Gone are the days when the term “content” exclusively referred to pure text articles. These days, when you say, “content,” you could mean any of several things because there is now something known as alternative types of content. Alternative types of content include video, infographics, PDFs, images, and the like. And these types of content have truly brought online marketing to a whole new level. It has also given SEO practitioners a boatload of things to work on. In the past, they only had to master the art of optimizing text content; this time, they’ll have to learn how to optimize alternative types of content as well.
In this article, we will be discussing some best practices in optimizing video. Why video? I have mentioned earlier that there are several alternative types of content, so why are we focusing on video? Well, for one thing, many of the best practices that apply to video SEO also apply to the other alternative types of content. Discussing video SEO first therefore makes the task of optimizing other forms of content much easier. Once you learn how to optimize video for search, optimizing the other forms will be a breeze.
And just look at the level of popularity video is now enjoying! The volume of web traffic that comes from YouTube these days is unbelievable! In fact, YouTube is not only a video hosting site; it has also become the world’s second largest search engine (second to Google, of course). And the fact that it is owned by Google erases all doubt as to its importance in online marketing. A huge number of people search on YouTube and YouTube videos now often appear on top of Google search results. So it definitely makes sense to learn how to optimize video in general and YouTube videos in particular.
Keep Your Audience in Mind
Of course, before you even think about optimizing your video content, you first need to concern yourself with the process of creating your videos. In the same way a news article needs to answer the five Ws (who, what, when, where, why) and one H (how), you also need to address a few Ws when you create online videos. And just like in news articles, the first W you need to address is Who. Who is your intended audience for the video? For whom are you creating the video?
It is important to focus on your intended audience because such focus will make it easier for you to decide on the topic and style of your videos. Focusing on your audience and getting to know them better also helps ensure that each video you put out is truly relevant. Remember that relevance is essential to the effectiveness and success of your videos. It adds to the overall quality of your videos and increases the chance of your videos not only getting watched, but also getting shared on various platforms. And these days, online sharing is one of the best and quickest ways to gain visibility.
One of the best ways for you to get to know your audience is to create personas for them. These personas will help you understand what kind of personalities your target customers have, what they want in terms of products and services, what terms they’re likely to use in conducting online searches, and which times of the day or days of the week they are likely to be online. Of course, you’ll have to do extensive research on each persona you create, and this can be time-consuming, but the results are definitely worth the time and effort.
When you take the time to get to know your audience, you’ll know what topics to cover in your videos, what style to use, what keywords to target, and where to post your videos. For example, you could host a video on your YouTube channel and keep it there, knowing that’s where your target audience typically spends their time online. If your target audience typically enters websites via search engines, then you could upload videos to YouTube and then embed them in your website. If your target audience spends most of their time on social media sites, you could host your videos on your website and then share them on social media.
Remember that your audience doesn’t necessarily have to be your target customers all the time. You could also create videos that cater to your staff (to keep them motivated), to potential investors, to industry influencers (so you can build authority), or to the press, among others. The categories of audience you address will depend on the type of business you operate. What is important is for you to broaden your perspectives and make sure your video marketing strategy addresses all the major stakeholders of your business.
Video and Organic Search
Try to conduct a few online searches and you’ll notice that the top spots on search engine results pages (SERPs) are increasingly being dominated by video. This is especially true of searches where the user is looking for “how-to” content or content about animals (cats and dogs, in particular). If you sell men’s wear, for example, it would be an excellent idea to create a video on the different ways of knotting a tie. The link to the video stands a better chance of ranking high on SERPs than pure text content covering the same topic, provided the video is properly optimized, of course.
Even when your videos do not get the top spot on search results, they are still likely to land on the first page if you optimize them properly. And when videos are on the first page of SERPs, users are typically more attracted to them and more likely to click through to them than on links to pure text content. Of course, YouTube is the most popular video hosting site, but if you plan on embedding videos on your website, you do have the option of hosting them on sites other than YouTube (Vimeo may be a good option).