For quite some time now, video content has become the de-facto ruler of the marketing world. Companies across all industries have discovered its vast power, consumers are head over heels about it, and digital platforms are putting video at their core to capitalize on that huge interest.
How huge? Well, people are watching so much video that a recent research by Smart Insights estimates it will account for 78% of all mobile data traffic by the end of 2019. On top of that, about 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute… The fact is that people love watching videos! And there’s a lot of video content out there for them to enjoy.
However, creating stunning video pieces with the help of a skilled video company is just the start! In a crowded space like today’s online world, there’s more work to be done to guarantee your videos find their audience. Namely, video SEO.
From choosing the right videos and platforms to taking care of seemingly little details, you have to take care of several SEO-related tasks to improve your video content performance and make the most out of its marketing potential.
Let’s go over a few of the most important ones.
Pick the Right Hosting Platforms
It’s almost natural now. Whenever a company has a new video in its hands, it goes straight to YouTube and gets shared with the world. Makes sense. Google’s platform has become a synonym for video for most people, so having videos there feels obvious. Yet, just uploading the videos there can make you lose other opportunities.
There are many other video platforms you can use to reach specific audiences better. From less known alternatives like Video and DailyMotion to social media sites like Facebook and Linkedin, there are several platforms that can host your videos. Why not upload them there as well? Remember, YouTube might have a huge audience, but maybe yours is to be found somewhere else.
Since you’re the one that knows your customers the best, be sure that you upload your videos to the right platforms (AKA, the ones that you know your audience uses the most).
Optimise Titles and Descriptions
One of your priorities is to make sure that people find your videos when they are looking for the topics they are searching for. There are several things you can do to that end, but none are more important than adjusting titles and descriptions.
Conduct keyword research to learn how people are looking for the topics you cover on your videos. After that, you have to implement the keywords you select in certain ways within the titles and descriptions.
For instance, you might have a video about tips to remove difficult stains from clothing. “How to remove hard-to-clean stains” can be a useful keyword here, but that title feels a little dull. The art of title crafting will have you also looking for a way to use keywords while also sparking the audience’s curiosity. Thus, the title can become “Killer homemade recipes to remove hard-to-clean stains.”
As for descriptions, you can go in the same direction, provided that you avoid keyword stuffing. Reinforce your main keywords and use a couple more important ones to maximise visibility. Remember to be brief and entertaining but also try to stick to a consistent tone, relevant for your audience.
Carefully Select Thumbnails
Believe it or not, thumbnails are more critical than you might think. Yes, those little images can catch the audience’s eyes and make them click if you put some thought behind them. That’s why you can’t let the video platforms pick thumbnails for you!
A good thumbnail can bring the audience’s attention to your video, anticipate what can they find in the video, and make them want to click on it to check it out. That’s why you have to keep certain things in mind when picking the thumbnails. The perfect ones are a combination of the following:
- Colourful imagery: bright and joyful tones can make your thumbnail stand out from the rest
- Human presence: people are naturally drawn to human faces, so use them whenever possible
- A little text to underline the video’s topic: you can expand or add a little extra with some superimposed text on the thumbnail to further spark the audience’s curiosity.
Use Subtitles and Transcripts
Maybe you’ve noticed it, or maybe you haven’t, but there’s an increasing number of videos out there that are using subtitles and are accompanied by transcripts. Why’s that? Because people are watching more and more videos without sound. Since many video platforms (especially social media) have their autoplay feature on by default, that’s a way for people to watch a video without providing a disrupting experience.
There are two recommended ways you can use subtitles on your videos:
- Sub the entire thing: only recommended for how-to videos, conferences, talks, or in brief clips, so anyone can follow what’s happening on screen without having to turn the volume up.
- Sub only certain parts of the video: in long videos, subtitles can be used to reinforce key phrases or concepts.
As for transcripts, you can turn everything that’s being said in the piece into text to post it along with the video. That comes in handy with videos such as whiteboard videos or seminars, where people might prefer to read. Thus, audiences can use the transcripts to revisit a particular part they like to reinforce. Additionally, the transcript will be chock-full of keywords that can help you rank the particular page in which you post the transcript.
Use Your Videos Throughout Your Website
Posting videos on the right platforms is essential to reach your audience, but it isn’t enough. You should also take advantage of how Google prioritises videos for ranking individual pages on your website. Add to that, that video content helps increase the time people spend on your site and the added benefit of properly formatted video metadata, and you get the point. You should use your best videos throughout your entire website whenever relevant, leveraging its ability to enhance sales processes and client conversions.
This makes sense even beyond the SEO benefits, including:
- Introducing your company, your services, and products to new visitors
- Serving as a knowledge base for your existing customers
- Answering common questions for potential and existing clients
Thus, your videos can be used in all kinds of places. You can use them to welcome people to your website by placing your best one on the home page. You can also create a video page where you share your best videos to showcase your products. You can even use them in your FAQ page to address common concerns.
Create A Landing Page and Optimise It
Want to know a secret? Google wants you to build landing pages around your best videos. In fact, the search engine giant suggests creating a landing page per video, so you should go ahead and pick your best video to do so.
By doing that, you’ll give your videos enough prominence to be noticed. Additionally, you’ll be enjoying several benefits that only video can give you: reduced bounce rates, better rankings in search engines, and increased visit times. Besides, a landing page can work as a better gateway for potential customers to engage with your brand.
Of course, as with any landing page, you should optimise your video. That means you’ll have to take care of meta titles and descriptions, alt image attributes, loading speeds, and other SEO basics. You can even put the transcript in the landing page if you feel that might work best!
Video SEO Is Only A Part of Great Marketing
Finally, you have to keep in mind that, while doing all of these steps will certainly yield better results, your strategy won’t be nearly as great if you only do all of these things. As with any marketing effort, you have to understand that video SEO is a part of a bigger picture that will have you looking after other things, including:
- Creating quality videos, as quality has become a defining factor for audiences and search engines alike.
- Investing money in ads to boost your best performing videos’ reach. Sometimes, putting some cash behind your videos can increase their reach and improve their results.
- Understanding how videos can synergise with other marketing content. Using your videos in emails, blog articles, and even in ebooks is a way to boost their performance even further since videos establish a mutually beneficial relationship with other materials.
Videos are compelling marketing material but don’t believe for a second that your marketing tasks end once you finish them. They can be a solid foundation in which to build the rest of your marketing efforts.
Wrapping It All Up
There are plenty of stats out there backing up the importance and reliability of video marketing. And while the SEO strategy we just went over won’t ensure your success, you definitely won’t get far without them!
The combination of technical aspects, strategic decisions, and marketing habits will surely define the fate of your videos, their performance, and their overall rankings.
That’s why you need to keep an eye on a mix between tried-and-proven SEO tactics with new techniques to make sure your videos reach the widest audience possible. In a video-centric world as the one we’re living in, you’ll be facing strong competition from all fronts. That’s why you can’t afford to overlook these suggestions if you definitely want the best performance from your videos.