It is quite often that I am talking with a client and we begin discussing the idea of video creation with the same conversation…”I know we need to do video, so I have pulled together a few videos that we uploaded to YouTube and want you to help us to optimize them.” Fundamentally, I am very excited to have the discussion that recognizes the value of video SEO, but the harder part of the conversation is the idea that video is the asset.
At SearchLove London a few years ago, Phil Nottingham stated it best when he clarified that ‘Video is not content, it is just a form’. As such, if you intend to use video on your site, it is imperative that you come to a deeper understanding of the intent behind the use of video and create the videos to achieve the goals you are setting for the endeavor. Videos can demonstrate better than most writers’ posts, and effectively empower an audience. Videos can evoke emotion on more levels than written posts and engage a viewer faster through effective use of film construct and other dimensions that are left to the reader in written posts. The top film schools in the world can spend many years instructing you on the multitude of techniques and construct.
For those of us who just want to properly implement the use of video to enhance the user experience and engagement on our site, here are a few much more simple rules that could help you along the way:
1) YouTube Doesn’t Need Your Donations – Understand that when you host a video on YouTube, the intent should be the same as an advertisement on the television – to attract as much attention as possible and drive brand equity to initiate branded searches for your site. As such, segment what you host through YouTube to the most engaging and least personal video. Save the other videos because they have the best opportunity to work better for you on your site to aid in conversion.
2) Know Your Business, Then Apply Videos – You know what your sales cycle is. You know what your FAQs are. You know how your top sales people work, and what experiences they walk your customers through to aid in purchase. Now you must take those same pieces of knowledge and create them through video – personalizing the product and transforming features into benefits, story-boarding your solutions, and allowing the connections to visually and emotionally happen through video. These are the aspects of the videos you need to have on your site next to the place where your new client can make the purchase your videos have just secured for your company.
3) Just Because You Record It Doesn’t Mean They Will Watch – Now you have created the videos and edited them to compete for the next Oscar, Emmy, Tony or other sought after name in the entertainment awards, but if you don’t market it correctly – no one will know. Take the time to implement the proper SEO elements on the videos and choose the platform that allows you to inform the spiders of the valuable asset you just created. Brightcove, Wistia and Vimeo Pro are a few that I have used, and they all allow the proper implementation to ensure your videos on your site keep your credit on your site. The issue with the public platforms is they host the video, and also do not allow your site to implement all (if any) of the elements that work for video in attracting SERP positioning. Spiders cannot see imagery, so you have to use itemprops and file names to spell it out for them – and you do not control those when you host on many public platforms.
4) Watch Your Players’ Stats to drive your Draft – Be sure to set up analytics that tell you everything from engagement and duration to path and bail times to make sure you have the tools to better optimize your current and future videos so they will serve you well.