February 13, 2012
Creating videos for your website is one of the most powerful things you can do to organically elevate your website presence in the search engines AND engage with your customer base. According to SEO experts, a video on your website is at least 50 times more likely to be clicked on and watched straight through than an article or a chunk of text.
Why? Because we’re lazy. Let’s face it – there are a lot of people out there who have long-ago abandoned the newspaper in favor of TV news. And – we’re used to it. We watch and multi-task – reading is a much more absorbing task. Can you do more than one other thing (like eat cereal) when reading? Doubt it.
Now, the best part for you – the business owner — it is a SUPER efficient means of reaching prospective customers, of promoting the presentation of your products or services. It combines the advantages of “classic” TV advertising with the Internet’s most important characteristic, interactivity. Also – with the cost of video cameras at an all-time low – heck, you can even use your phone in a pinch, video is now in play for just about everyone.
Some Do’s and Don’ts
Think of your videos as a way to get more impact, more bang for the buck in terms of SEO as well. But don’t get too bogged down in technology just yet. The biggest secret on video marketing? CONTENT is KING. Creating content your customer will want to watch, read, and interactive is still the single most important part of making video for your business.
When writing or creating the content for the video, it’s important to take into account a list of search engine words – for placement in the title, the content and as tags for the video. This will help the video “get seen”.
Also – when crafting the content – the subject needs to mirror the needs of your perfect client. Then – give ‘em the benefit of watching. Do they want to know tips your company has as part of it’s expertise? Do you happen to know that your perfect client ALWAYS asks the same questions? Use this as fodder for writing – and titling – your video.
A word about timing. PLEASE don’t make the video too long. Long enough to accomplish the goal. That’s usually between :30 seconds and 2 minutes. Really. Too long will defeat your whole purpose. (OK…sometimes, if the content is very informative, you will need more time. Consider breaking it up into multiple videos.)
Tracking will now come into play because you want to make sure the videos are doing what they have been designed to do. Are they available to drive more hits? More sales? More conversation? What are you trying to accomplish? Happily, yoday’s technology offers you many opportunities to track traffic and analyze results. Take the time to measure the impact that your videos have had on the prospects and to measure their performance. Search for tools that can tell you how much of your video was played before the visitor closed it, how many prospects actually decided to pay your site a visit after watching your video add on a different website, how many of these visits converted into sales, and so on.
Many experts advise to use the videos on the first page. It’s like handing out your business card. The first page recommends you, and we all know that first impression counts. Don’t tuck your marketing video away, on some page that a visitor might not even get to. Make it visible. Anyway, give your site visitors the opportunity to skip your video. Maybe they’re not in the mood for watching it, and the last thing you want is an annoyed visitor.
Optimizing Videos for Search Engines
- Optimize not only for video search engines, but also for content search engines. A good approach would be to use meta tags for the content (text) of the page where your video is placed.
- Give relevant names to your videos. It’s highly improbable that your video will show up in the SERPs if it is called “12032002.mov” rather than “XYZ- antivirus-demo.mov”.
- Use keywords in the video titles and their descriptions. Video search engines will find it much easier to index your video files and link it to your web pages.
- Use anchor text if you link to the video from other pages of your Web site.
- Make sure the video files you submit have the proper extension.
- Make it short. Say in 2 minutes what would take a normal person 10 minutes to read on paper (or on a Web page).
- SEO professionals recommend creating separate video site maps, which can be submitted to video and content search engines alike. Both kinds of SEs will index these site maps.
- Remember to include RSS feeds. Metadata can be inserted here.
- Research, measure, test, report and optimize.
Promoting a Video
- The keyword for the success of any online marketing video is “submitting“. The best choices are video hosting sites like YouTube, Yahoo! Videos, or Google Videos. The main advantages are that your videos will be hosted for free and they will not take up any of your site’s bandwidth.
- Share your videos. If you really want to make yourself known, allow users to be able to link to your videos. Viral marketing videos are the best way to make companies (and, subsequently, their products/services) known across quite vast Internet user communities. They carry a company’s name across the Web at far greater speeds than any other marketing tool in existence.
- Don’t forget to add such phrases as “Tell a friend” or “Visit our Web site” at the end of your video.
The final word.
- Use video to drive home a point, offer a tip, show how a product can be used – or simply to communicate.
- Marketing videos should not be hard sell – the more informational, tip-based, or entertaining the information, the better they will work
- Use videos to differentiate your business from your competitors’, to make yourself known and stand out of the crowd.
- Finally – have some fun and have a sense of humor. If you’re engaging, your clients will engage right back!
- NEXT: Using video on MOBILE