How to Attract the Search Bots and Win with SEO for Video

How to Attract the Robots and WIN with SEO for Video
wormhole in space with text overlay when's the last time you went down the wormhole

Your work is solid.
You have a proven solution to a serious problem.
Your website is polished and user-friendly.
But no one is calling???

Maybe the search engines can’t find you. 
And if they can’t find you, no one can!
You need to optimize for the search engines.

six legged search robot holding magnifying glass with 13 eyeballs
SEO is search engine optimization.

SEO is how the robots find you!
SEO is the practice of giving the bots what they need. 
So, they know what you offer.
When you can speak their language, the robots love you. 
And when the bots love you, they share your information with prospective buyers!
The search engines have one goal: to give search results that are relevant and helpful. The better the engines understand what you have to offer, the more they will share your site with potential clients. 
Search Engine Optimization is the strategy and process of making your website easy to find, and easy to use, for your users. Remember, search engines have one objective: to give the user the exact content that they want.
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.Optimization can take many forms. It's everything from making sure the title tags and meta descriptions are both informative and the right length to pointing internal links at pages you're proud of.” Moz
SEO is under Search Engine Marketing which is under Online Marketing
SEO falls under the umbrella of Search Engine Marketing (SEM),
which groups together all marketing strategies related to search processes.
SEM is part of online marketing and covers both paid and organic search queries. All the measures that involve you paying to place ads in search engines are grouped together under SEA (search engine advertising). So, the SEM area is made up of both SEA and SEO. HubSpot
In order for SEO to work, you must continually update your website.
SEO is an evolving process,
not a single action.

What does any of this have to do with videos?

SEO Benefits of Video

7 benefits of Video on SEO are explained in this chart. Keeping people on the page longer is main benefit.                                                               

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How do you get started?

First, you need to define your goals and come up with a strategy. I know,
that seems pretty boring. But, if you’re going to be successful at cutting
through the sea of content, you need a strategy.

You probably want to organize in topic clusters.

Cornerstone topics and Pillar topics are the same things
Cornerstone topic and Pillar topic are the same thing
“Building a solid information architecture is incredibly important for ranking well in organic search across a broad topic area. Creating hyper-focused clusters of content geared around a specific topic will not only help solve for that, but also enable you to keep focused on creating content that your target audience actually cares about. That means higher efficiency for your search marketing and less time wasted on producing repetitive content that doesn’t help advance your search goals.” Hubspot
  • Start with keyword research. Keywords are the terms and phrases people put into the search bar. There are many tools for keyword research including Adwords keyword planner, Moz keyword tool, Ahrefs keyword tool, and YouTube has a keyword tool that caters specifically to their search engine. 
  • Identify a few cornerstones, or pillar topics, that provide opportunities for detailed cluster topic posts. 
  • Choose 2 or 3 keywords to focus on for each cluster topic. 
  • Make sure to include those keywords in your video’s title, description and meta tags.
  • Don’t forget to include link building and social shares into your goals. In order to warrant sharing, videos must benefit the viewer. They have to be high quality, engaging and useful.
  • Don’t forget to link back to your website from your video host.
Search Robot Divider made of linked search robots

Copywriting and SEO

Copywriting is basically persuasive writing. But wait, you say!  
Nobody said anything about sales copy! It’s a video!

Your video script doesn’t have to be a sales letter.
But what comes at the end of your video? 
A CTA-- a call-to-action.
six legged search robot
There is something you want viewers to do 
after consuming your content, right? 
So why not go into writing your 
script with that in mind?
  • First and foremost, you want to create useful, high quality content that aligns with your business goals and strategy. 
  • Then, you’ll use social media to gain exposure and backlinks.
  • And don’t forget you want to improve the authority of your website, pages and authors (for the robots, duh!). 
  • Try to use the language that your target audience uses so that Google sees you as a natural fit (You picked this up during the keyword research). 
And there’s something else you can do to get a great spot on the SERPs…

What are Rich Snippets?

A video snippet is a tiny video that pops up next to your search results. 
Think of it as a gift from your new robot friend. 
And, trust me, it’s a gift that you won’t be stuffing in the back of the closet.

Example of rich video snippet on Google results page
In order to score a rich snippet there are some things you’ll want to do.

You want to mark up your video content with structured data 
to make your video content discoverable by Google Search. 
You provide details such as the description, thumbnail URL, upload date, and duration. 
Search engines use structured data to understand what is on a page and also to know when it’s appropriate to deliver your page as a result. You can use Google’s Structured Data Testing tool 
to check the standing of your content.

Structured data deserves its own post, so stay tuned…
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Who is going to host your video???

6 legged Web crawler search robot with 5 goggles and fangs

Optimize your video for YouTube:

YouTube is a great place for your video!
Don’t forget who owns Youtube…
There are a few things you’ll want
to do to optimize your video.
  • Your title should contain at least one of the keywords that the content is focused on.
  • The very first line of your description should be a link to your website or landing page. Consider using  a URL shortener so that you can track where the visits are coming from, what they do and how long they do it.
  • Write a long description >250 words using the keywords that you’ve chosen. No keyword stuffing! You want it to sound natural. Sometimes I copy and paste the entire script into the description.
  • Tags: Include the main topic of the video as a tag, and include 3-5 related topics.
  • Transcript: Upload a transcript directly to YouTube for closed captioning. Use their transcribe and auto-sync option if you want to save some time
  • You’ll probably want to include a custom thumbnail
  • I make mine with Adobe Spark Post.
    6 legged Web crawler search robot with 5 goggles and fangs
    Ok, That’s about it for YouTube. 
    But what if you want to embed
    your video on your website, blog, or e-mail?

    Embedding a video on a landing page:

    • Increases time spent on the page
    • Increases conversions (product video). According to Invodo, 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them feel more confident about going ahead and making a purchase.
    • Page Title: Should be the same, or close to, the name of the video.
    • Page Description: Should be about the topic and approach of the video. Make it at least 250 words. Include your keywords in natural language.
    • H1: Should be the name of the video.
    • Transcript: Should be included under the video as the text copy of the page. Don’t just include an ugly block of text though. Apply proper formatting to make it easy to digest and skim. Include stills from the video as images for those who prefer to read or are unable to watch.

    Once you’ve gotten your video hosted and/or embedded on your site, it’s simply a matter of informing Google about the video. To do that you’ll need to know about XML sitemaps.
    Here’s Google’s documentation on formatting XML sitemaps.
    Every entry in a video XML sitemap requires the following:
    • Title
    • Description
    • Primary Video URL
    • Thumbnail URL
    • URL, or the source URL, of the embedded video.

    Post on multiple platforms!

    Now it’s up to you to share, share, share. Be sure to:
    • Create a customized thumbnail that is appropriate for each platform
    • Change up your title and description
    • Consider including transcription--the more text the better! 
    • Always, always include links back to your site! It’s like candy for the robots! 
    • If the content gets a great reaction--and really, it should, you’ll want to consider paid promotion.
    six legged search robot holding Tanas of No Tanas no the evil hairless kittyPhew!!!  We made it!  
    Guess what?!? This blog post is a cornerstone, or pillar topic!
    I’ll be expanding on each of these topics in the weeks to come.

    decorative border made of linked search robots forming a repetitive pattern

    Interested in an animation?

    If you want an animation that people will watch and remember, check out No Tanas no! -- clever animations for smart people.