Many video marketers think posting videos to YouTube is the only step they have to take for their videos to start circulating. But in the vast sea of the Web, simply uploading videos isn’t enough—consider the fact that only 50 percent of YouTube videos get 100 or more views. To make sure your videos are getting the reach they deserve, the key is to optimize your videos for search engines.
Because sites like Google can’t “read” a video, it’s important to focus on providing keywords and utilizing other strategies to pull your business videos into search results. Below are a few strategies you can employ to make your video SEO-friendly:
1. Content is King
If your video doesn’t contain compelling content, it will have a short lifespan no matter what your SEO efforts. First, you need to determine your message, and stick to it. Ask yourself: Who is my audience? What are their wants and needs? What do they want to see or hear? What do they want to know?
Once you’ve laid out a message and determined your audience, decide on the subject of your video. Many businesses don’t think they have relevant content to share, but any business can film how-to videos (these are generally very popular), interviews with customers or company leaders, tie-ins to current events, industry news, or tips and advice. Write a script and practice it beforehand to avoid sounding robotic.
2. Keep It Short
We’re more prone to remember what we see and hear rather than what we read—which is part of the reason online videos are such a successful marketing tool—but our attention spans are short. According to ReelSEO, about 10 percent of viewers click away after the first 10 seconds of a video, and almost 54 percent leave after only one minute.
Strive to keep your videos between one and three minutes to avoid drop-off, and aim to keep your viewers’ attention for at least the first eight seconds. If a viewer leaves before this, their viewing session won’t count toward your view count on many platforms.
3. Incorporate Keywords Everywhere You Can
Once you’ve nailed down your message and content, identify popular keywords for your topic or industry. Include them in the title, description, tags, subtitles, captions, and category listings. Consider including a written script with your video, and keyword-optimize it as well. Always keep your primary keywords first, and list the rest in order of importance. Keywords are often the only clue Google has when determining if video content is appropriate for a search result, so be as thorough as you can.
4. Share Your Video Everywhere
This includes social media sites like your company’s Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn page, but also share your video on your personal networks. Embed the video on your company blog, and send it out via an e-newsletter. Invite colleagues and customers to share and leave comments, and consider uploading your video to a number of different hosting sites like YouTube, Vimeo, BuzzNet, and Yahoo! Video.
5. Track and Analyze
Tracking and analytics are important for you to determine how well your videos are performing. Things like drop-off rates, total viewing time, and viewer demographics can all impact how you’ll craft your next video and will tell you where you’re successful and where your videos are lacking. Many video hosting sites have basic analytics tools built in.
These are just a few basic strategies you can employ to ensure your video is optimized for search and gets the lifespan it deserves. Each of these practices should be used in combination for the best results for your video marketing plan.
What are some other tips you’d give to businesses looking to make their videos SEO-friendly? Share your thoughts in a comment below.
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