People all over the world use search engines to look for the kinds of products and services your business provides. The process of search engine optimization (SEO) is implemented by professional digital marketers to get your web pages to show up on search engine results pages (SERPs) for those phrases most closely associated with your business and your brand. Getting your marketing videos in front of those people generates significant web traffic and increases in sales and profits.
That’s why in this guide we’re covering everything you need to know to improve your SEO with video, including:
- Why you should use video to improve your SEO
- How to manage your video SEO
- The benefits of successful video SEO
Why use video to improve your SEO?
In the early days of search engines, one of the best ways to get web pages to show up on Google, Ask Jeeves (look it up, young people), Bing, and other early adopters was through keyword stuffing. As the technology and methodologies advanced, web content needed to be more credible and contain relevant information regarding the specific keywords or phrases being searched.
As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, search engine algorithms demand online content meet a number of technical and content criteria to be recognized as a legitimate resource. Guidelines and standards adjust and adapt to further technological advances and ever-changing online consumer trends to maintain ranking performance.
With video now dominating online user consumption, search engines like YouTube and Google prioritize video content on SERPs. Videos show up in normal Google searches and place your content above your competitors. SEO is designed to put your content above your competitors for consumers looking for businesses in your industry.
Search engines treat videos as legitimate, credible content when fully optimized because audiences respond to this medium. In fact, online users are viewing more video content than ever:
- YouTube users view more than 500 million hours of video daily, while Facebook users watch up to 100 million hours of video every day.
- 78% of people watch online videos every week, and 55% view online videos every day.
- Online videos make up more than 85% of consumer internet traffic in the United States.
- There is more online video content uploaded to the internet in one month than in the past 30 years of television content.
So many of us are walking around with smartphones and other devices capable of accessing high speed wireless connections. Video dominates online activity, and search engines recognize this and apply the same standards to videos as text content to allow them to rise in the rankings and expose the content to the largest possible groups of potential customers. You need video in your SEO strategy to stay competitive—let’s talk about how.
How to manage your video SEO
Search engine optimization marketing involves ongoing efforts to provide original video content that falls within the latest guidelines and standards that search engines use to determine rankings.
Modern websites are designed, built, and marketed with search engine optimization in mind. Digital marketers then apply the very latest SEO techniques to website content based on search engine standards and ever-changing consumers trends and purchasing habits. It is a painstaking process of putting into place those measures that give you the best chance of reaching the first page for your most important and influential keywords and phrases.
Videos are not only easily inserted into existing SEO campaigns, but they are also now a necessary element to get notices in today’s crowded digital marketing environment. The same techniques used for standard text web pages applied to video give video content the best chance to rise in the rankings and increase your online presence.
Keyword research provides the foundation of the SEO process by compiling a priority list of those words and phrases being used on Google and other search engines to find the types of products and services your business provides. Most SEO tools also offer keyword research in video-specific platforms like YouTube, too.
It is an ongoing process that adapts to user preferences and guides the decisions you make to increase the odds of success. The rise of voice command technology has added another level of search words and phrases, expanding search term possibilities.
Prominent search engines like Google and YouTube work to ensure only the most relevant web pages reach the top of their results pages. Search engines prioritize video content that is structurally sound and presents relevant information. The areas of technical SEO that help get your content recognized on search engines include:
- Metadata and descriptions: These are the fields within the backend administration of your website that signal to search engines the nature and specifics of your video content. Improperly or incompletely filled out metadata will hamper your search engine performance.
- Alt tags on photos and thumbnails: The same type of metadata information needs to be inserted in photo alt tags and video thumbnail images.
- Content guidelines and standards: Content is key, even for videos. Search engine algorithms recognize and reward marketing videos that contain the most valuable and helpful information. Product demonstration and explainer videos are examples of the types of video that draw the most interest and are highly regarded by search engines.
- Transcript of video content: Providing a transcript of the audio contained in video content provides an additional way for search engines to find your videos when crawling for SERP content.
The benefits of video SEO
Billions of online users all over the world use search engines on a daily basis to search for all kinds of information. Many of those people are using Google and YouTube to search for the very kinds of products and services your business offers consumers.
The greatest benefit of implementing an SEO video marketing campaign is the chance to get your content to show up higher on SERPs than the competition. It is a powerful digital marketing tool and the best way to achieve long-term success for your website and your business.
The following are examples of specific benefits of using SEO to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing videos.
1. Increase online exposure
The goal of digital marketing campaigns to put your content in front of the largest number of online consumers that are actively searching for your kind of business. Applying optimization techniques to videos will increase online exposure to potential customers that are most likely to be interested in your products and services.
2. Expands brand awareness
Your brand is the most valuable asset. Marketing videos that are optimized for search engine performance present your business and services in a way that will make you stand out in a crowded field and expand your brand awareness. Those qualities that prepare marketing videos for search engine success are the same that present your brand as an industry leader and valuable resource to existing and prospective customers.
3. Generate quality website traffic
Attaching the most important search terms and phrases related to your industry to your video content can drive high volumes of consumers already looking for your kind of business to your site. Visitors that find your site through organic searches have already expressed some sort of interest in your business and are more likely to make a purchase or schedule a service call.
4. Improves conversion and bounce rates
Conversion rates show how many website visitors wind up becoming customers and bounce rates determine how many people leave the site without making a purchase and how long they stayed. Effective video SEO will see significant improvements in both metrics that reveal sales progress.
5. Drive up sales
Landing on the first page of a SERP for a valued keyword or phrase will drive significant numbers of online consumers to visit your site. Because these visitors are predisposed to being interested in your products and services, they will drive up sales and allow you to pick up a greater share of the market in your industry.
Acing video SEO ensures long-term growth
Your website is the most valuable marketing asset you have. Maximizing the power of search engine optimization will turn your site into a sales generator to help grow your business beyond your expectations. Video production is a highly effective medium and getting your videos in front of the people actively searching for the products and services you provide will drive them to you site and compel them to become loyal, satisfied customers.
Putting into place a comprehensive SEO strategy is a meticulous, ongoing process that needs regular maintenance and adjustments to consumer trends and industry guidelines. Video is now considered a legitimate and credible online source of valuable information and ranks as well or better than traditional text content on Google and other popular search engines. Ensuring the latest SEO techniques and guidelines are included with video content is a major step to the overall success of your digital marketing efforts.
About the author
Torrey Tayenaka is the co-founder and CEO at Sparkhouse, an Orange County-based video production agency. He is often asked to contribute expertise in publications like Entrepreneur, Single Grain, and Forbes. Sparkhouse is known for transforming video marketing and advertising into real conversations. Rather than hitting the consumer over the head with blatant ads, Sparkhouse creates interesting, entertaining, and useful videos that enrich the lives of his clients' customers. In addition to Sparkhouse, Torrey has also founded the companies Eva Smart Shower, Litehouse & Forge54.