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April 18, 2018
Over the past few years, we’ve grown to understand better why video content is so much more effective than other forms of content, but while marketers regularly weigh SEO to drive research and reach for content marketing, optimizing video often gets overlooked.
Video and SEO are made to be partners. You already know that video tells a story, engages its viewers, and is more memorable than text-based counterparts. And for all those reasons, users stay on a webpage with video for longer, signaling to Google that this is a quality page and should, therefore, reward it with better rankings.
According to a video marketing report by ReelSEO, “Landing pages with video lead to 80% more conversion. In fact, 88% of visitors stay longer on a site with prominent video displayed.”
And based on Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing Survey, “80% of marketers say video has increased dwell time on their website.” Dwell time is the time it takes a visitor to stay on a website after a click-through SERP (a search engine results page). The longer your dwell time, the more Google recognizes you as a trustworthy site which should be rewarded with higher rankings.
Also, by having a video on your landing page, you can reduce your bounce rate which is another metric that search engines use to determine your website’s performance and how well you resonate with visitors. The lower the bounce rate, the better.
An emotional storytelling video, a compelling promotional video, call-to-action video, or an explainer video on your landing page all have the power to lower your bounce rate and improve your rankings, helping you get found online.
With video content a trending form of content that promises the highest ROI of all content types, you need to optimize your video content to help you stay on top. Because now that everyone is entering the video content realm, it’s going to become increasingly more difficult to stand out in the crowd.
Just as you would with other forms of content, you need to improve your video SEO to positively impact your rankings.
Where you decide to host your content can also impact the success of your video strategy. Ultimately, the goal of any content is to push people back to your website where they can learn more and buy your product or service. To improve the ranking of your website, host your video on your own domain. That said, the video alone won’t be enough. Google’s crawlers will latch onto text, so make sure the video lives on a page where you can add text with keywords, whether that be a through a blog or a transcription of the script. This ensures that search engines are directing the traffic to your website.
However, if you prefer to upload your video to YouTube for searchability, you can always embed the YouTube link on your site. Make sure to add a link back to your site in the description, or include an end card with your website listed. Always include a short and informative description of fifty words or less, and add closed-captioning. Work to get backlinks to your video, which will further boost your rankings.
Keywords are still relevant in optimizing video, as long as you don’t go overboard. Keyword search still occurs in video SEO and will help you get found. Research relevant keywords that are being searched and include them in your titles, tags, and descriptions.
When you’re optimizing your videos on YouTube, focus on including keywords for searches and in your title. Your descriptions should include a link to the most relevant page on your site. Don’t forget to include the primary topic of the video as a tag.
Choose your thumbnail wisely. After all, it’s one of the first things users notice and could ultimately affect their decision on whether to click your video or not. Pick a thumbnail that’s clear, eye-catching, and most importantly, relevant to the content of your video. People respond well to faces and to positivity, so consider a smiling close-up.
Video content and video quality
The content of the video itself really matters. This can’t be understated. How to or tutorial videos, video reviews, and video tours work really well.
The same can also be said for video quality. Quality makes a huge difference. When creating video content, focus on adding value that will convince users to dedicate their time to view your content. Better quality videos gain more views, establishing this content as an authority which ultimately, increases conversions.
If you want to improve the quality of your videos, one way is to focus on telling stories that engage the mind and the heart. Videos that tell engaging stories keep viewers hooked until the end. Your videos need to connect on an emotional level and compel the viewer to click through or share your video; both actions improve your metrics and increase your rankings.
Important metrics to determine your success are video completion rate and watch time. A video should only considered “complete” between 75% and 95% of its run time. If your completion rates are dismal, it’s time to take a step back and ask yourself why people aren’t watching your videos for longer. Does your video need to be shortened to take into consideration people’s ubershort attention spans? Or maybe the content itself is not exciting enough to keep people engaged?
As for watch time, it’s how YouTube rewards video content that especially engages viewers and keeps them on YouTube for as long as possible. According to the YouTube Creator Playbook, watch time is “The amount of time in aggregate that your viewers are watching your videos…”
How do you optimize YouTube watch time? It all circles back to creating content that is entertaining, compelling, and worth people’s time. It’s about creating an experience that people want to get lost in.
Ultimately, it’s not enough to just churn out a video. Think of video as part of your marketing strategy from inception, and plan, measure, optimize, repeat. It’ll take some time but you’ll reap the rewards.
Have you executed a stellar video content strategy? Share it with us and we could feature it in an upcoming blog.
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