It’s no secret that incorporating video into your online marketing strategy is becoming a normal and necessary evil. On the one hand video is great because it typically brings more engagement and interest to your website than traditional articles—it’s easier to understand for readers, it’s more appealing to watch a video, and it gives you more opportunity to get creative and unique with the material you choose to show. On the other hand, video SEO is an entirely new animal and one more thing you have to conquer.

I've personally shot hundreds if not thousands of videos. I typically shoot videos but have done several types of videos. Fortunately, video SEO doesn’t have to be a difficult new task. You’ll find that it isn’t too different from the optimizing you were doing with your content and your website in the past, and once you get it down pat the benefits are more than worth it.

Top Ways to Improve Your Video SEO

Your first step in a video strategy is of course creating the video, so I recommend checking out Video Profit Machines Review about how to film a video as well as what types of subjects typically work well. After you have your video ready to go, you have to decide if you’re going to host that video on YouTube or on your actual website.

The vast majority of companies host their video on YouTube because it’s easy, free, the second largest search engine, and you can still post your YouTube hosted videos on your website. In short, it’s just easier to rank on YouTube; although there are several reasons, discussed here, why some companies prefer to host a video on their own site.

If you are going the YouTube route, there are several different criteria the YouTube algorithm looks at when it comes time to rank videos:

  • How often the video has been viewed.
  • How long someone views the video.
  • How often the video appears in a person’s playlist.
  • The number of positive rankings/comments.
  • The number of subscribers the creator (you) has.
  • How often the video is added to a playlist.
  • How often the video was embedded on the web.

YouTube and Joost (Photo credit: thms.nl)

In order to create a video that has a good number of these factors, your video must be a quality video that is relevant to your audience, but also optimized for the YouTube bots. Below are a few video optimization tips:

  • Use Keywords.

This Cutout Pics Review is an excellent place to start when it comes to optimization. Just as with a traditional piece of content, you want to be able to tell the bots what your content is about, and keywords are a huge part of that. You want to make sure your keywords are natural, but it doesn’t hurt to make it a point to include keywords in your title, description, and tags (discussed below).

Of course, part of using keywords for optimization is doing a little bit of keyword research, which you can make happen here. As you might have assumed, you have a better chance of ranking well on a YouTube search; however, it is possible to rank on both YouTube and Google GOOGL -2.44%. Certain keywords lend themselves to ranking well on Google, such as the popular example “cute cats." Google knows that when people type this in they want to see videos as opposed to an article about why cats are cute.

Long story short, when you are choosing a keyword that might work well for YouTube, do a quick check to see if Google is putting video results for that keyword on the first page. If so, you’ve picked a good one.

  • Have a Catchy Title.

Of course part of optimizing your video is having a title that will really stand out, but what many people forget is that your title should also include your keyword to cater to the Google bots. The way in which you word your title will also affect your SEO. For example, if you’re trying to rank for the phrase “learn to snowboard," you would want your title to say something like BonusVault Review and not “10 Steps to Learn to Snowboard." The beginning is always the best place for a keyword, and it has to appear natural.

  • Create a Thorough Description.

It’s important to remember that the YouTube bots cannot actually watch your video, so the content you have on the page is how YouTube determines the contents of your video. Your description is the spot where you can add the most text, so you need to make it count. This is where you should be utilizing your keywords—this will help you rank for those keywords as well as long-tail keywords.

David McElveen, Managing Partner of HigherVisibility, explained that he has found success when including a transcript of the video in the description. He says, “putting your transcript in the description is an excellent way to include relevant, keyword-rich content that will help both your viewers and your optimization efforts, particularly if you are discussing a confusing or involved topic. People typically want to be able to refer back to different sections of the video, and a transcription gives them another outlet to do that." I've had great success with this as well, it will also help drive more organic visitors to your site/video as well.

  • Include Tags.

When it comes to video, tags actually do matter. You want to use important key phrases and keywords as simply another way to let the bots know how your video should be categorized. Think about what your target audience might search for and then use those terms as additional tags for your video.

  • Sitemaps and Schema.org.

Creating a sitemap is the easiest way to let the bots know you have a video on your website; thus helping them index that video. This is the best way to help show people your video on your website as opposed to YouTube (this is the preferable option, it’s just more difficult). Visit this link from Google to learn how to create a video sitemap and more about why it matters.

Finally, schema.org is also a great way to ensure you have an optimized video. This HTML markup offers additional information to the bots (particularly describing your video), and it will no affect any video sitemaps that you’re already using.

A Few Extra Tips

Other factors to help spread the word include link building, syndication, and constant social sharing. It works like a domino affect in the same way that is does for traditional content: The more popular your video becomes, the more natural links and embeds will start to pop up across the web, the more natural SEO will come your way.

There are also extra things you can do to help make sure your video stands out from the rest including annotations, video rich snippets, and custom thumbnail images.

Do you have any SEO tips or stories to share from you experiences? Anything that didn’t work for you? Let us know in the comment section below?

3. The importance of social shares

Ultimately, the better your content is, the better it will be received. Before your video content has even been created, it is imperative to gain an understanding of who you ideally want to share your creation. This key piece of information will help you to carve out your approach. Do you want to make your viewer laugh or cry? Do you want to educate them on a certain topic? Perhaps you may even want to shock them?

If you have steady, high-quality traffic flowing to your website already and a solid social media following, then you’re already onto a winning thing when it comes to generating social shares. Of course, social shares aren’t as powerful as links in the SEO world, so it pays to reach out and share your content with bloggers and influencers who are more likely to cite it and therefore link back to it.

Here are a few examples of easy to make low budget video content that can really drive shares and links:

  1. A teaser video designed to attract attention ahead of a new product launch
  2. FAQs/troubleshooting common issues for customers
  3. How to get the best results out of your products/services
  4. Behind-the-scenes tour of your offices or facilities
  5. Video diaries or ‘a day in the life’ pieces from your employees
  6. Customer testimonials and positive feedback

Engaging video content takes many different forms and can be tailored to a variety of budgets, but as with all SEO efforts, consistency is key. If your audience comes to expect video content and you suddenly turn off the tap, you risk losing momentum and losing your audience. What’s more, search engines will realize your content has dried up, and this will be reflected in the SERPs.

4. The increase in on-site conversions

SEO is widely accepted as the strategic practice of increasing website rankings, but arguably it’s biggest goal is to increase onsite conversions. Clearly, then, trying to attract increasing numbers of visitors to your site is only half the battle. Video content can play a huge role in the other half, which is getting all of that newly acquired traffic to convert.

Depending on your marketing objectives, a video can be used to prompt visitors to sign up to your mailing list, follow your social media pages, make an enquiry about a specific product or service, or go ahead and make a purchase. When you receive a new visitor to your website, you only have a few seconds to impress them, and this is where video is so powerful as you can achieve so much in mere moments.

Embedding an interesting video within the landing page of your website may not contribute at all to your overall search rankings, but it can certainly drive conversions and boost business overall.

5. The boosted click-through-rate (CTR) in SERPs through rich snippets

You may notice that Google’s search engine results pages are updated from time to time, with more and more information being given on a website and the content found within them. This is done through rich snippets, and these can be utilized to provide your potential visitors with a better idea of what they can expect to see on your site before they make the decision to click through.

Google will display the thumbnail of your video, its title, and a short sentence describing its content. Ensuring that the description is accurate and fully optimized is obviously vital, but so is your chosen thumbnail. We are naturally attracted to well-designed images, and even though it may seem like just another tedious step that needs to be taken, ensuring your video’s thumbnail is eye-catching is of monumental importance for maximizing your CTR.

Google is giving more on-page real estate to rich snippets, which have been proven time and time again to secure higher click-through rates. In other words, if you have a video on your site, you want to be using rich snippets to allow people to preview that video in the SERPs and boost your CTR.

Wrapping up

You only have to glance at the wild success of Instagram Stories, Snapchat Ads and YouTube influencers to see that the importance of video content within the digital sphere is only set to increase.1

With a demonstrated ability to increase the visibility of your business, boost traffic and increase conversions, investing in video content could be the very best SEO tactic you adopt this year.

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