With all of our talk about the importance of content, video marketing is a sorely overlooked subject. Visual storytelling has proven to be an excellent marketing tool. Therefore it’s very important not to miss the opportunities it can offer you.
Let’s start with some facts:
- YouTube is arguably the second largest search engine and the third most visited site on the web [source]
- Internet video will account for 79 percent of global web traffic by the year 2020 [source]
- Video content has the highest retention rate [source]
That said, it may or may not be surprising to you that videos typically leave a longer-lasting impression as well as improve your chances of ranking on the first page of a SERP. However, as with any useful tactic in the marketing world, it can be misunderstood and abused. Here are the ways video marketing can help your SEO and some tips to help you avoid the ways it could hurt you.
Good vs bad SEO
As with all kinds of online marketing strategies, there are good ways of doing them and bad ways of doing them. Make sure that your site and its individual pages are all totally optimized for their maximum ranking potential. You will need to utilize technical SEO tools such as keyword usage, title tags, H2s and H3s, and proper metadata. It requires effective page optimization.
When you begin link building to your website and specific pages, you will find that it’s important to not only produce good content but to get it in front of the right people talking about it. A lot of companies build up their link portfolios with low-quality directories and sometimes pornography websites — and this often gets them penalized. It doesn’t do much for ranking either. So utilize good and healthy SEO tactics, because although a video can propel your content farther, it won’t cancel out your bad SEO techniques.
SEO video marketing: How to optimize for video SEO
Since video is under-appreciated among marketers, optimizing your YouTube videos with SEO tools is also under-appreciated.
In Search Engine Land’s 2015 article entitled “Do Not Underestimate the Power of Youtube,” they laid out a checklist of four ways to optimize your video content for Google and YouTube:
- Create an optimized title.
- Use tags wisely.
- Create a full description, and fill it with keywords and synonyms of keywords
- Consider using closed captions or uploading a transcript.
Of course, good SEO won’t make up for bad content either — your videos have to be useful and enjoyable. But you also don’t want to have a killer video that isn’t optimized. Then nobody will find it, and it becomes purposeless.
Implementing video marketing SEO
You may now be asking, “what makes a good video?” In other words, what videos drive the most traffic?
This is a very important question, and there’s been a lot of research on the subject. In 2015, it was reported that 91% of smartphone users watched how-to videos. Popular YouTube influencers run their own vlogs as well. It would seem tutorial-esque videos — also known as explainer videos — tend to do really well.
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However, businesses are finding that user-generated content tends to be one of the highest forms of video marketing there is right now. It would seem those involving customers and even on-the-ground employees is attractive to people. Maybe it’s the inclusion factor of feeling like they are part of the brand and the product. It goes to show that including your audience in your marketing plan is better than selling down to them.
Know your video audience and SEO rich keywords
Of course, your target market is at the core of everything. The success of your campaign depends on the effective choice of your audience. So first, decide who your target audience is going to be. Once you have a general idea of the age, demographic, and geographical location they tend to reside in, choose the keywords in your video titles, descriptions, and tags carefully to cater to that audience.
These are what we call “niche keywords.” You can use tools like Google Analytics and WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool to see competing search terms your target audience is searching for. Then, optimize your video accordingly.
The SEO of link building doesn’t stop with keywords in the descriptions. There are some who would suggest that link juice is passed through video embed codes - meaning your video will rank better in search engines the more it’s being shared on websites and in online articles.
Another way to use videos in link building is in an exchange scenario. For instance, offering to make a website or online journalist a video specifically designed for their article, which they can post on their site in exchange for a link to yours. You offer them content, they give you a link. Additionally, video captions themselves - for instance, the blocks you see on Youtube videos that link to other videos or places on the web, pass link juice as well and can be used to build links to your own website or another. And of course, a Youtube description also builds follow links.
It’s clear that video marketing can be used to build your SEO as well as your brand, but what are your real-life experiences with doing so? Please share in the comments below!