Video. It’s all the rage in content marketing these days, and it can give your SEO (search engine optimization) a big boost.
Knowing how to use videos to improve your SEO campaign can get you more users, better rankings, and a stellar ROI.
Year after year, videos get more popular and contribute a hefty punch to lead generation, sales, shares, and traffic for millions of businesses of every size.
In fact, videos are performing so well that the Cisco Annual Internet Report states that by 2022, 82% of all internet traffic will be online videos.
That’s a mighty number, and your business can’t afford to miss out.
Testing has shown that not only do people prefer watching videos over reading, but they retain more information, too.
This isn’t to say your blog posts, website copy, ebooks, infographics, etc., aren’t important; they are. However, video is a must when it comes to connecting with your audience.
Today, we’re going over how making videos will increase your SEO efforts and get your brand noticed in all the good ways.
Why Video Content Marketing?
First and foremost, it’s important to be where your audience is, whether that’s on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or anywhere else.
Once you’re there, you want said audience to notice and react to you in the myriad of possibilities they have at their fingertips.
Videos are a powerful marketing tool, and when done right, they will provide personality, a human connection, quick and effective information, education, and entertainment, all while making you a profit.
Videos stand out over still images and copy, so creating videos for every channel involved in your marketing campaign will definitely pay off if your videos are relevant, useful, and engaging.
Through a bit of elbow grease (strategizing), you can generate videos that appeal to your target and Google.
How Videos Will Empower Your SEO Campaign
There are several pros to using videos in your digital marketing campaign, and unless your videos are way off-topic and offensive, there are virtually no cons.
Create mobile-friendly videos
Optimizing every single piece of content you have for mobile is essential, no ifs, ands, or buts. The coolest part to this is that the more you optimize for mobile (properly), the more the search engines like you.
With so many searchers using their handheld devices for internet access, your videos must meet mobile standards. This will help your SEO strategy overall as it contributes to audience connection.
Create video sitemaps
Videos will help your ranking on Google but creating a video sitemap to go along with it is crucial. Video sitemaps provide the essentials to the search engines:
- The video title
- The video subject
- The video length
- The video’s target audience
In creating a sitemap, Google can manage proper indexing because it knows what your video is about and for who it’s intended.
Create strong metadata for your website page, and don’t forget your keywords
A big to-do for all videos:
- Optimize your meta title- it can be catchy and witty, but it MUST make sense and be something your users are searching for so the search engine knows what it’s about and can prioritize it when relevant (keywords are mandatory)
- Optimize your meta description- keep your keywords in the description and tell your users what they’re about to see in under 160 characters
- Optimize your meta tags- this information is put in the HTML of the document; it’s not displayed on the webpage but provides information about the page
Your metadata (created wisely) helps Google rank your video and tells users what it’s about. Be sure your keywords are in the title and throughout the description (not overly, but naturally), as this is a quick and easy SEO win.
Use the YouTube keyword research tool to help you determine the best search terms for your videos. This tool is free and provides loads of insight.
YouTube allows you to write a long description of your video’s content and you gotta do it. If you don’t, they’ll put it together for you, and it can be dicey and have a negative effect on your SEO.
Use your keywords in the description sans stuffing and be informative and engaging.
Create strong engagement with your videos
Getting your users to interact with you is what we all want. A like, a comment, a share, all of it is great for your brand, your exposure, and your ROI. Encourage dialogue by asking questions, giving quizzes or polls, creating games or competitions; whatever your audience enjoys and interacts with is smart.
Getting your visitors to engage tells the search engines that your videos are generating connection, and they love to see that.
Create a good thumbnail for your videos
The thumbnail is the first view a user has of your video, so make it count and make it compelling. It should be relevant and engaging and, if on-brand, entertaining.
Users are more likely to watch a video with a great thumbnail than one with a boring one.
Note that if you don’t choose your thumbnail, the search engine will, which can be a disaster. So, take the extra step; it doesn’t take much time, and get this right so you get the click and your competition doesn’t.
Create a schema markup for your videos
This is an excellent way to look attractive on the SERPs (search engine results pages) and get you some SEO traction. Providing video schema markup generates a great rich snippet (the Google result with more detail and information) found under the title of your video.
Generating schema markup is easy and free with Google’s handy structured data tool and allows Google to crawl, display, and organize your content with ease. Users will see your title, thumbnail, description, video length, among others.
Create backlinks for your videos
Google loves itself some quality backlinks, which is why you should have them, and they should be plentiful. Backlinks give your site, brand, and videos more authority. When someone likes your video, they’re likely to share it, and thus, a backlink is born.
A goal by all involved in marketing to the online community is to expand their audience. Backlinking is a fast way to do it, and it gives you validation. Think of it as a referral, and it should 100% be sought after. Good videos, good backlinks.
Be sure your video has a link to your website within it and displays the video’s embedded code so those who share it on their page will also have a link back to you, the creator.
Create a terrific user experience (UX) with your videos
UX is getting more important to the search engines on the daily, so it’s getting more important to you on the daily, too.
Use videos to explain, support, and educate your viewers. Are you writing a how-to blog post? Add a video. Do you have a tips and tricks webpage? Add a video.
Are you designing an online course? Add a video. Users love the extra insight that videos provide, and creating videos to go along with your copy is appreciated by your users and not done often enough.
Quickly refresh evergreen (always relevant) content you’ve already written by adding a video, too.
Dig into your archives so you don’t have to recreate the wheel and see what blog posts got a lot of engagement and enliven that post with a fresh new video, then prepare yourself for more interaction and connection with your users than you thought possible.
Another win, adding the video transcript, will help both your users (if they can’t watch the video or want to find a part of it easily) and your SEO by creating yet another layer of thoughtful, intentional, and relevant keywords and descriptions.
Transcripts also help Google decipher what the video is about for easier indexing.
The fact is, good videos will lead to longer dwell times on your page (how long the visitor stays on the page), which is a ranking factor by the search engines, and they’ll take notice by giving you a higher ranking on the SERPs, while it enforces your relationship with the user.
The Big Takeaway
Get some SEO gains by implementing optimized videos on all the channels you find your audience.
Doing so will give you a leg up on your competition, a rise on the SERPs, more brand recognition, and some quality visitors who take the action you want them to.
Remember, YouTube isn’t the only place you should be showcasing your videos; social media, emails, and even on your blog are great places to capture your audience’s attention. We want you to win the SEO game.