People around the world have some common basic interests. We all love video content.
We would rather watch a video than read a blog. According to a survey, 59% of all B2B decision-makers favor video content over text.
We can’t say enough about the benefits of video marketing.
Videos can be used to educate and inform the customers, to personally connect with your leads, and to improve your search engine ranking.
There are so many uses of video content, one of which is to enhance your SEO efforts.
Read. Plan. Take Action!
Here is how you can use video content to enhance the quality of your SEO.
1. Choose an Engaging Video Thumbnail for SEO
The first element to attract the viewers’ attention is the thumbnail of the video.
The thumbnail influences people’s decisions on whether to watch the video or not. So make it relevant and compelling.
Use thumbnails that your target audience likes. You can do this by including thumbnails as one of the elements to consider when A/B testing your videos.
Don’t let the hosting platform decide which thumbnail to use. Experts at Wordstream found that using a custom thumbnail increases the video play rate by 30%.
It’s widely accepted that video thumbnails are more important than the titles. A searcher can gather more information from the thumbnail than a title.
It might not always be possible. But, try to select a thumbnail that captures the essence of the whole video.
The whiteboard video that Moz releases every Friday is a great example of thumbnail selection. As you can see below, the image has all the makings of an ideal thumbnail.
The thumbnail contains the human element. The text behind gives a clear picture of the topic discussed in the video.
In addition, the thumbnail is high-quality, intriguing, and engaging.
Plus, pick a thumbnail that’s relevant to the keyword that you’re targeting or the search term users are most likely to use.
For example, if the video is about ice fishing in Lake Michigan, then pick a thumbnail that shows a person reeling in a fish from a lake.
Any other image, such as a person sitting in the ice shanty, fixing the bait, etc. won’t have the same impact on the searcher.
2. Optimize the Videos for Search Engines
Apart from the content in the video itself, other elements require your attention. The following elements ensure the video is recognized and clearly understood by the search engines:
Title and Description
We already discussed thumbnails. The other two elements displayed on the search page are the title and description.
Creating SEO titles and descriptions should be a crucial step in your content marketing strategy.
The title must be relevant and catchy.
Try to add the main keyword in the title. But, don’t compromise on the quality to include the keyword.
The YouTube keyword research tool must be part of your toolset to find the most suited search terms for your videos.
If you don’t include a long description, the search engine will find something on its own to display.
It’s highly recommended to add a paragraph or two that provides an overview of the video. The description must convince the viewers that the video content is relevant and worth their time.
Also, insert the main keyword into the description if at all possible.
If you’re serious about video marketing for your B2B business, then leave no stone unturned to ensure its success.
Only a small percentage of Google users take advantage of the video search function to find video content. Most people still use the general search tool.
So, if you want the search engines to understand, categorize, and display your videos on the results page, consider using the video schema markup.
In this, you’ll be using semantic vocabulary to provide information about the video content to the search engines.
Some of the basic information that’s shared via the schema markup is the title, thumbnail, description, upload date, video length, video dimensions, and raw video file URL.
Help Google search and index all the videos on your website by creating a separate sitemap for video content.
This is quite similar to the normal website sitemap. Here too you’ll be including the URLs and properties of the videos.
In the video sitemap, there are essential and optional properties. Don’t give the optional data the slip, these items will help Google properly index the videos.
3. Use Video Content to Enhance User Experience
Don’t just tell people what you’re trying to share via blog posts. Show them how it’s done with supporting videos. This approach will enhance the user experience for many of your visitors.
It can also be the other way round. Adding a transcript of the video on the web page enables the visitors to understand the content without disturbing others.
Plus, there is no need to jump forward and backward to the part of the video that interests you. In a neatly laid out video transcript, users only have to scroll to the relevant section for the content they want to consume.
Other than engaging the visitors, stock video or your own produced video content that includes transcripts can provide additional SEO benefits.
Your prospective customers will stay longer on the web page to get a better understanding of the subject.
Longer dwell time is a positive signal to Google and other search engines. It can help your website rank higher on the SERPs.
Furthermore, search engine crawlers have a much easier time understanding the contents of a video when supported by a full transcript.
Text content on a web page is more indexable. By including it, you will increase the chances of ranking for more queries with that full text content on the page.
Always use text content to support long-form videos if you want to improve the SEO performance of the web page.
Link building is a vital part of SEO. Backlinks are also one of the most significant ranking factors for Google and other search engines.
If quality backlinks are important to you, then video content is the way to go. That’s because 9 out of 10 people share the videos they like.
Those hosting video content on their website can display the embed code of the video. This will help others to display your video on their web page and provide a link back to the original video source.
Producing high-quality video isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. So, bloggers who write about a topic will most probably embed your video on their website.
Video content will earn you quality backlinks and expose your brand to a larger audience.
The quality of backlinks is as important as the quantity. So, first up, host your video content on YouTube. Take advantage of Google’s favorability towards its own video platform.
By optimizing the video, you also ensure you will get maximum link juice from your videos on YouTube.
There are other services (high domain authority websites) that can host your video content, to provide backlinks for a small fee.
If you have a large number of subscribers and social media followers, then it’s time to cash in by including videos in your emails and social media marketing plan as well.
In fact, video content should be an integral part of your social media marketing strategy.
There are other video outlets apart from YouTube where you can submit your videos. This move will give your videos more exposure.
Make sure to include a link pointing at your website within the video itself. Also, include a link wherever possible on the page where it posts on the particular website where you upload it..
5. Go Live to Attract More Viewers
Another low-cost video option that can engage the audience and capture the interest of the search engines is Live Video marketing.
Slowly but surely, live streaming is becoming an essential marketing strategy to dominate your competition.
This tactic not only provides a unique way to create brand awareness and drive sales. It also revolutionizes communication with customers.
Most social media platforms now provide live streaming features. Using live streaming won’t cost you a penny.
The live video feature can be used to explain your offering and get your message across more effectively.
It also helps build trust and enhances the credibility of your brand. Here, you speak to the customers directly and answer their queries then and there.
You also have an opportunity to combine two of the best social media strategies. Combine influencer marketing and live streaming to increase brand awareness.
You can repurpose live-streaming webinars and upload the videos to your website or YouTube channel.
You know the importance of video in marketing and SEO.
Winning the SEO game will not only impress the search engine. It will also enhance your brand value in the eyes of your customers.
Your SEO success makes you stand out and gives one more reason for your customers to do business with you.
Use the tactics given in the blog to achieve meaningful gains in your SEO ROI.
All images provided by the author under his or her own license.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.
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