Video Marketing’s Role in SEO: 2021 Guidelines

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In 2020, marketing departments around the globe experienced firsthand the importance and power of video content. As we make our way through the second quarter of 2021, there’s no sign that video’s role in marketing strategies will diminish. This is especially true from an enterprise SEO agency.

On the contrary, the power and popularity of videos continue to show exponential growth as both enterprises, and smaller businesses search for new and innovative ways to connect with existing and potential customers. 

When created, executed, and appropriately distributed, videos can have a tremendous impact on brand awareness, customer retention, and conversion rates across the board. However, this is only true when videos become a fully integrated part of your digital marketing plan and SEO strategy. 

#1 Check off the SEO Basics from an Enterprise SEO Agency

A lot has evolved in the world of SEO, but that doesn’t mean that the foundational strategies aren’t as important today as they were two decades ago. Every video needs to be based on solid keyword research and include well crafted and engaging meta. 

Keyword research

You don’t need expensive tools to do basic keyword research. Thanks to suggesting search features on Google and YouTube, getting started can be easy.  

However, keyword research is more than finding popular search terms. This is especially true for enterprise SEO initiatives that often consider mounting competition and interdepartmental goals and needs. 

In that sense, successful video SEO strategies are well-crafted webs that connect everything from sales and marketing initiatives to web development and user experience goals. 

Meta

The term “meta” can refer to several SEO attributes. Today, SEO experts most frequently focus on two specific types of meta: the title tag and the meta descriptions.  

Crafting thoughtful titles that leverage the correct keywords certainly has a direct impact on your search rankings. That is true for Google as well as other search engines, like YouTube.

Meta descriptions do not carry the same weight at titles. We think of them as “free” ad space in search engine results. Though much of Google’s algorithm remains a mystery, we know that meta descriptions are not used to determine rankings. 

Still, engaging meta descriptions can improve click-through rates, which can have a positive, indirect impact on your rankings. The same is true for any video content online. 

#2 Add a Transcript

It may seem like keywords play a limited role in video SEO practices, but there are ways to increase your SEO footprint when adding videos to your site. 

One way to do so is by adding a video transcript or caption. Doing so provides Google with extra content to crawl, and it allows you to create keyword-rich content. 

Beyond the immediate search benefits, adding a transcript can also improve the user experience. Though the video is a content leader, not every user can or wants to rely solely on video. A transcript allows users the option to read or view (or both) your content. 

#3 Write a Script

If you’re going to create a video, a script can become a handy tool. One reason for this may be obvious: a script, even a loose one, will make it easier to create content that is polished, effective, and efficient.  

Beyond that, a script can make it more likely that your transcript will include targeted keywords and help you reach your ranking goals. This winning combination may also make it easier to secure a featured snippet placement. 

#4 Create a Video Content Plan

How do videos fit into your marketing funnel? What type of video content do your users respond to? How and where do you plan to leverage videos? 

Videos may demonstrate products or services, inform viewers (e.g., the “how-to” video), build brand awareness, and more. But to create truly effective videos, you and your team need to know exactly how they fit into your broader marketing strategy.  

#5 Consider Live Video

Live videos may not always seem like a natural fit, particularly if you’re not in the business of breaking news or event coverage. That’s not necessarily the case.  

As both businesses and consumers look for new ways to connect, live streaming viewership has increased. In part, this new connection is a direct product of pandemic challenges, but the value will likely continue.

One reason you may want to consider live streaming is how it can impact your relationship with your target audience. It can offer viewers access to a level of authenticity not available in other forms of content when done correctly.   

Live streaming also changes the relationship between viewer and producer by offering real-time insights into a brand and its values. 

What type of content is worthy of live video? That depends on your business and its goals. However, behind-the-scenes access, interviews, product launches, virtual events, and even Q&As can help create great live content.

#6 Make Timing a Priority

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to videos. Some videos, like tutorials, may hold an audience for up to 10 mins. But if you plan on leveraging videos on social media platforms, shorter is often better.

There’s no hard and fast rule, but generally speaking, the sweet spot is somewhere between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, depending on the platform. Facebook users may be more likely to stick around for 120 seconds. Instagram and Twitter users are likely to give a video less, with attention retention limited to approximately 30 – 60 seconds. The same is true for users on new platforms, like TikTok. 

Video viewing metrics are not static or universal, so always check the latest viewing trends and stats before you script and design your videos. 

#7 Focus on the Hook

Regardless of how long your video is, viewers won’t stick around if you don’t hold their interest from the start. Your entire video should be worth viewing, but it’s the first 10 – 15 seconds that will either hook a viewer or send them packing, much like a good article or blog post; the opening matters. 

#8 Monitor the Metrics that Matter

There are plenty of stats—like the ideal video length—that can guide best practices, but that doesn’t mean those states are suitable for your brand. The engagement preferences of your target audience should drive your video content decisions.

How long are users watching your videos? What types of videos have the highest audience retention rate (e.g., how long will a viewer watch)? How are users engaging with your content (e.g., CTR, shares, etc.)? 

Identify and regularly review key metrics, using them to tweak your video content strategy as needed. 

#9 Add Interactive Videos

Interactive videos give the users some control over the content they’ll see, whether it’s choosing an outcome, checking out a featured product, or accessing additional information. That level of control can easily translate to higher CTRs, CVRs, and ultimately engagement time.  

From a sales perspective, interactive videos may make it easier to get from video to cart, but they can also positively impact your SEO efforts. Increased engagement can, directly and indirectly, increase traffic, time on the side, and content relevancy, all of which can improve your SERP position.  

#10 Hire a Professional

Anyone with a quality cell phone camera can make a video, but not everyone can create video content worthy of enterprise marketing initiatives. Every piece of video content builds the story of your brand. Poorly produced videos can do your brand more harm than good. 

At a minimum, well-produced video content combines quality content, savvy editing and mixing skills, and the appropriate gear (e.g., lights, microphones, etc.). Bringing on a professional to help you execute your content goals makes a difference between a successful campaign and one that falls flat.

We recommend working directly with an enterprise SEO agency or hiring a video content team in-house to create quality videos. There are benefits to both, but if time and budget are of concern, an agency can provide the skills and resources you need without taking on the costs of hiring additional in-house team members or purchasing the right equipment. 

As for enterprise companies, video content is no longer an optional part of SEO. To maintain a competitive edge and increase both acquisition and retention, enterprise businesses must create and keep video content on their website and relevant social media platforms.

EWR Digital is an enterprise SEO agency that offers full-service video protection services. We can help your company create strong brand awareness and a solid SEO footprint. Contact us today to get your SEO video strategy in place.