When it comes to visibility online, creating quality content is not enough.
Every passing minute, about 3000 hours’ worth of video are being uploaded on YouTube alone. And the stats are from 2017… Competition is fierce.
The good news, though, is that audience numbers are there to support it.
For as much competition there is, there is an equally massive viewer pool filled with potential customers – All waiting to find and engage with your company’s brand new whiteboard video or your most recent makeup tutorials.
For that to happen, though, you need to make sure your videos are finding their intended audience. You need to give them all the help you can.
That’s where a good search engine optimization strategy kicks in. A good SEO strategy can help your content reach a wider audience, and allow you to reap the benefits that video marketing brings to the table.
In this article, we’ll go over a few techniques to help your videos ranking higher in the results pages, and improve their chances of getting seen.
Hosting Platform Selection
Choosing the right hosting platform is key in video marketing.
Now, what the “right” hosting is, depends entirely on the goals you want to achieve with your content – your marketing goals.
Most social media platforms now have their own hosting capabilities for video. If you want to revolve your video marketing strategy around a specific platform, you better make sure to upload your content natively!
YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Dailymotion, even Twitter. Each of these platforms has their own strengths and weaknesses in regards to video.
However, one thing that remains the same is that your content will have a much better chance of performing better when uploaded into each enclosed system – Rather than merely embedding it.
Good keyword research can give you a solid path to connect your content with your potential audience. In essence, keyword research studies the specific words people use to find information on the topics you cover, so you can use them to have more exposure.
Keywords can (and should) be used in the video’s description, tags, and more importantly, titles (more on this later.) The important thing here is to find the most relevant and closely related words to your video’s content. Those things that you feel are important to highlight and focus on.
Do your research and put together a list with these keyword ideas to use when you upload your video.
Most keyword research tools online will give you a solid idea of what words you should be looking into. However, there’s a really good and often underused resource you can (and should) employ when doing keyword research: YouTube’s suggestion function.
When you type a query in YouTube’s search bar, it displays a list of suggested searches. These suggestions are actually based on what YouTube’s users are searching for the most, so it provides a lot of insight on how to go about selecting popular keywords.
Good titling and keyword practices are a must if you want to get your content in front of as many eyes as possible.
Engaging titles, optimized with effective keywords, are one of the most determining factors for your videos getting found and seen.
A cleverly composed title is one of the first things users will interact with in your videos. You need to give viewers a clear sense of what your video is about, without giving too much away – That’s what clever titling is about.
Organically adding your main keyword to your title, on the other hand, allows that title to work alongside search algorithms to increase the chances of your video being found.
Alongside titles, descriptions are another important piece in the puzzle of giving your videos exposure.
Descriptions are mainly there to give you a place to briefly expand on your videos’ content, but they can serve SEO optimization purposes that go beyond that.
Yes, you should be giving a brief summary of what your video’s about in its description, and of course, this description should include your main keywords. However, that’s just the start.
Descriptions are also the ideal place to link other pieces of content you talk about in your video. They are also often used to include links to the creators’ online presence, websites, social media channels, etc.
Lastly, descriptions are also used sometimes to provide full transcripts (more on this later) of the videos’ spoken content, which deliver SEO advantages on its own.
Do not let your descriptions go to waste with just a brief summary. Make use of their full potential and you’ll have more people finding your videos, and navigating through the rest of your content.
Having people interact with your video content is one of the most powerful benefits video marketing delivers. Which is probably why platforms like YouTube and Facebook take users interactions as such an important ranking factor.
When people like, shares, or comment on a piece of content, search engines interpret it as a sign of quality. People are engaging directly with the piece beyond just watching it.
While user interactions are out of your direct control, there are some baseline practices you can implement to improve the chances of them doing so.
Use call to actions in your content, phrases asking people to subscribe, like, and share your content. Pose interesting questions in your videos and ask for them to answer in the comment section. Reply to comments whenever possible to maintain people’s interest.
When users are constantly doing these things, they paint the picture of an active, interesting channel to search engines. Which, in turn, helps your optimization efforts to further promote your content.
Video length plays a pivotal role in their performance.
Longer videos tend to rank better in platforms like YouTube and IGTV, while most social media-oriented videos are best kept as short as possible.
Regardless of the length you think you need for your video, there is a platform out there that can accommodate it. But you should be matching the type of video with the platform.
If you want to use a short whiteboard animation to promote a new service, it can probably perform well just about anywhere. Including your company’s social media platform of choice.
But, if you are thinking on a long form deep dive into a new product line’s attribute, you might want to stick to platforms where users are used to long-form videos, like Facebook Video and YouTube.
Whether your videos are kept under one minute or last way past the half hour mark, you need to make them engaging and match them to the proper channel.
Transcripts & Subtitles
I already touched on the topic of transcripts briefly earlier in the piece. However, they – alongside subtitles – are a great, and often unused resource that warrant expanding on a bit more.
Most people watching videos in social media do so muted. It is an often-used screening method where they scroll down and watch a silent preview of a video before committing to watching it whole.
Alongside the huge benefits of accessibility – bringing your content to potentially more viewers – subtitles and transcripts can also factor into your video’s SEO. As they will, more often than not, include a number of instances where your keywords appear.
Whenever you upload a piece of content to any platform, you should optimize its metadata.
Metadata is a fancy term used to describe aspects of a piece of data that identify what it is about. File names, tags, even geolocation information and descriptions can fall in this category.
Search engines use this information to understand what your content is about and place it in the SERPs appropriately. The schema markup provides these search algorithms with all relevant information in this regard, things like name, length, upload date, and even dimensions.
Make use of the metadata and whenever possible, include your main keywords in them, this will add to your optimization efforts and contribute to better rankings.
A lot of companies and content creators are very reserved about allowing the sharing of their content. And for good reason, the last thing you want is for a third party to misuse or misrepresent your work.
That said, depending on the type of content and your marketing efforts, allowing your audience to share and embed your videos can be the best way to go for a wider reach.
In a sense, it can be viewed as free promotion. People sharing your content means that they see it, recognize its value, and decides to share it with others.
This gives your video plenty of opportunities to reach viewers you might have not captured otherwise.
Don’t worry too much about people not relating the content to your brand unless they get it through your channels. Any marketing-oriented video company worth their salt will tell you the same thing: If you brand properly within your content, your company and it will be inseparable, regardless of the platform of distribution.
These are by no means the only optimization opportunities you have for your video content. For example, you can always use video activity trackers and adjust your content following user behavior. Or you can create landing pages or funnels directly pointing to your video content.
However, as long as you start implementing the advice detailed here, you’ll be all ready on your way to improving your video content exposure and overall performance.
Additional Helpful Resources:
- Rank Youtube Videos in 2019 – Best practices
- Make Youtube part of your marketing strategy
- 12 Video Content Ideas that Work for Small Businesses
Take your time, plan ahead, and implement some of these techniques in your next video. You won’t be disappointed!