We know there are thousands of online videos viewed daily, and we know there are millions of users on Facebook. As a small business owner, it's clear that both YouTube and Facebook are valuable marketing tools to build and grow a business through sharing content, providing valuable information, boosting SEO and search engine ranking, and networking, to name a few of the benefits.
Facebook Vs YouTube For SEO
However, a good question to ask is which of the two—Facebook or YouTube—have the best chance of boosting SEO? We know it makes sense to share any relevant business YouTube link on a Facebook business page, but is it because you're simply spreading the word, or does Facebook have a stronger SEO impact than YouTube to better ensure the video will be found in search engine rankings vs. posting to YouTube alone? Also, how does Facebook videos compare to YouTube videos for SEO?
One way to approach this subject is by comparing elements of each as it pertains to video for SEO.
Benefits of YouTube Videos for SEO
- People looking for videos are more likely to go to YouTube and do a search vs. Facebook.
- YouTube videos get a lot more views than those on Facebook.
- It's easy to share YouTube videos across several popular social media sites, such as Facebook, which creates a lot more links driving people to your videos. You can only share Facebook videos on Facebook, vs. across other social media sites.
- Facebook has an app that allows a business' followers to watch YouTube videos directly from the Facebook page.
- When new videos are uploaded, YouTube shares the information with your subscribers.
- It's easy to add external links to YouTube that drive people to your various 'homes' online, such as social media pages, your business website, etc.
- You can add GEO modifiers and keywords to your YouTube video links for better search engine rankings.
Also, from personal experience, YouTube videos when implemented correctly for low volume keywords and terms—350K or less competing for the keyword—seems to be easier to get videos ranking than on Facebook, though it's rare people compete in low volume keywords.
Benefits of Facebook Video for SEO
- Videos in Facebook can be tagged so they show up on your friend's Facebook pages (this can also occur with YouTube video links shared on Facebook).
- Videos on Facebook can go viral a bit easier than on YouTube with the built in capability of allowing the videos to be shared with the 'like' feature, creating more links on 'friends' and 'fans' pages.
- Facebook videos can be embedded on websites and blogs.
These lists support the stories of business owners on the web who appear to have better SEO results from YouTube hosted videos compared to Facebook hosted videos. But for this particular comparison it's important to clarify that, at least in part, an assumption's being made that individuals are looking for information supported by video or with video as part of the search term, and not just general keyword search terms.
If using video as one element of a social media strategy, then YouTube does seem to be the best choice over Facebook for SEO. However, most marketing and social media strategies will have many components in addition to video, so a comprehensive strategy with the potential for high impact will incorporate both Facebook and YouTube and create synergies between the two.