Videos are an important part of internet marketing and search engine optimization. Not only do they increase the interest-factor of your content, but they also improve rank as well.
Due to the frequency of videos on blogs and social media sites without them there’s a risk of appearing dull. In fact, 62% of general searches on Google will result in a video.
So, how do you get your videos to stand out and rank favourably? Here are seven tips to improve overall SEO.
1. Captions Add Searchability
There’s nothing worse than scrolling across a video on your mobile phone, only to have it suddenly blare sound. Video transcripts allow your content to be viewed in silent mode while retaining its message. This is attractive to users who might be viewing in a public place. It also broadens your audience to include deaf and hearing-impaired viewers.
Text of any kind is key in search engine optimization. Not only allows your human viewers to find you more easily, but it also encourages bots to do so. Crawler bots work for Google to collect information on the websites they list. They use the designated search engine algorithms to rank your links against competitor sites. Including captions will increase searchability and offer additional space for keyword inclusion.
2. Make Your Best Video a Priority
While it’s your choice to include as many videos per page as you please, it could impact SEO rank. Google typically lists one video per link, making it important to put your best foot forward. As crawler bots seek out video content, they’re typically programmed to stop after the first find. This means any other video you’ve embedded could be overlooked. When deciding on the video to place first consider the following:
Overall Viewability: Videos have a higher chance of being viewed if they’re mobile-friendly. Factors such as length, dimensions, and loading speed impact this.
SEO Inclusions: Qualities which will rank higher with search engines should be prioritized. Captions, descriptions, keywords, tags, and titles all make a difference.
Best Quality: Search engines collect data to learn whether your site matches their algorithms. They also consider how relevant your content is to internet users and how many viewers you have. It doesn’t matter how great your content is if your camera or mic work is sloppy. Choose a video which is clear, can be heard, and retains good lighting.
3. Your Thumbnail Sells the Videos
You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but many judges a video by its thumbnail. The tiny image seen when your video hasn’t been opened or played says a lot. It tells a story about the video before it’s ever set in motion. Having a thumbnail present in your search engine results doubles visibility and traffic. Select a frame which encapsulates the content or best represents your brand.
Don’t let your thumbnail be auto-selected; it could end up being an unflattering freeze frame or something unrecognizable to a viewer. It would become a lasting image in the minds of consumers just getting to know your brand.
Studies show that thumbnails with human subjects on screen offer a 30% greater chance of being played. It’s worthwhile to (pardon the pun) thumb through video frames to find a worthy still for your thumbnail.
4. Generate Backlinks with Catchy Content
A goal of any potential top-ranking video is the generation of high-quality backlinks. These come from viewers sharing your content over a variety of platforms. The tricky bit is that not all videos have this shareability factor. Nobody wants to link their friends and family to some uninteresting clip about a new shoe. They want to be viewed as interesting and innovative, choosing content which reflects this. Your product can still make the cut, but the video must really be something to spark a longing to share. Reasons viewers might share a video include:
Humorous Content: Everybody loves a good laugh, as can be deduced from all the memes that creep into social media. If your video attracts a chuckle, it has a greater chance to be shared with others.
Emotional Content: Videos which evoke an emotional response from viewers are shareworthy. Viewers want to show others what they felt as they watched and will send your link through email or social media to do so. This doesn’t mean your content needs to be sad, just touching. Use a personal story, or true customer experience to share an emotion-based message with your audience.
Educational Content: Humor and emotion aren’t the only types of content that sell. Videos with educational messages are also popular for sharing. Internet users who wish to convey their wit will share informative pieces. Viewers may also share something that expresses a strong opinion related to their own.
5. Host from Your Website
Too often businesses refer to YouTube or other third-party streaming sites to host video. This may cut costs and increase loading time, but it also links consumers to a domain other than your own. A core focus of SEO is to increase website views and overall traffic. If you host on your own domain, anytime your video is shared, your website is shared as well.
When hosting on your own site, remember to improve indexing by separating video by page. As mentioned above, crawler bots aren’t likely to reference any video past the first. A one-video-per-page strategy improves SEO.
If you choose to host on a third-party provider, be sure to include your site link in the description. It doesn’t have the same effect as hosting on your own domain, but it gives viewers a chance to find you.
6. Improve Search with a Sitemap
Sitemaps are daunting in concept but simple in practice. If nobody on staff has a strong grasp of HTML, consider bringing in an outsider when developing your video. Adding a sitemap is like adding an alternate language to an instruction guide. It offers search bots a more thorough readout of your video in a language they understand.
Sitemaps include all the little details that comprise your video, such as expiration date, content location, description, duration, and title. Many marketers overlook the sitemap, making it an advantage over competitors.
7. Use Well-Researched Keywords for your Videos
Keywords are common knowledge in modern SEO, but not just any keyword will do. Once you’ve published a few videos, you can draw on analytics to determine which keywords are making a difference in your campaign. Before this, you can research keyword dominance in your industry to learn which are most popular.
Keywords impact your content in many ways, both in terminology and length. Studies suggest that keywords of at least 4-words comprise 50% of searches. Long-tail keywords are more specific to your brand and product, while short, concise keywords are broad but used more frequently. There is research for both styles that suggest success depending on your campaign.
Have Fun with Your Videos
Search rank is an important part of digital marketing, but don’t let this spoil your message. Having fun, keeping content relevant and being true to your brand is just as important as SEO. Combine these tips with a personal message and keep the customer at the forefront of your mind for video success.