Top Rules for Website Video Marketing Success & Optimized SEO
If you’re planning to add a video to your website and you want people to watch it, you’ve got to be ready with a plan that not only helps you create a website video worth watching but one that also guides you in optimizing the web page where your video will live with smart SEO.
Success with any website video rests on the creator’s ability to accomplish two ends – the creation of that video and its video marketing.
Here’s a little primer for both end goals.
Creating a Strong Video
Coming up with a great idea is just one small part of creating a dynamic, effective website video. A strong approach to your next production starts with three main steps:
- concept development, and
- choosing the video structure.
Do Your Research
Just like many things in life, planning and preparing for success is only half the battle—and the same thing goes for video marketing. Plan on measuring twice and cutting once. Trust us, it will save you a great deal of time, money and stress.
Ask yourself the following:
What’s your primary goal?
All video marketing needs to have a clear goal and, ideally, a measurable KPI. Ask yourself, what do I want this video to accomplish? Are you purely trying to drive traffic and sales? Or are you trying to do something different like explain a complicated product or service? Share testimonials, or show off a case study? Whatever it is, write it down and get key stakeholders to buy-in before you move forward.
Who is your target customer?
Narrow it down as much as possible by age, location, income, job, background, etc. You might even go so far as to give your target customer a name, so you can really imagine how they are going to perceive the video marketing piece. This will also serve to reveal other important details you can use—like where the target customers might be exposed to your brand, what kind of devices they are most likely to be using, and so on.
Can you put yourself in your customers’ shoes?
Learn everything you can about the product, service or company you are making a video to promote. If you haven’t yet tried the product or service, interact with it as if you are the target customer so you have the first-hand experience with the good and bad aspects of what you are selling. The idea here is to really get a feel for what the customer’s thought process will be during their personal experience—ultimately so you can use this knowledge in your creative.
What is the biggest problem this product, service or company is solving?
Try to keep your answer simple and clear. If you had 15 seconds in an elevator to deliver a pitch to a potential customer, what would you say is the one issue your product, service or company will address and remedy for them?
Is this product something people know they want? Or is it something they first need to know even exists?
You want to approach video marketing differently based on what type of product it is and who your intended audience might be. For example, something like “the next best phone case” would require a high-level creative concept to distinguish itself in a market flooded with competition, whereas “the world’s first self-driving lazy boy chair” might be more focused on educating viewers on a brand new product.
What are some things the current customers LOVE about this product, service or company?
Tap the early adopters of your product or service and look into what they love most about it. A good place to find this info is in product reviews or customer testimonials. If they don’t exist yet, you might ask the sales reps or customer service team to share some of the feedback they are hearing.
What is the customer’s tipping point?
Every product, service or company has one. Do some research by talking to new users (maybe your own team and friends or family if it’s not released yet). Identify one key thing that people need to understand or believe before they are converted from a potential customer to a paying customer.
What are the biggest and most common doubts about the product, service or company? How can these doubts be resolved?
Don’t ignore any negative aspects or doubts that serve as barriers to adoption. If you can get a firm grasp of those things that potential customers view as obstacles before developing your video, you can use them to your advantage by pointing them out in the creative and resolving them quickly.
Who are the competitors, and what alternatives exist? How is yours better?
Again, don’t hide the fact that there are similar or alternative options out there. Point them out, and defend why this particular one is the optimal choice.
Develop Your Video Concept
To anchor any good video idea, you’ll need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture—what it actually accomplishes for you and the viewer.
Concept Impact & Fit
Your concept needs to be surprising, keep the viewer’s interest and drive home your point. Make sure your video marketing concept is good, but also that it fits with what you are selling. Not all great concepts will work for great products or services.
Focus on the Big Feature
Not only do you want to present your idea as a solution, but you should also be focused on making sure your viewer sees it as the BEST solution. Stay focused on how the product, service or company solves the problem better.
Keep your budget in mind at all times, especially during the development of your creative concept. Ask yourself, can this concept be shot within budget, and with the locations, props, and actors I have access to? If not, move to a new concept. If you’re married to a particular concept, you can always look at increasing your budget to make it happen.
Outline Your Video
There are different structures for different types of videos, but in most video marketing cases, we are looking to sell a product or service. This sales-focused structure is our most popular video type and the one that our clients have seen the best results with:
Open with a hook to get people’s attention and pique their interest enough to keep them watching.
Establish the problem
Introduce the issue that the product or service fixes. Make the audience really feel the pain or problem that your product, service or company is promising to resolve for them.
Introduce the solution
Here you present the product or service you are selling. You want to be sure the visuals and audio support a positive presentation, making it feel unique and memorable.
In the first “CTA,” ask your audience to buy the product or service.
Here you can add a level of credibility by addressing and combatting any doubts the viewer may have.
We are here to sell, so let’s make sure to ask for people to buy at least twice! Point them to a website, “buy now” link, phone number or address to make it convenient to say yes.
Get the Video Format Right
Once the video is finalized, format your export file in accordance with the requirements of the streaming platform. The most common platforms today are YouTube, Vimeo, and Wistia. They can all accept almost any format, but you’ll want to submit your video in their recommended file type and settings for optimum playback and speed.
To verify the right requirements, you can use Moovly as an online video editor and video maker which will help you ensure the formatting and specs of the video are appropriate for wherever the video will live. It works well for those who are doing small scale, one video campaigns and can scale up to larger enterprise video marketing campaign.
Marketing Your Video
Looking ahead, it might be wise to plan to produce a cache of several videos you can leverage for different purposes, based on the audience. For example, maybe you post a longer video on your landing/web page itself and use a shorter, refurbished version for Facebook Video Ads and sharing with others.
Start thinking about your video marketing strategy early on, even before production, so that you have a plan to get eyes on it as soon as it’s ready. Without solid marketing to back them up, even the most engaging and impressive videos won’t get seen by the right people—and will fall short of their potential. To maximize reach and accomplish your video goals, dedicate some time to SEO, or getting your video decent rankings in the various search engines.
Search Engine Optimization
When it comes to search engine optimization and videos, it is important to understand the relationship between the two. Whether you’re posting videos on a website or embedding them, keep in mind that Google still prefers written content. A website with too many videos embedded can actually work against your SEO efforts.
The following points will help accomplish a strong video designed to increase on-page conversions, while simultaneously optimizing for rankings.
Keyword research is an important aspect of SEO in general, and when it comes to using video on your website, it’s even more important. Businesses can often get too caught up in making a video that when they actually go to post it, they forget about everything else. Regardless of whether or not your video is finished, you still need specific keyword goals. For each website page, answer the question, what keyword or keyword group is this page focusing on, and is the page optimized accordingly? This includes things like SEO tags, on-page content and sitewide internal link structures.
Like we mentioned earlier, Google still prefers written content. It’s easier for their bots to read, understand and rank the site. Though video and corresponding video algorithms are becoming more sophisticated, they still have not progressed to the point where a bot can come onto your site, see a video and with 100% confidence understand its content. That’s why we highly recommend publishing the entire transcript of a video. This will provide the written content for Google bots, while still having your video on the page.
Embedding videos on a site is easy; you can do it in a couple of seconds. However, videos can also severely slow down a site. Make sure that you do not overdo it. There are many site speed tools you can use, including the variety of Google page speed tools and our agency’s go-to option, GTMetrix. If you want to have a lot of videos to show as a portfolio, consider hosting them on a separate page.
In addition to adding written content to the pages of your website, it’s also imperative to create a video sitemap and submit it to Google’s index. (You can do this through Google Search Console.) Your video sitemap will help Google better read all of the media living on your website. On the sitemap, you can add a Title, Description, Tags, Categories, Duration, Publish Date and an Image Thumbnail—which lets Google know that you have a video embedded and that its title, description, and category are all related to what you are trying to optimize for.
Mobile First Indexing is a major update for Google. It sent a message to the internet world that mobile is an integral part of ranking well on Google. So not only do you have to make sure your website is responsive, but you also need to set it up to load fast on mobile devices. Many website owners check their online speed, but they fail to realize that websites log both a desktop speed and a mobile speed.
Remember, simply making an amazing video won’t be of much use to any company or brand without a solid marketing plan and expert SEO. Just like a high-ranking video living on your website won’t make a difference in growing your customer base if it’s no fun to watch. By combining the two concepts, and planning ahead to ensure you’ve got the right follow-up support, your investment in a website video can deliver the kind of branding benefits you need to propel your product, service or company to the next level.