The rules of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) have changed drastically in the last few years. Optimizing webpage content and building a lot of backlinks used to be the go-to strategies for any marketer who wanted to achieve better ranking on search engines. These days, however, video marketing has taken center stage.
As more brands embrace this practice and integrate it into their campaigns, video marketing becomes even more competitive. Good thing there are several ways to get ahead of the competition. It starts with understanding why video is fundamental to SEO.
Why is Video Marketing Important to SEO?
As you already know, video content is what most of the digital world is into nowadays. Along with the growth of video, we saw the rise of YouTube, which is currently the world’s second largest search engine. That alone says so much about the platform’s potential to improve SEO. Since the platform allows content creators to optimize their videos, brands can effectively reach millions of active YouTube users.
YouTube’s ability to transcribe spoken script is one of the reasons why it’s become relevant to your SEO strategy. Transcribing your videos makes it easier for Google to index the content, making it easier for viewers to find your brand, your products or your services.
Perhaps the main reason why video has become so crucial to SEO is Google’s ownership of YouTube. Their association makes SEO-ready videos rank better on Google. We can’t know for sure what YouTube’s algorithm is, as they like to keep mum about their secret sauce. We can, however, look into studies that can pretty much tell us about the trends and the most effective practices that can help us rank better.
How Does Video Help SEO?
The increasing popularity of video content has turned the medium into a staple marketing tool for businesses. This strategy has been used by brands to convey important messages to ideal audiences in a way that’s more engaging for them. However, a video does so much more than grab consumers’ attention. When the proper practices are implemented, video marketing can boost SEO and website ranking.
Here’s how video content can assist and improve your SEO strategy:
1. Creates quality backlinks
Linking your written content to your video campaign builds the backlinks you need to improve your SEO. But it is the format’s highly engaging nature that will get you to increase those backlinks. Videos that are informative as well as entertaining can capture the interest of high-authority domains. When you manage to do so, rest assured, you can produce heaps of backlinks that will amplify your SEO efforts.
2. Highly Shareable
Social media platforms have such a huge role to play in any marketing campaign today. Likes, comments, and shares – all of these social signs will help you improve your online visibility and will enhance SEO for both your written and video content. These features help you establish quality backlinks, and as a result, it improves the content’s social relevance as well as your domain’s strength. Of course, those lead to better SEO.
3. Improves SERPs rank
Did you know that the description box in video hosting platforms like YouTube actually helps you rank better? Yes, there’s a reason why YouTube gave you thousands of characters to play with. That metadata is what search engines will use to identify the kind of content you’ve created. More importantly, it is how their system decides the video’s relevance and appropriate rank. Actually, search engines have a lot of factors to consider before determining a page rank. Transcriptions, the number of likes, shares, and comments on your video are some of them.
Video marketing entails strategies that ultimately get you to rank higher on SERPs. By using these practices, you can make content easier to find and interact with.
4. Improves CTR
Video is the most popular form of online content these days. For that reason, it’s probably also the most effective. Reaching out to consumers, who specifically prefer using video to research brands, can help you improve your click-through rate. Using sitemaps for your video, for instance, will make it easier for prospects to find your platform.
How to Boost Your SEO
Now that you know what the benefits of video marketing are for SEO, it is time you learned how to attain them. Listed below are the best practices for optimizing your video:
1. Set Your Goals
Before you plan for your video production, know what the goals of the entire marketing campaign are. This way, you can align the videos with the rest of your content strategies. Are you looking to boost your page’s inbound links to improve ranking? Do you want to see more conversions? Or are you perhaps just hoping the video can help off-page SEO?
Setting your goals before diving into the video making process is the first step towards creating an effective strategy for SEO improvement.
2. Use research-driven content
Marketing video content is pretty much similar to marketing written content in that both require you to serve audiences with relevant information, something they care about and can legitimately use. Put yourself in your consumers’ shoes, and ask yourself:
- What do they want to know about?
- What topics are trending?
- What keyword phrases are they using to look for this information?
When you’re looking for the right content, you can take advantage of the search engine’s predictive functionality. Look at the popular search terms and pick topics that your particular audience might find valuable. You should consider answering long-tail search queries that have a minimum of five words and a maximum of nine. Other than the search bar, there are tools for doing these keyword searches such as Google’s Keyword Planner.
Moreover, you must keep track of trends. Although there will be more competition if you decide to cover one, you will also have more opportunity to reach larger audiences. Google Trends, Google Correlate, and Twitter are some of the best channels for monitoring these trends.
Here are some of the best practices for ranking videos (including research):
3. Be More Engaging
The more engaged audiences are, the higher your videos will rank on search engines. At least for YouTube, this is true. Research proves that social signs such as views, shares, likes, and comments are greatly correlated to higher rankings. Meanwhile, subscriber size only has a medium correlation to it. This is obviously great news for YouTubers who don’t have such a huge amount of followers. They can still rank high as long as their audience interacts with them more.
Here are other facts that you need to take note of before creating your content:
- Long-form videos perform better than short-form ones.
- YouTube videos that have first page rankings have an average length of 14 minutes and 50 seconds.
- 68.2% of content on the first page of YouTube’s search results are HD videos.
Keep the following tips in mind when you’re producing your own video content:
4. Make transcriptions
Google may not be able to read your visual content, but they can comprehend transcriptions. The text files make it possible for Google to index your videos, which means it makes them more search friendly. Two platforms that allow you to add transcriptions are YouTube and your own domain. Research shows that videos with closed captions see 7.32% more views than videos that don’t utilize them.
I know this sounds like tedious work, but there are a few other options out there if you aren’t up for doing your own transcriptions. First, you can take advantage of YouTube’s closed-caption feature. It is not exactly the best at transcribing videos. Although it can get the work done, you also get a ton of errors. Next, there’s speech-recognition software for this such as Dictation and Camtasia. Finally, there are video marketing and video production companies that should be more effective at this than any other software.
5. Host on your own domain
Making your video available on widely popular platforms like YouTube provides a lot of possibility for tapping into millions of their users. No doubt, it can be more profitable for your businesses. However, hosting content solely on such channels isn’t always be the best strategy for boosting SEO results as it drives traffic only to these hosting services. Your site won’t get much of the action.
Even when you embed the video to your own domain, it doesn’t help you as much as it helps them. If you want the best SEO value, put the video up on your own platform.
Create a page per video as it will help Google index them easier. And don’t forget about accessibility. Your ideal consumers are going to watch it from their preferred gadgets. So you can ensure that everyone who visits can see your video – make it available in different formats. It should be accessible oniOS and Android devices at the very least.
If you’ve yet to establish your own platform, this tutorial should help you get started:
6. Optimize the metadata
Search engines pull data from video description boxes. It uses the information to evaluate the video’s relevance and to set an appropriate rank. There are three metadata features that you must never ignore. These are the title, description, and tags.
Here are a few reminders for optimizing your metadata:
- It should be significant to the message you are trying to convey in the video.
- The copy must be captivating enough so you can improve that click-through rate.
- Keywords that are relevant to the content must always be included.
- Titles must have a maximum of 55 characters.
Don’t forget to encourage viewers to hit like, follow your channel, and leave a comment. The buzz surrounding your video will also get you to rank better on YouTube and on Google.
7. Create a Video Sitemap
This tool is, as the name suggests, a map that search engine bots use to find videos on any website. It gives you a better chance of being found by Google, which also means your video can rank better in the search results page.
Not only that, a sitemap will increase your online presence on video.google.com. Plus, it displays your video’s thumbnail, which you can use as a call to action. With a thumbnail featured on the results page, click-through rates should improve.
Video sitemaps might be difficult to create and implement for those who aren’t developers. Google does have a tutorial for this, but if it’s far too complicated for you, ask if the video production company you hire can help you with this. Perhaps you can turn to video marketing companies for a little help. When you have your sitemap, it must be submitted to Google via Search Console. Again, this tool increases your chances of being discovered by Google. However, it won’t guarantee a spot in SERPs.
8. Be mobile-friendly
It’s safe to say that the growth of the smartphone industry has brought about several changes to the way we consume content online. Mobile devices have made it easier for everyone to look up certain brands, discover new products, and purchase items online. Our reliance on smartphones has skyrocketed in most recent years, but it is only expected to keep on increasing.
In fact, 52.2% of the world’s online traffic generated in 2018 came from mobile phones. That’s 1.9% higher from last year. That goes without saying – mobile marketing needs to have a place in your online campaigns.
To thrive in this digital era, you need to make content mobile-friendly. Look at the following stats to understand why you need to optimize for mobile and how you can do it effectively:
- 51% of shoppers prefer looking for new products and brands using mobile devices
- 69% of consumers prefer purchasing from brands that have mobile-friendly platforms which provide them with the information they need
- 91% of mobile users are more likely to purchase a product online when they see ads that they consider relevant
- 53% of mobile websites that won’t load within three seconds are usually abandoned by consumers; conversion decrease by 12% for each second that you delay consumers
Make sure that your promotional videos or any form of content you put out, for that matter, are mobile-friendly by following these tips:
- Encode those videos so they show up properly when users view them on their smartphones or tablets. For instance, you can use MP4 files for content that’s brief. You can use HTTP Live Streaming for long form videos.
- Take advantage of large CTA buttons, ones that can be visible on smaller screen sizes.
Here’s how you can optimize videos for mobile devices:
9. Add a great video thumbnail
Think of a video thumbnail as a film poster. It should be able to promote the content, and it must be able to entice movie-buffs into watching it. When consumers are scrolling through social media videos, an intriguing thumbnail can stop them in their tracks. It can get them to click and view what you worked so hard on to produce.
Here are a few tips for making effective thumbnails:
- It doesn’t have to be a frame from the actual video you uploaded, but it does have to stay true to the content you are delivering. Don’t use clickbait as it can backfire and upset viewers.
- The image, as well as the text you add to the thumbnail, should be visible even in small screen sizes.
- Never use screenshots of the frame. They can look terrible as small images.
- Try to use human faces on the thumbnail as much as possible since audiences respond better when they see a person instead of a product.
10. Upload videos often
If you want to get more out of your video marketing campaign, then come up with new content often. Whether it’s social media videos or business videos, this way is the fastest way of growing your online presence. Think about it. Producing more videos will provide more opportunities for users to engage with the brand. Not to mention, this can drive more traffic to your channel.
When it comes to YouTube, channels that frequently provide new content are bound to have more SEO power. These days, publishing new content at least five days a week is how you can generate the best results. The recommended number used to be three times a week, but now that YouTube is paying close attention to its daily active users, incentives are being given to content creators who publish videos more frequently.
Here’s a summary of the YouTube trends you should be embracing:
Video production has taken center stage in the last few years. It has turned into such a fundamental part of online marketing. That’s also what you need to keep in mind when moving forward. The content per se is one of several other elements in your overall video marketing strategy. The rest is equally important. Do it well so you can reach desired audiences, and ultimately achieve the goals you’ve set for the campaign.
Are you ready to implement what you’ve learned?
To jumpstart the process of creating an efficient video marketing plan for your business, contact us here.