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.
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; 93 percent of online experiences start with a search engine, so you want to do everything you can to appear on that crucial first page." - Eric Enge, SEO Expert, CEO of Stone Temple Agency
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.
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?"
Looking for a free tool like Keyword Keg? Check out What's My SERP Everywhere as a new free alternative.
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. - Wikipedia
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here is what you should set your expectations on based on a study from Unbounce.
The best conversion rate varied significantly across all the industries, while median conversion rate hovered between 3-5.5%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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