If you are new to the world of online video, here are some facts that1 may astound you:

– In December 2011, approx. 182 million internet users in the U.S watched online video. That represents – almost 65% of the entire population of the country (not just of internet users!)
– The figure represents over 85% of the population of Internet users
– Per user, that comes to almost 24 hours
– Video ads accounted for 14% of all videos watched

1 See the full report by ComScore

The growth of the online video industry has been partly fuelled not just by the effectiveness of videos to drive conversions but also traffic to online properties such as websites, Facebook fan pages and twitter pages, to name a few.

If you are looking for ways to increase traffic to your website, a video can help you achieve this in one of the most cost-effective ways. Let’s take a look at 6 ways a video can help you get more visitors and traffic to your website.

A website with a video stands a much greater chance of getting first page rankings within the Search Engines than one without any video content. This means that adding a video can increase the overall effectiveness of your Search Engine Optimization strategy and boost your current rankings.
A video which has been commissioned with a strategy in mind can help you gain an online advantage over your competitors. For example, consider a Product video: if your company created iPod cases and you have a video created which shows the iPod case in use, your product’s unique features and benefits, a search for ‘iPod cases’ can result in your video appearing within the first page. Internet users prefer to watch video as compared to reading text and a first page listing for your product video means greater exposure of your product to potential customers than other listings on the same page from competitors who do not have a video to help them sell their iPod case.
Videos can be a great tool to attract interested prospects rather than ‘window shoppers’ – users willing to sit through a video for a product or service will be more ready to make a purchase.
Publishing your video on YouTube with a link back to your site will help drive additional traffic to your website. In most cases, these are potential customers that may not have had visited your website or heard about your brand was it not because of the video you posted on YouTube.
In the world of the Social Web, people love to share interesting information with their friends, family and colleagues and when it comes to videos, “interesting” comes in all forms such as – humour, informative, educational and so on. A well crafted video stands a greater chance of being shared which can ultimately help increase traffic to your website. As in the example above, in most cases, these are new visitors that wouldn’t have otherwise visited your website.
In addition to YouTube, using websites such as Keek can help your video get more online exposure and ultimately drive more traffic to your website.