Why is video so important? Video has been proven to command more consumer attention than any other medium. In a market where almost all consumers have completed saturated attention spans, video is the medium that is proving to be the most captivating.
We’ve heard over and over that visual content is the key to great engagement. Specifically, video is the way to engage with an audience and maintain attention once you’ve acquired it. So when you’re considering what types of posts to schedule on your website and for your social networks, think video: audiences are about 10 times more likely to engage, embed, share, and comment on video content than copy based blogs or related social posts.
Evoking emotion in marketing has been proven to positively impact consumer decision-making, even in B2B markets. Video is the most powerful way to evoke emotions online. It dominates because it offers attributes above and beyond traditional content. Unlike other forms of media, video can incorporate everything such as tone of voice, facial expressions, and music all at once.
The number one reason for using video in your content marketing plan? Video converts more customers. Simple, right? Recent research shows that 71% of marketers say video conversion rates outperform other marketing content. Need we say more?
How to optimize your video for SEO
You’ve also spent all this time and money strategising, producing, and editing your video, but it’s not ranking. Why not?
It’s true that video SEO is not the same as regular SEO. Video SEO has also changed significantly in the last few years as google begins to value different things and their algorithm gets more sophisticated. While it operates under some of the same guiding principles, it still requires unique solutions to the common SEO problems that plague other content developers.
Video SEO is simply optimizing your video to be indexed by Google, and rank on the search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keyword searches. It’s important to note that there are many optimization strategies to give your videos a higher chance of ranking, and no single one is the “silver bullet”. Google is too smart for that. But if you follow the rules we’ve outlined below, your video will have a much better chance of finding the audience you’re looking for.
#1 Choose where the video will be hosted
When choosing your video hosting platform, you’ll need to consider the reasons why you want your videos to rank. Not all videos are created for the same reason. Some are created to show off products and generate leads. Others are meant for instructional purposes. Many training academies use video to keep audiences engaged and focused on smaller snippets of content. If you’re not as concerned about the video driving traffic to your website, and are more focused on brand awareness, YouTube and Vimeo may be options to explore instead of hosting the video on your own site.
The thing with platforms of this nature is that once your video is indexed, the traffic will be driven to those hosting sites rather than your own website. This is great for capturing their large audiences, but less likely to convert to sales. If your goal for a video is to lead customers directly into conversions on your site, you are better off embedding the video on your own site and trying to get the video to rank in Google’s results to drive traffic directly to you, or have an online academy where your website visitors need to convert in the login or landing page to access your video training content.
#2 Insert a Video Transcript
This is something everyone notices on their Facebook feed, but might not completely understand. You likely see several videos with captions within the video, so a viewer is able to watch without sound. This is a great feature for viewers but less so for search engines. Be sure to insert text to a page or post that pairs with your video is known as a “video transcript”. Video transcripts make your videos easily scrapeable by search bots since there’s additional text on the page for them to read and understand.
#3 Make sure you have an engaging thumbnail
Never underestimate how important your thumbnail is. Your video thumbnail is more important than your title. It is the number one determining factor as to whether or not someone will click on your video. Click through rate, the amount of people who click on a link once they see it, is a huge ranking signal to Google. So, if you do all the right things to get the video seen, but no one clicks it, Google will stop valuing your video and it will lose position. Avoid low resolution and bland colors. High Res and purposeful thumbnail pictures are the key to clicks on your video.
Don’t neglect the title though. Just like blog posts, the title and meta description of your video play a factor in the Google’s algorithm. Google takes the title into account and the Meta description will help users determine whether they should click, just like the thumbnails. Spend time crafting an engaging video title and description. It’s important to do some keyword research to ensure you’re targeting keywords that people are actually searching for.
#4 Make sure the video is the focus of the page
I’ve seen a lot of websites where the video on the page is hidden or below the fold, so users have to scroll down until they finally find the video. These videos are played less and less as users are not as likely to get all the way to the bottom of a long page. Just like people, search crawlers (spiders) also are unlikely to go out of their way to index a hidden video.
As such, it’s also important to avoid multiple videos on the same page. It dilutes the message and purpose of the page from the user’s perspective. If a human can’t tell exactly what a page is supposed to be about, it’s even more difficult for an algorithm. Search engine crawlers usually stop crawling for videos after that first video.
While the main tenants of SEO remain the same, the strategy for optimizing your videos must be approached differently than your other content. Ultimately, Google wants to be able to read a page, understand its intent, and serve up videos that are played repeatedly for a given query. Follow the steps above and you will be well on your way to watching your videos improve their rankings.