How can you use video to improve your SEO?
So in previous blog posts we’ve discussed ways of creating video content for your website. How does it really help you get traffic into your website? How does it help turn that traffic into customers? Is it worth all the effort required? How does it affect SEO?
Is it worth it? The short answer is “Yes!”. Statistical analysis shows that video is driving in more traffic to websites and has a considerably better conversion rate than static advertising. The longer answer is that there are several factors involved in this. So for this blog we’ll be discussing some of the direct improvements you can make using video and how to get the most from it as a medium to connect with your customers.
Make sure people can find your content.
An often overlooked part of using video is to make sure your video content is part of your search engine optimisation (SEO). Search engines like Google particularly love content and will favour sites that provide it over those that simply suggest it in the Meta tags. Video is seen as content enrichment. Say for example your blog is about cooking. If you include video footage of the process then you will improve your search position. If you also make sure the video content is properly tagged, as you would for images, you help make sure that the search engine not only knows you have video but that it is also relevant to the content within that page. This will help it score much better in the page rankings.
Whether you host on your own site or use YouTube or any other external provider is something to discuss with your web developer or SEO specialist. There simply is no one size fits all approach. Whatever you do though, make sure you create custom thumbnails for all your video content. Youtube will only offer you a fixed selection that are very unlikely to be your ideal choice, and if people find your video content via a Google search, then your thumbnail image will be one of the primary drivers that decides if they will continue to engage with your content or not.
Make your content worth viewing
Whatever content you choose to create, make sure it’s appropriate for the viewer you are trying to engage. Different circumstances require different approaches, but here are some examples to aim for.
Website header / greeting
If you have a budget to get professional video help, this is where it should go. There are plenty of situations where you can create cheaper content and add value, but this is often the first point of contact for someone who has found your site via a web search. If you meet someone who has an interest in your business, do you appear more professional by handing them a torn scrap of paper with your name and phone number on it or by handing them a clear, well printed business card? This is your first impression, good quality, well filmed and edited video content will be part of what forms your potential clients opinion of your general quality of service.
Make it relevant
Content is by far more important than quantity. Know the audience you are aiming your video for and make sure it’s the right duration and contains content they will want to watch, not just content you want to show. You can’t force a viewer to watch, so you need to make them want to. Duration is very context sensitive. If you are creating vlog posts, especially if it’s imparting expertise or part of a series with a steady following, then you can afford to go longer. In some situations this can be as much as 30 mins, though more realistically it should be between 5 and 10 minutes. If it’s an advert you may have as little as 10 seconds.
Educate or Entertain
Blogs and “how to” videos are your best bet for getting the most out of the cheaper end of video. Chances are by the time someone is watching your vlog they’ve already made their first impression. Now they will be looking to see how clued up you are. This is where a drop in production quality will be quickly forgiven by good quality content. Check our other blogs at http://sanctuary9media.com/blog/ for tips on how to improve your quality, but get generating content.
Try and come up with something every 1 to 2 weeks. Search engines check back to see if there’s new content and every time they find it, it improves your score. The best rule of thumb to follow is “Educate or Entertain”. Be honest with yourself. Are you providing content that is entertaining? Is it educational? For example with client testimonials. No one is going to be interested in hearing about how awesome you are or what you do is. What they want to hear is why. They want to be educated about why spending money on what you do is worthwhile.
So having video on your website is a great way to improve SEO and generate more traffic that will ultimately convert into customers. It’s not enough to just throw any old content onto your site. You need to make sure that video is not only appropriate and relevant to you, but that it also follows part of a defined strategy for your SEO. In an ideal world hire in professionals and make sure they are good communicators. Your video people, web developers, marketers all need to be in line with each other to create content with maximum impact.
If you can’t afford that level of strategy, then pick the bits you can and don’t be afraid of asking for help. Most professional services know that not everyone can afford them, but most people are more likely to offer tips and advice than not. If you don’t ask, they definitely wont help.