Online video has been called the future of marketing, and not without good reason. Video is fast and interesting by design. You can transmit tremendous amounts of data in a simple, short video of two or three minutes. Video is more effective method of transmitting information. Its audio-visual capabilities facilitate the effective communication of a range of emotions, ideas, and feelings.
The effects on sensory perceptions make video more persuasive. Compared to other forms of content, such as text or images, which engage only one sensory perception, video engages multiple. By incorporating imagery, music, facial expressions, body language and other cues, video appeals to the “emotional brain” or the limbic system.
You can in fact go on and on about how impressive video is and how well-founded the speculations of video taking over content marketing are. It would be easier to sum the importance of video in one sentence: “It helps you connect with your audience in a swifter, personal and effective manner.”
But – only if you make sure your video is reaching intended audience
What good are the benefits of video if no one actually watches it? No good, right? This is where video SEO comes in. By optimizing your video for search engines, (both desktop and mobile), you can ensure your video is found and appreciated. Here are 10 simple ways to do so:
Let’s start with content optimization:
1. Close the information gap
Hundreds of thousands of internet users scour the web looking for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. Use Google’s Keyword Tool, and other research tools, to find out what your target audience segment is searching. Speak to your customer-facing agents to find what questions customers ask, what problems customers face, and what complaints customer make.
Use the information to create a content plan for your videos. Focus on the burning questions of customers first. Use video to help your customers find answers, solve problems, resolve complaints, and accomplish tasks faster, better, and easier. Since these are the frequently searched terms, your content will be found easily.
2. Charm viewers with interactive video elements
In-video quizzes, forms, and surveys, even external links will help you engage the viewer and guide them toward a marketing goal. Employ short, well-crafted, and compelling call-to-actions within your video to drive traffic to your website, make a sale, or get some information. You can even leverage these elements to have viewers sign up to your email newsletter or video library.
Now focus on UX (user experience) optimization:
3. Give your videos a home
Sure YouTube is a great place for your videos to work and play. Make no mistake. YouTube is not their home. To derive more SEO value from every video asset you produce, host all videos on your own website. So this is a website with your own domain and your own webmaster. This will bring traffic to your website and boost your visibility and ranking.
4. Build a video resource center
E-learning is all the rage these days and you can jump on the bandwagon by grouping related video assets together, categorizing them appropriately, and creating a video resource center for your audience. Tag each category clearly to help users navigate through the resource center seamlessly. A good idea is to place each video on a different landing page because this will make search engines index and rank different videos individually. Plus, a resource center will increase visitors’ time on website which will improve the rank of your overall website as well.
5. Build a sitemap
Sitemaps are fundamental in SEO because they help search bots and people locate and navigate to content assets. To get higher SEO value, have a dedicated landing page created for all videos listed on the video sitemap. Don’t forget the metadata either!
Next, optimize for higher search traffic:
6. Leverage keywords for increased visibility
Fill your metadata and alt text with relevant keywords. Remember to target long-tail keywords as well. Consider embedding the primary keyword in the URL of the landing page, as well as the HTML code of the landing page where the video is hosted. This will help search bots find it easily.
7. Leverage transcripts
Video transcripts have tremendous value. They can make an otherwise under-performing video rank high on a search engine results pages. This is because they allow you to use keywords to attract traffic. In addition, they offer a choice to viewers who want to know the content of the video but cannot or do not want to buffer it. For best results, add the transcripts into the webpage’s HTML code.
And here’s a bonus benefit: You can re-purpose the transcripts to create a long-form text-based blog post or article. (For example: a question-and-answer format blog post about the topic.) This post can then be used to drive traffic to your website, product/service discussed, and to the actual video.
8. Leverage YouTube
YouTube is one of the largest search engines in the world, second only to Google. The site gets more than three billion search queries a month! You can put this amazing popularity of the site to make your content discoverable. Here is how:
Create short, interesting, and intriguing video previews for the videos that are hosted on your website. Ensure what you include in the preview offers value on its own. That is, has enough information for viewers. Embed the link of the actual video, in the preview. Upload it on YouTube. And voila! You have created a way to bring YouTube audience to your website.
9. Facilitate embedding
Allow other webmasters, bloggers, and third-party entities to embed your videos in their content. This will not only make your content discoverable to a wider audience, but also position you as a thought leader and person of influence. Plus, it increases the number of inbound links to your website and increases search ranks as well.
10. Monitor, measure and evaluate
Optimization is a continuous process. Implement a tracking system to your video website, and library, to keep track of the traffic and conversions happening on different channels. This will help you understand the performance of your video SEO strategy, and also provide insight into viewer demographics. Sit with your SEO team to identify three or four key performance indicators; monitor them; analyze them; and use the results to improve SEO for higher traffic and conversions.