Video marketing is one of the fastest ways to get top listings in the search engines for your keywords. YouTube, DailyMotion, and Metacafe videos seem to shoot to the top of the SERPS. Often the thumbnails are conspicuously displayed directly in the natural search listings which seem to jump out at searchers pushing viewers to click.
Many times relevant YouTube videos will outrank your main website for your keywords because YouTube has such authority in search. If you are ignoring video marketing you are ignoring a major traffic source for your website.
Here are some tips to maximize both the SEO and traffic potential of your website through video marketing:
1. Create Quality Engaging Content
Ok, this seems obvious. However, sometimes in our haste to get our videos listed in search we skimp on quality. Make the content relevant and useful to those in your niche. The videos do not have to be long. In fact, it is better to make videos that get right to the point and deliver high quality information quickly. Video marketing starts with a good video. If people like your video they are more likely to share and comment which will bring even more visitors to your video and to your website.
2. Embed Your Videos on Your Blog and Websites
Of course if you embed your videos on busy blogs and websites you will get more traffic to your video. However, there is something new going on in search with videos. Google is now indexing videos embedded on websites and sending traffic directly to the websites where the video is embedded.
This is important because previously if you had a video hosted on YouTube and someone found it in a Google search he/she would be re-directed to the video hosted on YouTube not to the blog or website where the video was embedded. To reach your website, searchers had to click the link in the description associated with the YouTube video or type out the URL provided in the video.
The moral of the story is that you want to start embedding videos in your blog posts and websites because you want Google to index the video and to send the traffic directly to your website from the video found in search.
For an example of this do a Google search for “videos sitepronews.” Then click the “videos” link on the left. Most of the videos that you will see are YouTube videos but, if you click on the links, the traffic is sent to videos.sitepronews.com not to YouTube. Here is an article which explains how Google is indexing embedded YouTube videos on websites.
3. Put Your Keywords in the Title – Fully Optimize Your Description and Tags
Google will look first for the keywords in the title. The title is the most important SEO information for search. Make sure you have your keywords right in your title. You should also try to make your title as catchy as possible. I know this is not easy to do, but this is the goal.
You might want to make several versions of your videos to upload to different accounts. Use variations of the keywords in the titles to see what works best. Sometimes I notice it can work very well to simply pick the keywords alone in the title. Experiment.
You should also fully optimize your description and tags. If you are embedding your video on a blog or website make sure you have plenty of quality content surrounding the video. Likewise for your descriptions on YouTube and other video hosting sites make sure you have unique, quality relevant content in the descriptions. Do not overdo it or stuff keywords. Keep it real, unique relevant and engaging.
You can also change the filename of your video to your keywords. Every little bit helps!
On YouTube and most video hosting sites there is a place for keywords or tags. Just add relevant appropriate keywords. Do not try to rank for every keyword on the planet. Keep focused on one phrase or basic set of keywords. It might not be a bad idea to use the YouTube keyword tool to do a little keyword research for your video.
Here is another optimization tip. Use the word “video” as much as possible in your description, tags, title and html surrounding your video. You want to make sure Google knows you have a video there. You want to give them every reasonable indication on how to index your video.
4. Create a Video Sitemap
Your videos can get indexed by Google without a video sitemap, but you want every edge you can get on your competition. I use a very easy to use tool called A1 Sitemap Generator to create a video sitemap as well as all my other sitemaps for my websites. Here is a short to the point video tutorial on how to use A1 Sitemap Generator to create a video sitemap. Matt Cutts says it is a very, very good idea to use video sitemaps. Here is a video where Matt Cutts talks about video sitemaps. If Matt Cutts says it is important, and it only takes a few minutes to set up, count me in.
5. Place a Link to Your Website Prominently at the Beginning of the Description of Your Video
The whole idea of all this SEO stuff is to get traffic to your website. If people cannot find your website, they will click away and never visit your site even if they liked the video! The best place to put your website link with most video hosting sites is right at the beginning of the description. This way they see your link immediately. Remember to include the “<http://www.>” On most websites the link will automatically hyperlink making visitors just one click away from your website.
6. Start Your Own Specific Tube Site On Your Domain Specific to Your Niche
Take a look at videos.sitepronews.com. The smart folks at SiteProNews have set up their own video directory on a sub-domain called “videos.” (Remember, I said to use the word “videos” as much as possible? This includes naming the directory where you host your self-hosted videos.) The end result is that their videos are getting indexed like crazy on Google and better yet when you click on the thumbnails you go directly to their site rather than to YouTube.
The software they use is called “Clip Share.” Why not consider setting up your own “Tube” site just for your niche. Do not try to compete with YouTube. Specialize. You should seek to target your niche. Open the video section of your site up for user generated videos but be picky. Only accept relevant informative videos in your niche. Imagine 1000s of keyword targeted videos being indexed in Google for your keywords and all of them sending direct traffic to your website! Not a bad problem to have at all.
7. Create Transcripts to go With Your Videos
You can now upload transcripts with your YouTube videos. Google is known to crawl these transcripts as well as your meta data. The more help you give Google the better. If you have keyword transcripts, and other videos do not, you will have an SEO edge over your competitors.
8. Don’t Just Upload Your Videos to YouTube – Upload Them to All the Major Video Hosting Sites
There are a number of high traffic, highly ranked video hosting sites besides YouTube. DailyMotion has an Alexa rank of 106! This means that there are only 105 sites out there with more traffic. Why not upload your videos to DailyMotion as well? Plus many of the other video hosting sites have major search engine juice. Now, not all of these sites have do follow links, but they can still drive traffic to your website. Here is a list of 35 video hosting sites where I actually submit my videos.
9. Know What the Goal of Your Video is and Tell People What You Want Them to Do
What action do you want viewers to take when they view your video? Do you want them to go to your website? Do you want them to embed the video on their blog? Do you want them to share the video on Facebook? Do you want them to visit your website or call you? Do not assume they are going to visit your website or magically do what you want them to do. You have to tell them very directly what you want them to do. If you want them to go to your website, then tell them very directly in your video to go to your website. You can do this by a title clip at the end, by a footer running at the bottom of the video or by actually telling people in the video to go to your site. You can even give people incentives to go to your site.
10. Promote Your Video and get Backlinks to it Like Any Other Webpage
Promote your videos like any other web property. Send an email to your list. Ask them to share, comment, and like your video. Of course, submit your videos to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. You can even consider using automation tools such as Contentbuzz to submit your videos. Contentbuzz is a network of users who use the system to automatically share each other’s videos on their social media pages.
You can even ping the RSS feed to your YouTube channel with pingler.com.
Your channel on YouTube has an RSS feed. Here it is:
Just add your username where it says YOUTUBE-USERNAME and ping your YouTube video channel using pingler.com
11. Make Good Thumbnails – First, Last and Middle Frames
The first thing people will see when searching for videos on Google is your thumbnail. When you are creating your videos you might want to keep this in mind. If you are hosting your own videos, generally the first or last frames are picked up as thumbnails. On YouTube, it generally is the frame right in the middle of the video. It can be tricky to place attractive, relevant thumbnails in the right spot. However, an attractive thumbnail can be the difference between somebody clicking on your video or on the other guy’s video.
12. Allow Video Responses to be Automatically Approved and Use Your Videos for Video Responses
Video responses are when people comment on your video using a video instead of an actual text comment. You want to make sure video responses are automatically approved on your videos. I know this goes against the common wisdom but the more video responses the better. You see every time somebody leaves a video response on your video there is a link below their video back to your video saying “This video is a response to..your video link.”
You can get some nice traffic if people respond to your video from all these links back to your video. In addition you should use your video to respond to other relevant videos. Then a small link to your video will appear as a comment beneath their video. Check out the rap videos of Chris Brown and other artists. Their videos get millions of views. They know what they are doing. Most of them allow for automatically approved video responses.
I hope these tips help give you some ideas on how to use video to improve your SEO and traffic. If you have more tips to add or just some comments, please let me know in the comments area.