There are several ways to drive targeted traffic to your business site that you probably haven’t been using to their full potential. Optimizing your site for strong search rankings is vital to succeeding online; in order to achieve that, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket.
As we’ve seen in a big way in recent months, Google can make a drastic change that sweeps the rug right out from under your feet. You can lose rankings overnight and watch helplessly as traffic to your site dries up.
If people were no longer finding your site through browser searches, would your site generate any traffic? Although there’s no such thing as bullet proof, there are ways to minimize the chances a Google upgrade will leave you stranded.
This is a big reason you should be putting other marketing streams to work. The odds are, you haven’t been making the most of video marketing. Developing quality videos and sharing them across different video platforms can provide another avenue for you to get in front of the right audience.
Vidoes and Search
Videos are showing up in search results now more than ever before. Just as you optimize your site to capture organic search traffic, you should optimize your videos. Done correctly, the videos you publish to video sharing sites could capture top search rankings.
If you publish them to your site first, then there’s a chance your site could show up in search with the video thumbnail.
Optimizing Your Videos
Optimizing your video is important if you want to have a chance of that video ranking highly in the search results. There are many ways you can do that, but here a few of the more important things to remember…
1. Video Creation
When creating your videos, keep in mind that not every search term or keyword phrase will necessarily return videos in the search results. Some will be more likely to than others. For instance, search terms that include “how to” or “review” are more likely to deliver video results than a commercial product name by itself.
So create helpful content that is unique and can be tied into the right kind of keywords. Use descriptive titles and include text on the page that describes what the video is about, who it is for, etc.
Be careful of copyrights. You can find cheap or free stock photos to use in videos from places like:
You can also use the advanced search feature on Flickr to find images that are okay to use. Just search for the image you want, then click “advanced search” next to the search box. Scroll all the way down to find the option to search only for Creative Commons and ones you’re free to use commercially or adapt.
2. Video Sitemaps
Search engines can’t “read” a video. In order to make sure they know about your video, what it’s about, and that it can be indexed, you should be using a video sitemap. Google has a really good guide to building video sitemaps here. You can also use Schema.
3. Video Hosting
If your goal is to have videos on your site rank highly, then choose carefully where and how you host your videos. If you just toss your video onto YouTube and then embed it on your site, the version on YouTube will likely be the video and domain that will rank.
A few video hosting solutions you can use are Bright Cove, Vimeo Pro, or Amazon’s S3. Once you’ve chosen your video hosting, you need to ensure that you’re using a good video player. You don’t want your video to play in an iFrame. The video hosting options above give you control over this, and they work well.
If you’ve chosen to host the video on your own domain and server, though, you’ll have to pay a bit more attention to the player you choose. The JW Player works beautifully, but it will set you back $89 for use on a single site (although other pricing options are available). If you don’t want to part with any money for a player, you can give Video JS a try. This is an open-source option.
4. Sharing Your Videos
As I mentioned before, it’s usually best to upload a video onto your site and optimize it there. But using web 2.0 and social platforms that focus on video can get your videos in front of people more quickly than waiting for a video on your site to get noticed by Google.
This strategy can funnel users to your site … or at least increase brand awareness for your business. Sign up at a few places and start getting involved on those sites. If you’re going to use YouTube, locate related videos, make helpful comments on them, and follow other users in your field.
You can even do “video responses” if that makes sense, too. There are many social video sites out there aside from YouTube that you can use, such as Daily Motion.
There’s no question you should be using video, but there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Your particular video marketing plan should be tailor made to fit your needs and goals. This should get you started in the right direction.
If you need more help, then contact us and we’ll coach you in developing a plan to get the best results.