Create a Search-Optimized Video Content Strategy

Create a Search-Optimized Video Content Strategy

For many content providers, the increasing popularity of videos is a blessing. For most businesses, it’s a necessary evil because customers expect to find them on Youtube.

Whether you hate it or like it, video has become an integral part of any content marketing strategy, in most niches. Whenever you are working on your content marketing roadmap, including video is a must, for both discovery and user-experience purposes.

In most cases, video content does provide new opportunities for brand discovery and recognition, if not direct sales. I am sure different marketers can offer different convincing reasons why you need to start focusing on video content marketing. My own major reasons are:

More Organic Search Visibility

More often than not, one domain has only one spot in Google’s search results. If you need to take more than one, you need an optimized presence on third-party sites.

Youtube is perfect for that. First, it is pretty easy to rank Youtube videos in Google’s search, because, let’s face it, Google is known for giving more visibility to its own properties.

When analyzing our clients’ important money keywords we at Internet Marketing Ninjas have discovered that on average 30% of those ranking in top 10 are video results.

Secondly, Youtube videos are hard to miss: They are often granted rich featured snippet treatment in SERPs pushing everything else down beyond the above-the-fold part of the screen:

Featured snippet video

[That’s all you can see when searching for [how to remove facebook] before you start scrolling down]

Brand Discoverability on Youtube

You have probably heard this a few times already but I’ll still mention that: Youtube is the second-largest search engine in the world, after its older brother Google.

YouTube is the second largest search engine, right after Google. It’s bigger than Bing, Yahoo!, and Ask combined.

Your (potential) customers are using Youtube every day to discover interesting things, kill time or even learn how to use your product. It’d better be you who offer them the answers.

Being able to be discovered on Youtube means better brand loyalty and user engagement. But not just that. According to Google,

68% of Youtube users watched Youtube to help make a purchase decision.

In addition, video has powerful content re-packaging benefits tying a lot of pieces of a content marketing campaign together.

But again, that’s just how I have been using video marketing, and I haven’t been doing it full-time. There are more many more ways to integrate videos into your current marketing plan:

There are a lot of options here: Video content can diversify your income, traffic and lead generation sources to an extent you cannot even foresee at this point. But first, let’s start with the most important part:

But first, let’s start with the most important part:

Focus on Quality!

Before you start creating videos, ask yourself some of these questions. Are they any good? Do people find them interesting?

No amount of optimization is going to drive desired results unless you know what you are doing.

The production values must equally match the level of enthusiasm that you share in creating videos. Whether these videos are music videos, tutorials, documentaries, or even movies, it’s important there is a clear idea and strategy behind the effort.

Whenever you are planning to create any content – including video content, quality and demand come first. Brush up your skills and come up with your own style, then create an editorial calendar.

Further reading: Here’s a solid guide on how to create an editorial calendar Digital Eagles. The same principles apply to a video-focused editorial calendar to keep you focused and organized.

Cyfe (Disclaimer: This is my personal content marketing client) is a good tool to keep yourself organized and accountable. It lets you put a lot of content marketing pieces under one roof to give you a clear picture of what you are planning to do and how you are moving forward. For example, I have the following widgets to plan my editorial calendar:

  • iFramed spreadsheet with my keywords
  • My to-do list and notes
  • Google calendar with upcoming brainstorming and planning meetings, assets planned for production and publication, etc.
  • My Youtube video views and comments

Cyfe for editorial planning

You can also share your dashboard with other team members who brainstorm and work on videos together with you.

If you really want to see your video strategy to succeed, then you have to make and sell excellent video content.

It’s pretty simple and straightforward.

Keyword Research

When it comes to demand research, there’s nothing better than performing keyword research. Keywords reflect both demand and competition and help you steer your content marketing into the most meaningful direction.

Today’s tools also help you research video content too. For example, Serpstat provides you with “Keyword difficulty metric allowing to filter suggestions” those that have a moderate competition level.

Keyword Difficulty is a major keyword metric designed to help you figure out what it takes to get to the top spots in SERP for the desired keyword, namely to the positions 1 through 10. The KD is measured on a scale from 0 to 100%, where:

  • 0-20 — low KD;
  • 21- 40 — medium KD;
  • 41-60 — high KD;

Serpstat also shows social media icons, so you can which SERPs already have Youtube results included in top 100:

Serpstat Youtube

[This gives you a good idea of how high your odds are to rank your own Youtube video there]

This tool lets you research Youtube Auto-Suggestions to find a good keyword to target in your video:

Youtube tool

[Search suggestions are powered user behavior, so the tool gives you a good idea what people type in Youtube search box] is another alternative to the above one but it’s a paid one.

Video Optimization

If you are into SEO, you’ll be happy to find that Youtube optimization is not much different from any content optimization. You need to put keywords into prominent places (to give both Google and its users a clear idea on what the video is about) and you need as much content as it makes sense.

Put simply, you need to add more content to each video page including a more detailed title, a more detailed description (at least 300-500 characters) and more tags:

Youtube checklist

Furthermore, both the description and the pinned comment should have the clickable table of contents to draw viewers into the video. This will improve “deep” views into the video which is a crucial factor in Youtube rankings and thus Youtube visibility. For example:

Youtube table of contents

Additionally, sort existing videos into playlists. Youtube playlists help you:

  • Improve engagement with your videos giving your audience collections of videos so that they can sit back and watch one one. Engagement is another important ranking factor when it comes to Youtube video search rankings and suggested videos.
  • Increase your chances to rank your video content for a wider variety of phrases (which is also helpful for brand-focused results)

To illustrate the first point, here’s a quick example of how we were able to grab two Google search positions for our show name with the playlist:

Playlist ranking

Playlists are your additional pages that can get ranked, so it’s a good idea to run a quick keyword research to find a better way to name each one.

If you embed your videos to your site pages, it’s a good idea to use properties to point search engines to the author, copyright holder, and content of the video.

Here’s a helpful Video Schema generator for you to use, but make sure you read the next section of this article. Additionally, here’s a solid collection of WordPress themes and plugins allowing to easily share your videos on your site.

Over-Optimizing? Yes, That Is Possible

Before you get overly excited about embedding videos to your website, be aware of some unexpected risks. Google’s video carousel is something that can decrease the organic visibility of your page with the video in it.

The disturbing part of video carousels is that a page with a video is removed from its organic position and moved to the carousel. According to Glenn Gabe,

…it seems that many users are simply scrolling right past those carousels when searching for products. And that can lead to a serious drop in clicks and conversions.

Video carousels

I was quite taken aback this development, especially when I realized that having an actual video on-page isn’t required for you to get trapped in the carousel. So let’s hope this bug will be fixed.

In the meantime, think twice before embedding a video to your key landing page, i.e. product pages. Video carousels provide for much lower SERPs visibility, so avoid getting trapped there, if you can.

I still think that videos are a smart decision for any type of (how-to) content-focused pages. Furthermore having Youtube presence in order to be discovered there is a must for the majority of niches.

Are there video optimization tips you have had success with? Please share in the comments!

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