Improve Your Video Marketing Strategy with 3 SEO Tips
Updated: March 16, 2021
Why Is Video Marketing Strategy Important?
Internet users want content, and they want it now. Users are increasingly expecting more accurate search results to their queries, and at lightning speeds. This is not an easy task if you consider the amount of data available to us. Each day, more than 5 billion searches are conducted worldwide, and Google alone processes 44,000 searches every second, everyday! It’s an incredible, 21st century feat, but from a video creator’s perspective, it may seem like an impossibility to be seen amidst all the content. That’s why your video marketing strategy is more important now than ever.
Video is rising in popularity, and in 2017 it accounted for 74% of all online traffic. Video has the power to leave an impression on your audience, but in order to do that, they need to be found and seen first. That’s where video SEO comes in, and it’s easy to implement simple yet effective tactics to get your videos ranking at the top.
3 Tips to Boost Your Video SEO
Though there’s a whole a slew of video SEO practices to dive into, let’s keep it simple and cover 3 main practices to implement into your video marketing strategy.
Add Transcripts and Captions
Transcription is the process in which speech or audio is converted into a written document; the written document is known as a ‘transcript.’ Closed captions are chunks of time-synchronized text that reflect the audio track and can be read while watching the video. But, why should you implement captions and transcripts into your video marketing strategy?
Search engines can read text, but they can’t watch video or listen to audio. Search engine bots sift through video pages on the web and are left to draw understanding from the metadata alone. That’s not so great for video SEO! Luckily, captions and transcripts give search engines the ability to “watch” the contents of videos, since they both are attached to the video as a plain text file. On top of this great advantage, transcripts and captions increase SEO in more ways than one.
Using Transcripts and Captions to Improve SEO
Transcripts reveal a number of new keywords, improve user’s ability to navigate topics within the video, and are a great starting point for creating derivative content such as blogs and white papers. Just one added practice creates an SEO powerhouse, with improved keyword metadata, enhanced user experience, and growth of quality content within your library.
Keep in mind, not all captions are equal in value. Inaccurate, low-quality captions don’t meet legal requirements and they may significantly damage video SEO. Though automatic speech recognition (ASR) is a great starting point for DIY captioning practices, it’s important that you manually check for quality and make necessary corrections. Otherwise, your video could be marked as “pure spam” due to displaying ”automatically generated gibberish.” No viewer wants to decipher a jumbled mess of words – that would tarnish their user experience.
Including captions in your videos makes them accessible to d/Deaf and hard of hearing individuals while also catering to audiences in sound sensitive environments. With your video available to broader audiences, it seems natural that more people would watch them. In fact, captions can boost your views by 12% according to a Facebook study. Just remember – accurate captions improve SEO by improving UX.
Creating accurate transcripts and captions in-house is simple, though it can be time consuming for longer videos and videos in greater quantity. If you’re generating a large amount of video content on a regular basis, it may be worth looking into a professional transcription and captioning service.
Amplify the User Experience
What is user experience? Also known as UX, it is “described as a person’s emotions when using a particular product, system or service.” Content or sites that provide tremendous user experience are useful, accessible, and credible, among other things. There are several guidelines that you can follow to ensure your video content is meeting high quality usability standards.
- Provide direct, actionable information relevant to the query
- Easy to use, navigate, and understand
- Professionally designed and accessible to modern browsers (i.e. mobile phones)
- High quality, legitimate, and credible content
Why is UX important for SEO? Search engines measure things like engagement metrics when indexing content and determining rank. For example, if you search “how to make fresh orange juice,” you’re likely to click on one of the higher-ranking videos. What if you clicked on one of those videos, only to find that the content didn’t match your query whatsoever, or that it didn’t answer your question? Chances are, you would immediately back out of that page and look elsewhere!
Search engines take note of these metrics, called bounce rate and time-on-page, as well as other metrics, and use the data to determine if your content is high quality. With high quality content comes a plethora of links to your site, a valuable asset to have if you want your videos at the top of SERPs (search engine ranking page).
There are several things you can do to ensure your video pages create a positive user experience for your audience.
Interaction Yields Reaction
Interactive video qualities will keep users on-page for longer. Including an interactive transcript on-page, inserting calls-to-action, and linking to other content with strong anchor text can all significantly increase the time a user spends on your page. It’s no secret that the longer users are staying on-page, the more search engines will favor your content.
Visual Elements Matter
Visual elements and design can also improve user experience. Don’t leave your visitors waiting and scrolling, else they might exit your page as quickly as they entered. When a viewer clicks on your video in SERPs, they expect it will be easy to access. Therefore, it’s important to have a fast page load time, and to place the video so that it’s at or near the top of the page. Thumbnails “let viewers see a quick snapshot of your video,” and play a role in whether or not someone clicks on your video at all. Avoid using irrelevant or misleading thumbnails as “clickbait”, which is the equivalent of tricking a user to open your content (that’s not a good look if you want to impress search engines). Instead, pick thumbnails that accurately display the message your video conveys. For example, if you create a video titled, “How to Snowboard,” the thumbnail should display a person in the act of snowboarding.
Don’t Skimp on Quality Content
One of the best ways to create an impactful user experience is through the content itself. High quality videos will keep people watching on page longer, and may even get them to come back to view your future video content. There are three main rules to follow when planning videos.
- Keep it simple – don’t include too many topics or key points
- Draw searchers to you by specializing in a certain topic
- Be mindful of the title – make sure it accurately displays the goal of the video
Remember the Metadata
Metadata is the information about a page that is visible to search engines but not to visitors. It typically includes things like video title, tags, description, and duration. Metadata is the humblest part of SEO, but it can make a real difference in how your videos rank in SERPs. Besides the basics, there are metadata tactics that can be applied to your video marketing strategy which will help boost SEO.
SEO Tools Go a Long Way
Now that you know metadata has a great influence over video SEO, how do you inject metadata into the head of your video pages? Depending on where you host your videos, that tool may already be integrated into your video platform. For example, Wistia, automatically injects metadata like transcripts, video title, and description using JSON and JSON-LD. On the other hand, YouTube requires users to fill out metadata information before the video can be uploaded.
If you’re not using a hosting platform like Wistia or YouTube, there are other options. 3Play Media’s SEO Embed is a single line embed that provides Google with your video’s metadata if you’re not using a video platform that does it for you. The SEO Embed uses JSON-LD and references your video to include metadata like the thumbnail, description, title, and entire transcript in the head of your page.
Keywords are the Key
Don’t forget about your video keyword strategy! Keywords are such a fundamental part of SEO that it’s sometimes easy to sweep the thought of them under the rug. But they are important, even for video content. After conducting thorough keyword research before you create a video, be sure to use the keyword throughout the duration of the video. It will then appear in your transcript and caption files, and you can also include it in your title and description. Optimize text content for video just as you would for a text post, but don’t overdo it. With too much text, search engines may index your video page as a text page, and you’ll miss out on valuable rich snippets. Finding balance is key.
Multi-platform Video Promotion
Depending on your video marketing strategy, your goal may be to build brand awareness or to drive traffic to your sight for potential leads. Multi-platform promotion offers an opportunity to rank highly in multiple locations. If you post the same video with the same metadata to a page on your site and also to YouTube, there’s a chance that you may cannibalize your own SEO efforts. Instead, try posting a video to your website, and then a couple of weeks later upload the same video to another platform with slightly altered metadata. Promoting the same videos separately on different platforms helps to build presence in multiple search engines.
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