Saturday, February 9, 2019

What is Video SEO

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Is video in your toolkit of content marketing best practices? If it's not, it should be. Video is a juicy means of attracting viewers not only to your YouTube page but also to your website, your social media pages and ultimately to your business.

According to Hubspot, the usage, spend and consumption of video content are set to increase (again!) in 2019, according to new research, continuing a growth trend that shows little sign of slowing. People have been talking about it being the ‘year of video’ since way back in 2006, but these latest stats show that, despite its continued growth, video still hasn’t reached saturation point - and it’s here to stay

I was an early adapter to using videos for marketing strategy. Working in the travel business, I found video gave a quick, easy, and inexpensive means of showing potential visitors the visuals and story telling that would drive sales. Whether it was a professionally produced long-form video or a short video "snack," we provided a steady diet of videos that generated thousands of site visitors

Many marketers miss the point of video, that it is a powerful SEO tool. Google is the dominant search engine. Google owns YouTube. Get the picture? Google's algorithms prioritize YouTube video content, not just because of that relationship but also because of the richness of the content and the user experience it provides.

But it's not as easy as posting videos and hoping viewers show up. YouTube allows for the same keyword optimization opportunities as any good web platform. Take a look at your YouTube channel (if you have one - and you should). Are you using strong headlines, or is your video using the filename your video producer defaulted to when saving it to file. Do you have a robust, keyword rich description that mirrors the keyword research you have (presumably) done for your related website content. Have you added relevant tags? If it doesn't, it should. And it's not too late - take the time to go into your video library and spend some time optimizing these elements, even for older content. Want to learn more? Watch this video on how to optimize videos!

Want to know a fun fact? YouTube automatically transcribes your video and viewers can read a de facto script. Click on the triple dots on the likes/dislikes line below the video and click on "Open Transcript." Mind. Blown. Guess what this transcript provides? That's right - more keyword rich content. This is part of why videos are such a critical tool in your SEO Toolbox.

You might be surprised to see which videos gain traction They are not always the ones with high production values. For one organization, I produced a fairly simple low-cost video titled "how to use crutches." It was intended for in-house use for clinical staff to easily share with patients before they were discharged. 13,000 views later, we discovered that the simple keyword search term of "how to use crutches" has driven traffic to our little video project. Score! This exercise also points out the importance of always properly branding your video.  Embed your logo throughout and have a well designed and branded opening and closing graphic. When your video goes viral, you'll want to be sure you get the credit! It might not always be viewed in the context it was intended.

In the age of Facebook, it's tempting to post videos direct to Facebook and call it good. But videos are valuable content that should be spread around liberally throughout a multi-faceted marketing strategy. For all the good reasons stated above, your video content should live on your YouTube channel. 

I don't care if you are a small business just starting out or a Fortune 500 company producing hundreds of videos a year. Keep your current video library on YouTube. Then cross post that content on your other social media channels - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever the flavor of the month is at that point in the future.

You should also embed those videos on relevant content pages on your website. You can use an embedded video player or you can use YouTube. I prefer YouTube as it drives the viewer to what is hopefully a robust presence on that platform, encouraging them to subscribe to your Channel and view your other video content which I just know you will now be studiously developing. 

Video is how people like to use to learn and to research a product or service, according to a study posted on Hubspot.  Over two-thirds (68%) said a short video would be best, way ahead of text-based articles (15%),infographics (4%) presentations and pitches (4%) ebooks and manuals (3%).

Better yet, consumers say that entertaining "viral" style videos are popular, and businesses are finding that cycle time to produce videos is reducing and more are being produced in-house. While I advise against producing videos that don't reflect well on your brand, with continuing ease of producing videos in-house, there's no reason to limit the creation of video content, especially given the SEO opportunities and the potential ROI for your business.

Bonus Content!
Want to view one of my earlier video projects? Check out this video. It was one of my weekly snow reports for a New England ski area!