Video SEO for Startups: Help Customers Discover Your Content
Help customers discover your videos with best practices for video SEO. Learn which video metrics matter and where you can find ideas for new video content.
April 15, 2020
Marketing & Brand Manager
Once you have created video content, what can you do to improve their performance?
Which video metrics matter?
How can you help customers find your video content when they search on places like Google and YouTube?
In this article I am going to walk through best practices for video SEO to improve your reach and help you define the video metrics that matter to your business.
How video can improve your SEO
Video doesn't just create engaging content for your audience and improve your overall brand experience. It organically has a positive impact on search engine optimization for your website and landing pages. That means when people search for relative terms for your product, your content will be easier to find because your pages will have a higher rank.
"Google’s algorithms are increasingly prioritizing websites with video content. It’s not something you want to ignore; 68 percent of online experiences start with a search engine, so you want to do everything you can to appear on that crucial first page."
One thing to note is that Google is more likely to rank videos hosted on YouTube. So if you plan on hosting public-facing videos, YouTube is the way to go. Google does not utilize the metadata of the video for search, but if people search on YouTube, that information is utilized. Let's see how to optimize that information for more results.
Optimizing videos for SEO
Create a title that includes strong keywords or search terms
When your customers are searching for answers or help on a topic relative to your product, what are they typing into the search bar? Use tools like SEMrush and KeywordKeg to discover all the terms relative to keywords they would be searching for. You can focus on the problems or pain points that your customers have in order to become a helpful resource.
You can even see what Google recommends in the search bar or at the bottom of search pages like in the photos below.
You'll find a list like this photo below at the bottom of search pages when searching for something on Google. The list on the right side with the red icons is what it's like to have KeywordKeg installed in Chrome. It easily shows you the search volumes for keywords and phrases that get searched, which is super helpful when deciding what to use as your title.
Higher volumes tend to be harder to compete with though, so choosing terms with volumes between 50 and 1,500 will give you a better chance to rank. With higher search volumes, you may need to spend more time on a campaign to drive traffic and gain authority to rank. You might be wondering "what is authority?"
The domain authority of a website describes its relevance for a specific subject area or industry. This relevance has a direct impact on its ranking by search engines, trying to assess domain authority through automated analytic algorithms.
The same rules apply for your domain apply to your pages. Your domain authority can be low, but some of your specific pages can rank higher. If you create a page that solves a problem and meets the needs of the search intentions of a keyword or key phrase, your page will gain rank authority.
Video content authority
Just like websites and pages, your videos can rank in the same manner. Create value for what people are searching for and you'll start to see results.
If your website is newer it will have a lower domain authority may have a harder time gaining traction in search. As you create more focused content and be come an "authority" on certain topics, you pages and videos will start to rank higher. I won't do a deep dive into increasing domain authority here, but you can learn more in this resource below.
Consider clicks and not just search volume for SEO
The only problem with relying only on search volumes is that you may end up titling or naming content for high search volumes that don't actually give you high clicks. I won't dig too deep into the technicalities of this, but you can head to this article by Siege Media on how to discover the volumes of search vs. clicks and why that is important.
Is your video worth sharing? Do your customers find it helpful?
If you focus on creating videos that people enjoy or find helpful, they will most likely share it with people that also find value in it. Those videos may potentially get embedded on other sites and will create backlinks to your website and content. It's easy to get caught up in the technicality of SEO, but the simple fact is that good content gets shared and gets more attention. And that usually has a positive impact on your brand and discoverability online.
Gaining authority and increasing your rankings will take time, so be patient. Remember that SEO is a long-term investment, and not an overnight or one-and-done campaign. It's a continuous effort and builds up over time. If you're interested in learning more about SEO to assist your video and website rankings, you can check out the awesome resources below.
Video metrics defined and what to focus on
Now that you have some ideas to get started with, let's talk about video analytics. There was once a time when likes and views were the lifeblood of marketing campaigns and marketers would convince companies that they could have a positive impact on their business. Sadly, if the views are given to the wrong audience, the view counts become meaningless. Let’s talk about all the types of metrics for video and what they can mean for you.
View count on a video is a basic measurement for how many people your video is reaching. Certain platforms have different requirements on what counts as a view, but at the end of the day, someone saw at least a part of your video. Finding out when most people stop viewing a video can give insight into what can keep viewers more interested and engaged in future content. We'll talk more about that below.
Ways to Improve Views
Increase views by sharing content with influencers, sharing with an audience through an email newsletter, and by posting it on social media. If you have a budget for ads, do paid promotions to boost the attention that specific content is getting. Just don't waste ad dollars on the wrong audience.
This is described as the quality of the views or the percentage of the video that is watched. If people aren't watching your video all the way through it is generally considered poor engagement. However, if you are answering a question someone needs within the first 60 seconds of a five minute video, it may still be providing value. So when you measure this, make sure you have some context before defining the success of your video. Sometimes people don't need to watch the whole video to gain value.
Ways to Improve Engagement
This could basically be defined as audience retention. How can we keep the attention of a viewer so that they feel more connected to your videos?
Be clear with what your video offers and make sure it meets expectations. Don't confuse people with information they don't need. Just get to the point.
In the beginning of the video state what the video will share with them and what it will enable them to do. Tell them the benefits this video will provide.
If you're creating long-form content more than 30 minutes in length (like a tutorial), consider breaking it into a series so that people have a good stopping point at the end of the video and don't feel overwhelmed by the time commitment.
The stats gathered on social are a measurement of excitement for the video. Likes are a basic measurement of appreciation. They tend to be vanity metrics, but can still gauge if you're heading in the right direction with certain videos.
Receiving comments that have rich conversation, expressive opinions, or admiration are a good indicator of success as well. Comments can also create inspiration for new ideas with future content based on the needs of the conversation. They can also create connections with happy or frustrated customers. Comments create an opportunity to help with a problem, discover needs customers have, and can even gather powerful customer stories or testimonials.
This is probably one of the best metrics to track. If people are sharing your content on their own, it's a good indicator that they find it helpful or interesting and think others will feel the same. This allows a product to easily tap into communities of people without having to spend dollars on boosted posts or ads.
Ways to improve social metrics
One problem that people face is that if no one is able to see the video (due to low traffic on your social account or page), it can hinder results. So if your product has a low follower count, consider using some of your budget to boost posts or even create an ad. Remember to only spend ad dollars towards your target audience. Don't go wasting it on the general public.
Partner with influencers. There are services and agencies available to connect you with trusted influencers to get your product in front of targeted audiences and gain trust in your brand. With a small budget, get creative by offering them your product for free, or partnering with them for a giveaway. Think of ways that you can both win from the situation.
If you don't tell your audience what to do, they may never do anything. Have a clear call to action. Ask people to share the post if they enjoyed it. Ask them a question so they leave their answers in a comment.
Landing page metrics
This is the measurement of how many visitors end up clicking play to watch the video when they arrive on the page. The results can vary based on the type of content you are sharing. First, see what kind of results you get before setting your starting point and aim to increase the play rate percentage over time.
Ways to improve play rate
Create an appealing thumbnail to inspire people to click. Sometimes the automated thumbnail just isn't that appealing, so choose a different frame or upload your own custom graphic to jazz up the video thumbnail.
Create copy that motivates people to click. Do you have a call to action that would inspire someone to watch the video? Use headings and support messaging around the video that shares the benefits the video can bring. That will get people excited to watch.
Change the placement of the video. Having the video placed higher up on the page can help increase the number of clicks it will get. This is especially true on a longer web page. Also make sure the video is placed in a relative spot within the page, and around content that supports the topic of the video.
This is the amount of visitors that arrive on your page and don't go to other parts of your website. They end up leaving and possibly never coming back. Having a high bounce rate is an indicator that your website doesn't provide other things of value or interest to them.
Ways to lower your bounce rate
Offer other valuable resources or articles within the webpage. Not having links to anything else will prompt people to just leave the page.
Are you telling them what to do? Does the video ask them to purchase or click a button to go to the next video if it's in a series? Make sure you have a call to action within the video or on the page to keep people interested in what you have to offer.
Time spent on page
The longer amount of time people are spending on your page is usually a good indicator that the information you are sharing is helpful. On the other hand, longer times are not necessary to increase sales if you catch their attention and they are leaving to purchase or download your product.
Ways to increase time spent on page
If you're looking to keep the attention of a viewer on a page, supporting content to the video can be very helpful. You could do a behind the scenes story, more helpful content relative to the video, or even stories from customers on why your product is awesome.
Clean up your page with better design. Keep it simple. You don't need to have side columns and other distractions. Allow the viewing experience to focus on the most important content and only that content. Create a powerful story as people scroll.
Use high quality images to keep their attention and inspire them to scroll. Photography can be just as powerful as a video. Custom imagery can go a long way (most people know a stock photo when they see one). Looking for some better stock photos? We've got some cool photos we created that you can use for free.
A conversion is when a person completes the action you want them to do on the page. The end goal of almost any marketing effort is more conversions. You want people to watch the video and feel compelled to sign up, buy, or download your product. If conversions are high, that is evidence the video is working. Conversion rates can vary for every product and industry. The goals is to keep aiming to increase it based on your past results.
The best conversion rate varied significantly across all the industries, while median conversion rate hovered between 3-5.5%.
Ways to increase conversion rate
Using strong customer testimonials to help build trust with a potential customer so they are more likely to click.
Take advantage of urgency, scarcity, or the fear of missing out. Have a sale going on for your product? Make sure they are clearly aware that this is a limited time offer and should buy now instead of later so they don't miss out on the deal.
Have more than one clear call to action. Don't just have a button or form at the bottom of the page. If they don't scroll to the bottom, they will never see it. Make sure you have the CTA near the top of the page. If the video is at the top, add it below the video. Make sure the CTA feels like it's in a natural place to ask them to move forward.
Metrics impacted beyond the video content
Improved customer support
This is where some really great things can happen. If you notice a drop in customer support emails or messages after creating educational content or FAQ content on your website or in your newsletter, consider those to be successful metrics as well. The less time your support team is holding hands, the better your content is performing.
If you find people have questions about problems you have already answered on a webpage, maybe you can improve it with a better video or by adding video content to that page if it doesn't have any. Sometimes showing is easier than telling. Then see if it creates positive results.
Listen to your customers for new video ideas
Just like you improve your product by listening to your customers, you can improve the impact your videos can make within marketing, sales, and customer support. Here are some simple ways you can generate ideas for videos that customers will actually want to watch.
Read the comments
If you see common themes or requests in the comments on YouTube or social, take those to heart. There may be an opportunity to make new content based on the problems they are facing or requests they have.
Talk to your sales and customer support team
The people that engage with your customers the most tend to know the most about them. Ask them if they notice common problem themes. This could advise you to make more customer support content to improve retention or perhaps new educational content that your target customer wants to learn. You can keep customers and attract new ones with these new insights.
Schedule interviews with your customers
If you don't have a big team, simply find time to talk with customers. If you have a customer newsletter, let them know you are interested in learning more about them and how they use your product. Ask them about problems they face in their current role, event if it isn't related to your product specifically. Those key insights can help you in all facets of your marketing and sales efforts and could even inspire new product ideas.
More inspiration for video ideas
I created an extensive guide covering all the ways you can create video content for your customers. No matter where you are at with your business, you'll find an opportunity to use video to connect with your customers.