How to use natively uploaded video to quickly boost your SEO
We all agree one thing: SEO is a serious part of digital marketing. It pervades every aspect of copywriting.
But when it comes to video, some of us get a bit lazy, as if the rules of SEO no longer apply.
A lot of this comes down to our level of understanding of SEO, and understanding the platforms on which we post our video content.
So we've written these tips on how to use your video content natively, make the best use of your platform and get a higher SEO ranking.
Know Where You Stand!
I get asked ‘why did you move from the news industry over to digital marketing’?
Well, I was discovering that video-based content is quickly becoming the new big tool for online communication. From YouTube to Snapchat, Instagram stories to Facebook’s massive push towards more video based content.
It turns out Facebook IS trying to become the big new video platform. As far as Mark Zuckerberg is concerned, YouTube is a competitor. Both Facebook and Google are fighting for your original content.
But also, don’t forget that you’re fighting for their blessings. Think of the platforms as like a good boss. They want your service, but if you follow their rules, do what they ask and optimise yourself to suit their needs, then you’ll be richly rewarded (like a good boss!).
So, if you’re looking to create good relationships with each of these platforms, the next step is:
Upload content native to the platform you’re using it on
There’s an old handyman adage; ‘use the right tool for the job’.
This goes for social media, too. Search engines love original content and scoff at businesses and blogs that do nothing but resharing. Even if you’re sharing your content, as far as the platforms are concerned, you’re mingling with the enemy.
If you post a video on Facebook, it’s best to upload it through Facebook, and not from another platform. For example, if you shared a video to Facebook from Instagram, the caption disappears, and the title will read something like this:
Instagram post by YOURNAMEHERE - July 31, 2017
Yeah, it’s hardly an eye-grabbing title. You’re better off not sharing it at all. But if you use Facebook’s built in video uploader, you have greater control over that platform. I’m not advocating Facebook explicitly, but the native platform always produces better results.
As another example, share a video to Facebook from YouTube, and the result is one dated, unattractive thumbnail. If you upload directly from the platform, not only is it better optimised for the feed, it looks much prettier as a result.
Non native video:
The difference is pretty noticeable - natively uploaded video is centred, bold and prominent. Non-native, shared video simply lacks the presence and allure, and Facebook doesn't like the use of shared content.
Understand who’s watching your video (and how)
Marketers tend to create strict personas about their target audience. Who’s buying? How is their personality? What are their motivations, lifestyles and beliefs? You can create personas to help market just about anything, including your video.
Consider how they’ll be viewing - are they quickly grabbing their phone on the bus? Do they browse videos on the computer during their work lunch break? And what are their motivations for watching? Are they searching for a particular solution to their problem? Are they browsing randomly or checking related videos?
It’s not always effective to base your video content strategy around your whole marketing strategy. Each platform is different and has different requirements. What separates someone who would watch a video from the rest of your audience?
If you understand the habits of those who watch your video, that makes it easier to step into.
Understanding your search engine
SEO can be easily misunderstood. We tend to overthink it, picturing it as some mathematical tweaking of the system.
SEO is just the result of producing content that is high quality, readable, clear and well-targeted. Think of the search engines as like talent scouts. They’re looking for the next big thing, and as a result, they’re equipped with artificial intelligence designed to make sure you’re producing content that is compelling, readable, and original.
There’s two types of SEO: Human SEO and Algorithmic SEO. Now, I know you didn’t click into this article to learn the basics, but I’ll just lay it out to give some context:
Algorithmic SEO: Basically, a big robot living inside the search engine, uses sophisticated metrics and variables to determine which content should be ranked higher.
Human SEO: Content that is pleasing to the human eye. An eye-grabbing title, an attractive thumbnail, an honest description, and just the general feeling that your content was made by an actual living breathing human are some factors of good human SEO.
YouTube, Vimeo, Google and others all have search engines, and they all have algorithms for ranking your content. They all produce search results in different ways, which has an ultimate effect on human SEO.
For example, algorithmic SEO will pay attention to how long your viewers stay on your video. If most people click away after a few seconds, that will have a bad impact on your ranking.
But it’s usually the quality of your human SEO that determines how your algorithmic SEO will rank. So the best bet for creating good human SEO is...
Optimise your video for that platform:
Since you’ve studied a bit about the viewing behaviours of your audience and the behaviours of your search engine, it’s time to start optimising the video to meet the criteria of both those things. Consider things such as the following:
- If you have a mobile audience, consider producing vertically-aligned video.
- Keep reasonably consistent with video durations. Don’t upload a 3-minute video one week and a 30-minute video the next. If you need to produce content of varying duration, consider putting longer videos on one platform and shorter videos on another.
- In newsfeed oriented platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, focus on producing visually compelling content, whereas in thumbnail-oriented platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, you can turn more focus onto audio and thumbnails.
- In newsfeed-oriented platforms, which are muted by default, consider the importance of closed captions or other complementary text.
- Upload content relevant to the platform. Don’t upload a speech on Instagram, which could interfere with the visual buzz of that newsfeed. Consider keeping more professional content onto Vimeo, with more balanced content on YouTube.
Sharing content across platforms just isn’t that effective. Treat every platform like your baby. Each platform deserves special, unique treatment to help it grow and develop.
Know your Keywords:
Some people get discouraged from natively uploading content because they’re daunted by the having to re-word everything. From metadata to titles, captions and descriptions, all over again!
While some look at it as a big boring drag, I look at it as a great opportunity to greatly retarget my content for that specific platform and ask myself important questions for uploading the video, including:
- What is the one primary keyword for this video? SEO depends on a primary keyword - in the case of this blog, the keyword was SEO. So I put it at the end, where it can grab a bit of extra attention.
- Have I given the video the best name it can for its platform? Does it need to be shorter or longer?
- How good is my meta-description? Does it accurately describe my video, in a way that both a human and an algorithm could understand?
Upload videos to your homepage
With talk of native video and SEO, we can’t ignore the importance of video on your good old website. Google has some great rewards awaiting sites that can include their video content on the front page intelligently.
When you cater this video content to Google, using YouTube also becomes a viable option for allowing you to operate under Google’s umbrella while also catering to YouTube as the second largest search engine.
Regardless of how you upload the content, the evidence has shown that a video on your landing page can increase your chances of hitting page 1 on Google by a whopping 53%, and blog posts with videos get 3 times as many inbound links.
And with social media turning more towards video content, there’s really not much to lose by implementing it into your website.
Final Step: Get Referred
At the end of the day, there’s more to making shareable video content than just optimising. You want to ensure it’s getting shared. The way most video content creators are doing this is by actively spelling it out for the audience with a Call To Action. Some examples include:
- If you liked this video, would you consider subscribing?
- What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.
- If you know somebody who might like this video, would you consider sharing it with them?
All this leads to the same result, your audiences, who have spent their time watching your whole video, are now in a position to vouch for it. In video content, Calls To Action are more noticeable, prominent, and have a greater capacity for how they are presented. Keep making great content, and that final Call to Action will be a breeze.
This article has covered a plan on how you can use your video content to make the platforms happy and rank you higher. To summarise, here are the 3 main points:
- Understand your circumstances (platform, search engine, audience, etc.)
- Optimise your content to meet the circumstances (length, style, keywords etc.)
- Reap the rewards by getting your viewers to like, comment and share, through effective Calls to Action.
If you’re looking to create video content for your business, organisation or website, KG Design Consultancy is a service that produces short, ‘snackable’ videos to help you communicate your brand in a fun, visual format. You can check out some of our recent work on our website, or follow us on Facebook for latest news and updates.