While the craziness of last year was winding down, I had time to get to the theatre to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi…what a super wonderful fantastic escape!

Movies and video…this was the push I needed to address a question that nearly every client has asked: Should they add video to their website? Will videos help their site rank higher? In other words, will video dramatically impact their website’s SEO (search engine optimization)?

What’s the impact of video on SEO?

Granted, clicking on a YouTube video is a far cry from the silver screen, but perhaps the person who clicks is hoping for a tidbit of a the more powerful medium. Like the silver screen, videos have the potential to bring your message to life.

The ways video could help SEO:

  • Clicking on and playing a video is a way to interact with the site – engagement is a positive signal to search engines;
  • Video gets through to us better than text, especially when demonstrating how to do something (how to make a droid, how to perfect Lightsaber techniques);
  • Voice, music, motion, and special effects connect us with your content emotionally;
  • Watching a video may increase dwell time on the web page; longer time tells the search engine your content is useful and relevant.

BUT

If nobody plays the video, or if site visitors start and abandon it quickly, none of the above will happen. The video won’t help your website’s SEO at all.

If you’re thinking about adding video, here are some considerations:

  • Research what it is visitors to your website are looking for.  Select a topic that matters to them, answers their question or solves their problem – keyword research can help;
  • Make your video about the viewer. Few of us care to watch videos that are horror shows – ones that are full of self-promotion or an outright waste of our time;
  • Quality on a tight budget is possible, but don’t relax your standards to the point your brand and image suffer. Cinema nausea worked for the Blair Witch Project, but will it work for you?

Tips for SEO-ing your video:

  • Give your video a title that people can find (hint: use the keywords you uncovered with your research);
  • Make sure to fill in the meta data fields – tags, categories, etc.
  • Include a written introductory teaser, or even a transcription of the video to help people learn what it’s about, and for search engines to use (search engines can’t watch your video);
  • Host the video to your own domain, and create a new page for each video (the the Portent article mentioned below explains why and how);
  • Look at the data to learn which of your videos are popular, and create more like them. Each video platform provides tons of data. For YouTube, VidIQ is a Chrome extension that shares data about a video or an entire channel of videos.

There’s much more to learn about the details of optimizing video; here’s an article published by Portent.

So where does video fit into your marketing mix – will video drive your marketing? Thinking “video content strategy” helps you incorporate it into your brand building and business development efforts. As a business owner, I know it’s tempting to look for a quick win or to chase something because it’s different. But if you can channel your enthusiasm toward your overall goals your time and resources will be put to better use.

There are excellent resource for planning a video content strategy, e.g. the video library at Distilled. If you want help researching and understanding what your prospects are looking for, let’s talk.

Will you be adding video to your website in 2018? May the force be with you!

The creatives I work with ask provocative questions about the latest trends in website marketing. Strategic Team is where we work out the answers (and have a little fun).