Using Video to Your Advantage

Emily Creech - May 14, 2009

Videos, if optimized, can be a useful tool to market your products, services and business.   Videos often rank well in the search results pages and can provide another way for your audience to engage with your brand.   If videos are an integral part of your online marketing strategy, there are a few video optimization tips that you should take into consideration.

First, do you know where your videos will be hosted?   If you are not sure or haven’t decided, think about why you are creating videos in the first place.   Is it to increase views of the video or to bring traffic to your website?   If your goal is to attract more visitors to your website, it will make the most sense to have the video hosted on your website. When videos are hosted on your website, you create an opportunity for your site to position in the search results for that video. On the other hand, if you want to have as many viewers as possible, it will certainly be in your best interest to upload your videos to YouTube and possibly other video sharing sites as well.

Utilize keyword-rich titles, descriptions and tags for your videos. This will help your video to not only be found more easily on video sharing sites, but it will also create the opportunity for your video to appear in the universal search results for those keywords.

To make your videos more enticing, especially amongst thousands of other videos on sites such as YouTube, use catchy titles that viewers will want to click on.   Keywords in the titles can also help with search engine rankings, but be sure that they are descriptive in nature.   Also utilize the thumbnail to attract more viewers.

Remember your audience. Keep in mind that most people will watch videos for only a few minutes, if that.   If you have a lot content that you want to cover, consider breaking the information into a few shorter, condensed videos or playlists.

There are also ranking factors that can play a role with your videos’ visibility on video sharing sites. We have found that YouTube, for instance, places importance on engagement and community factors when determining video rankings (i.e. views, ratings, comments, etc.).   Interact with other videos by posting comments, and when comments are posted on your videos, reply where appropriate. Also take a look at your competitors.   Are they doing anything in particular to have more views, ratings, and comments on their videos?

Another factor that can provide a boost to your video optimization efforts is the quantity and quality of links from external sites.   If you are familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), this should not be surprising.   Creating videos that are interesting and the type that others will want to link to can make acquiring external links to your videos much easier.

Lastly, think about the goals for your video.   What are the next steps that your audience should take?   Maybe you want them to remember your brand, your URL, your phone number, or even simply view another video.   Whatever it is that you want them to do, make sure that the call to action is prominent.

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