Over the years, videos have become increasingly important for B2B marketing. This development is not exactly surprising as brands with dedicated video marketing strategies earn more revenue, enjoy better brand awareness, and generate more leads compared to other forms of marketing.
Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook are great platforms to post your videos on. However, most prospects are not always in the buy-mode when they scroll through those platforms. What is evident however is that a staggering 90% of B2B decision-makers rely on search to help them with their business decisions.
This means if you’re using video marketing, you need to follow some best practices for SEO if you want to drive more qualified leads and organic traffic through your video content and become more visible in the video search results.
How Google Ranks Videos
In its general video and search functions, Google ranks videos utilising the same ranking factors as that of written content—number of backlinks, RankBrain, and content quality are deemed the most relevant and crucial signals.
When hosting videos on your website, optimising video content is similar in a lot of ways to optimising written content and images. Here are 5 foolproof SEO best practices that can help optimise your video marketing efforts and take it to the next level:
1. Transcribe your video content
Providing video and transcription provides two super benefits: it helps your video appear in the general Google searches and you are able to cater to diverse reader preferences. Video transcriptions can be optimised for search almost in the same manner as any other text-based content.
While it would seem like this strategy breaks the duplicate content rules, transcriptions actually provide exceptional user experience by catering to diverse styles of learning. Although some online visitors prefer videos, others also prefer reading. In fact, at least 85% of business executives prefer reading when making business decisions.
There are two basic approaches when transcribing video content:
Provide a full and verbatim transcription. An example of this is Moz’s Whiteboard Friday videos.
Provide text highlights. An example of this is Content Marketing Institute’s This Old Marketing podcast.
Providing highlights is ideal for long videos as it can encourage more views. Full transcripts on the other hand are ideal if you are looking for more SEO opportunities. At the end of the day, it is ideal to opt for the approach your target audience prefers.
You can do some A/B testing to check which approach generates the kind of engagement you are looking for. You also have the option to poll them to find out.
2. Find the keywords that populate the video results
One of the most effective ways to gauge if users prefer video content for certain queries is to search for targeted keywords. If video results are on the first page of the search results, it indicates that users are satisfied with the video content for that specific query.
For instance, doing a Google search for the query “Twitter tutorial” results in a YouTube video in position two, below Twitter’s official support page.
As a general rule of thumb, prioritise video creation for keywords that populate video results in the general search and create videos that are more comprehensive or of better quality than those that are already ranking for keywords that are relevant.
3. Optimise video file metadata
Akin to the general search results, descriptions and titles appear in video searches. While Google displays something else when those data are not provided, you have a better chance of ranking higher and driving more views when you optimise metadata.
Your video descriptions and titles should:
Be applicable to the content and relevant.
Be enticing enough to encourage click-throughs.
Feature titles that are at least 55 characters (or less).
Include keywords that match user intent.
Have meta descriptions that are 155 characters (or less).
Additionally, Google displays a thumbnail for the video results. Just like images are to blog posts, thumbnails are very important to videos so choosing the right one is crucial.
While most video processing programs use a thumbnail from the video’s single screen, it is ideal to create a custom thumbnail that attracts attention, illustrates the video content best, and awakens people's interest.
4. Include a video sitemap
Although Google’s crawlers will check for videos on your site, you can enhance discovery of site-hosted videos by using video sitemaps and submitting it to Google Search Console. So your options are to add video entries to a sitemap that’s already existing or create a separate video sitemap.
Your video sitemap entries should include the description, video title, thumbnail, play page URL, and the raw video file URL. It is also vital that everything matches the information that’s included on your site.
A number of optional pieces can be included as well including rating, view count, video duration, category, and live status. While optional fields don’t have to be included in your video sitemap, they provide additional data Google uses to index video files accordingly.
5. Implement a schema markup
While some users perform searches using Google’s video search function, many just utilise the general search tool. To help videos stand out in the general search results, utilise schema markup or the semantic vocabulary to give search engines the information they need.
When you use a schema markup, general search results appear in the same manner as the video search results, providing video length and thumbnail. At the very least, you should add schema markup for your description, thumbnail, and title. You can also include upload date, video length, and width and height dimensions.
Optimising your video is crucial if you want to generate the results you are looking for. However, if your video is inferior and does not deliver your message in the best manner possible, your optimisation efforts are still useless.
In line with this, ensure your videos deliver a crystal clear message and is of topnotch quality. If you want high-quality videos that deliver your message clearly, we can help! Get in touch with us and you’re a step closer to creating videos that will take you a step ahead of everyone else!