If you are familiar with SEO (or read our previous blog), you already understand the effect that high quality content can have on your search engine ranking, as well as your overall website traffic. However, nowadays, there is one up-and-coming, yet still underutilized type of content that can have a major impact on your search engine ranking: video.
In our last blog, we covered the importance of creating high-quality content on your website so that you can generate more web traffic over time. But one aspect to SEO that we didn’t cover is quickly becoming one of the best ways to increase your search engine ranking. Compared with simple images and text, video has become incredibly powerful in that it can generate substantially more inbound links as well as social shares.
In marketing terms, video has become widely popular and effective over the last few years. Marketers using video now grow their revenue at least 49% faster than those who didn’t incorporate video in their marketing strategy. Furthermore, four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product/service/organization instead of just reading about it. There are hundreds of statistics that demonstrate the far-reaching impact that video has had on the marketing industry as a whole, but how should your organization go about using such a powerful tool?
When creating video content for your website and social media profiles, it is imperative that you have definitive goals and that they can be used to measure the success of your video. Here are a few best practices that can help you incorporate video into your existing marketing strategy:
1. Host your video on your own domain
Hosting a video on your own domain will ensure that search engines are directing people to your website when they view your video. If one of your goals for your video is to help improve your search engine ranking, you’ll want your audience on your actual website when they watch your video.
2. Use relevant keywords to optimize your video
As mentioned in our last blog, using tracking tools to monitor the most popular keywords that brought people to your website is a great way to learn meaningful insights about how and why people are coming to your website. Ask questions like: What demographics are visiting the website? Why are they there? Where are they going once they get there? And most importantly, are their needs being met once they arrive?
This type of research can help when creating a description (and the overall content) of your video. If you have a better understanding of why people are visiting your site (and your organization as a whole), you’ll be able to create your video content and description based around your audience’s interests. The more relevant your video and description are to what your audience is looking for, the higher your search engine ranking will be.
Think of your video’s thumbnail the way you would a first impression. First impressions are everything, and your thumbnail is one of the first things that your audience will see before they choose to watch (or not to watch) your video. The overall appearance and relevance of your thumbnail is a major determinant of whether or not someone is going to watch a video, so you’ll want to use a high quality still that accurately represents what you’ll show in your video.
4. Create a video site map
According to Google, “video sitemaps are an excellent way to make sure that Google knows about all the video content on your site, especially content that we might not otherwise discover with our usual crawling mechanisms. Improving the findability of your video content can improve your site’s appearance in Google Video Search results.”
The idea is simple. The easier it is to find your video, the more people will watch it. Include a sitemap so that the search engine has a better idea of what your video is about, making it more accessible to your audience.
5. Allow your audience to embed your video
If your audience enjoys your video, they may want to share it on their own sites or blogs. Allowing your audience to embed your video will provide you with more inbound links, improving your overall ranking.
Inbound links are hyperlinks on a separate web page that link directly to your site. When Google sees multiple, relevant inbound links, the search engine will rank your page higher because they are indicative of useful content.
Google’s Webmaster Tools is a free way to see all of the inbound links that point directly to your site.
6. Share your video on social media!
This one is a no-brainer. It is difficult to refute the fact that social media has become a powerful marketing tool over the last few years. Whether your organization is small or large, social media is a low-cost (if not, free) way to showcase your message to a large audience. So next time you have a compelling video you’d like people to see, share it on social media…you may be surprised by your feedback!
If you’d like Cause Inspired Media to help with your digital marketing strategy, or help create a video to showcase your mission, contact us!
By: Emily Dietz, Business Development Strategist