online gaming and live music or comedy.

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