Video content is an essential tool in many a marketer’s toolkits, some estimates even suggesting that about 85% of digital marketers rely on videos to boost SEO. If you haven’t adopted rich media content on your website, now might be the time to step up your SEO game with video content marketing.
We’ll explore all facets of video content marketing and video SEO (VSEO) to give you a better idea of what to expect. Videos can prove to be an invaluable asset to your SEO strategy, but only if you know exactly what you’d like to achieve.
SEO is about increasing your website’s ranking and boosting conversions, and since video content is capable of delivering both, it’s high time you integrated it into your strategy.
Video SEO: Know What You Want to Achieve
Producing a high-quality video and embedding it on your website isn’t nearly enough to get all the SEO value you could. For videos to be successful, they need to have a clear purpose. What that is going to be largely depends on your unique business idea and the stage your business is at.
Before we say anything more about the purpose of video in your SEO game, we have to get this very important bit of information out of the way: Videos you produce need to be of the highest quality imaginable.
There’s no use integrating video content marketing into your overall SEO strategy without first committing to creating quality content. People are already used to seeing rich media content wherever they go, and it’s setting the quality bar fairly high. You shouldn’t put out subpar videos and hope to get the same rankings as companies that invest heavily into their video content.
Producing videos can be extremely expensive, especially if you’re striving to be the best of the best, so you better know what you want to achieve with them. Otherwise, it’s just going to be a massive drain of your resources.
As we’ve pointed out, what people want to achieve with videos depends on the stage their business is at. Here are a couple of things that a well-thought-out video marketing strategy can deliver:
- Better user experience. UX is at the top of Google’s list of metrics that your website gets ranked on. Videos are not only more entertaining for your visitors, being rich media and all, but they also increase the time they spend on the page. More time spent on a web page is a signal to Google that you’re doing something right and that users aren’t simply bouncing back into SERPs. Video content, in general, delivers outstanding UX, and it can help boost your rankings.
- Off-page SEO. Videos are social share magnets, so they can be quite helpful in increasing the brand awareness and trustworthiness of your website. Not only that, but they also attract more backlinks, further boosting your off-page SEO game and showing the search engine that your website is a reputable one. You should actually upload content to your website instead of linking out to YouTube or Vimeo. Videos are excellent off-page SEO strategies for websites that already boast significant on-page presence and need to establish trust.
- Increase conversions. Finally, video content can easily increase total conversions or bring in better and more natural traffic. Using videos on your landing pages will keep the users engaged and potentially convert them into paying customers. An example of a business benefiting from using video content to increase conversions is a clothing retailer showing videos of people wearing their product.
Know what you want to achieve with your videos to make the success of your video content campaign measurable. Without a clear goal in mind, you’re going to expect too much and underdeliver.
How to Use Video Content to Boost SEO
Now that we’ve mentioned some of the potential goals of a video marketing campaign, it’s time to explain how (and why) you’d want to try and reach that goal.
We’ll focus on backlinks and increasing conversions. Better user experience is a given when you adopt a video marketing strategy (so long as the quality of the video is high). We’ll dive deeper into issues relating to UX in the “Video Content for Users” section of the article.
Video Content in the Service of Off-Page SEO
Video content can get valuable backlinks for your website, increasing your online reputation and authority. However, that’s easier said than done, as there are a couple of things you should be aware of before anticipating a torrent of link equity.
If the brand you’re trying to promote is relatively unknown, raising brand awareness will take more than just a high-quality HD video (although, that is the necessary first step). For a video to go viral, and let’s face it, virality is what you’re after if your goal is off-page SEO, it needs to provoke a strong emotional reaction.
In other words, it’s not enough for your video to be witty — it needs to be hilarious and push the boundaries of humor for millions to want to reshare it. It’s not enough for the video to be kind of sad or dramatic — it needs to be absolutely gutwrenching. You get the idea.
The video content market is so oversaturated that an upstart brand won’t really make it far without pushing the boundaries on what the standard format is. That’s how you go viral and get people to share the video and link to your website. Suffice it to say that you should upload your own videos instead of linking out to video streaming services.
However, a hard-hitting video is only half of the story. New and unknown brands can’t really hope to get far without decent PR and outreach. You still need to find a way to get your video into the public’s eye.
For well-established brands, video content is an all-around win. They have a loyal audience that’s going to share videos on their own, further expanding the brand’s reach and getting even more backlinks.
Social shares and inbound links are the results of a successful video campaign, helping your brand grow and your website to rank higher.
Increase Conversions with Video
Besides getting more attention to your brand, a video content strategy can maximize conversion rates. This can be done either through videos on landing pages or with rich snippets.
Once a visitor reaches your landing page, you have a couple of seconds at best to impress them. For most users, textual content just doesn’t cut it anymore. SEO content writers keep making evermore skimmable content for an audience that doesn’t have a fraction of the attention span they used to have. However, even that isn’t enough as most of your competitors have already switched to rich media instead.
Embedding a video on your landing page is one of the few ways you can engage your audience in such a short time span. Once they’re engaged, you can take the time to get them to convert to paying customers. Without videos or at least some form of rich media, they aren’t going to stick around for long.
For websites selling products, posting videos of their products in action can maximize conversion rates. Having a video makes the product more relatable, thus showing customers they too can derive some benefit from the product. The result is more sales and more loyal customers who’ll come back for more products.
Finally, you must have seen rich snippets containing videos before. You’ve probably even clicked on them because it’s the most straightforward path to the answer you’ve been looking for. Rich video snippets make you stand out from all the other results on the page, increasing the odds of undecided customers landing on your website first, where you’ll be able to convert them.
Optimizing Video Content for Users
Since you now understand why you should put your faith in video content marketing, it’s time we break down what it means to produce user-friendly video content that maximizes UX.
- Subtitles. Adding subtitles to your videos is just an extra touch that your viewers will appreciate. It will also prolong their engagement, increase viewing time, thus increasing the amount of time they spend on your website.
- Thumbnails. Just like an outstanding introduction can get the reader hooked on an article, so can a thumbnail get the user to click on your video. Be creative and make eye-catching thumbnails.
- Length. Make your video too long, and you’ll lose the potential customer you worked so hard on getting. The ideal video length is between 2 and 4 minutes.
- CTAs. It can’t hurt to remind your viewers what you want them to do next. Don’t let them just wander off or forget why they came. Get them to buy, click, order, try, or anything in between.
Keep your videos short and sweet and make them as viewable as they can be. Your visitors’ user experience depends on it.
Optimizing Video Content for Search Engines
Video SEO requires you to take a couple of additional steps to get search engines to rank you higher.
- Metadata. Don’t forget meta titles and meta descriptions. They matter to pages with videos as much as they do to the next page.
- Video promotion. You can’t really expect search engines to do everything for you. Without taking active steps to get your video out there, people won’t get to see or share it. Make the first step and share your new video on your social media channels, or get the help of influencers.
Transcript. One of the best additions to a video in terms of SEO is a transcript. It’s an excellent place to include keywords that are relevant to your business.
Set Your Goals and Start Producing Video Content
Video content is a staple of online marketing that’s neither new nor unexplored territory. It can be your greatest asset by boosting conversion rates and getting more backlinks (and attention) to your website.
It’s not without its pitfalls, however. Producing videos is expensive enough that you shouldn’t do it without a clear goal in mind. Set your goal, finance a steady stream of video content, and rewards won’t be far behind.
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