Remember the days when an individual would grab a phone book, flip through business listings, and call each one until making contact with an organization capable of providing the product or service they were looking for? Those days are long gone and while it may be easier for the consumer to find an offering to fulfill their needs, businesses are faced with the challenge of making it to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Search engine optimization (SEO) may seem daunting to many, but those employing tactics to enhance SEO for video are often rewarded with visibility into markets they never would have dreamed reachable in the days of phonebook marketing.
Furthermore, the days of overzealous keywording have come and gone. Sure, it’s an important element of SEO, but search engine algorithms have evolved and keyword overuse often leads to lower search rankings. Instead, companies are turning to other, more effective tactics to boost their position in the SERPs.
Video marketing has quickly become a critical pawn in the digital marketing game, but just slapping a video on a website and calling it good won’t be enough to send your website to the top of the search results for your industry. As with any marketing effort, proper methodology needs to be in place before positive outcomes are achieved.
We’ve done the research and discovered the following best practices to be among the top ways to boost SEO with video.
Use appropriate keywords or keyword phrases
That’s right, now I’m telling you to do the exact thing I suggested was going the way of the phonebook. Don’t get me wrong, I maintain my stance that over-keywording will hurt you, but search engines still want to know what your content is about. Make sure you are using keywords that truly represent the material contained in the video and research ahead of time to determine exactly what search terms people are using in their queries.
Produce relevant content
Many brands are adding video to their content strategy because of the extraordinary impact it has in getting a message across and fueling inbound marketing efforts. It’s essential for all content to be high quality, relevant, and useful – and that goes for video content as well.
Just as you need to research which keywords and keyword phrases to include, you also need to do homework ahead of time to determine what is important to your target market. What are they already searching for? What is missing from content surrounding that topic? What are their goals and their pain points? Once you have pinpointed what they are looking for, you can better develop the content that will be delivered once they enter their query.
Make browsing easy
If you haven’t already, it’s time to come to terms with the fact that people are impatient when it comes to anything online. Users usually aren’t willing to sift through a sea of mis-tagged videos or galleries filled with useless footage. Categorizing your content and using tags wisely provides a pleasant user experience and keeps those viewers on your site longer. This tells Google (and other search engines) that people find the content on your site valuable.
Don’t skip the sitemap
The previous tip assumes your potential viewer was able to find at least a single video. If you failed to add the information to your sitemap, chances are your audience isn’t able to find it organically. Essentially, sitemaps tell search engine robots what your video (and your pages’ other content) is about so they can effectively crawl your site. There are a couple different ways you can go about adding video sitemaps. Google provides some useful tips here.
Use metadata wisely
Metadata is the specific information you provide in the aforementioned sitemap. It’s technically data summarizing other data for the purposes of search. It should be used for all content, but can prove especially beneficial with video. Why? It’s simple, really. Video has a disadvantage when being searched because search engine crawlers read text; they aren’t capable of deciphering the content of a video without a little help from the site manager. Including keyword-rich information about your content ensures you are manually inputting the data rather than relying on what is automatically collected and uploaded with the video.
Make sharing easy for your viewers
Every time your video is embedded on a site or shared on a social platform, its perceived quality goes up in the “eyes” of search engines. In short, backlinks tell search engines that viewers found your content entertaining or useful. So, not only will traffic increase due to those embeds and shares, but also organic traffic! Make it easy for others to share by adding social sharing buttons to the video’s landing page.
First impressions matter –in life and in video marketing. A potential viewer decides in a matter of seconds whether or not they’re going to press play and when they do, it has a lot to do with the image in the thumbnail. So, yours needs to stop people in their tracks…er scroll. Just like our previous tip, a compelling thumbnail image won’t directly boost your location in SERPs. That said, it will increase your video’s click-through rate and THAT is what those wild little web bots associate with relevancy.