It is probably the first thought on everyone’s mind’s these days; clients are always asking us, how do you make this video go really viral? To me, it’s kind of one of those over-used and over-saturated buzz words, and what people really mean by viral is how does this give us a quick return on investment; and there lies the problem; there’s no such thing, unless you’re gambling, and I for one don’t like to gamble. If you want a real return on your time and energy to produce the video, try thinking about how to make this video valuable, and a good way to do that is use SEO (aka, search engine optimization) techniques to make sure that when people are searching for your video, they have an easy way to find it, and that the content you aim to produce adds value to the Internet.
A quick note before we dive into SEO is that producing great content, first and foremost, will help tremendously. Essentially if people like it, then they are more inclined to share it, and the more people that share it, the more search engines will see that your video is worthy of higher rankings. This is something that you want to look at as a long term strategy because if it’s just a flash in the pan, aka. a viral video, that is in one ear and out the other, then it’s not going to be relevant long, and in my opinion, not very valuable.
Look for the gaps that correspond to your SEO plan
I’m assuming that if you are watching this video, you are somewhat familiar with SEO and Internet marketing techniques. If not, we post a lot of information on that subject on our website and social media channels, and you can check us out there if you have more questions, so I’m just gonna dive right in, and assume you have developed an SEO plan, and have identified a few gaps that you would like to target.
Looking over your content gaps, does anything stand out to you as being either better communicated, or would be more successful if it were a video? Let’s say for example that you run a restaurant, and being more specific, you run a restaurant that specializes in Spanish cuisines, and you’re known in your area for your delicious tapas. The example I just put forward, in the world of search engine optimization, would be relevant to customers that are searching for a place to go eat dinner tonight, and have a particular love for tapas. If you notice that, in your area, no one has done a video on what goes into quality Tapas, then that is a gap you should explore, and nothing gets people to come to your restaurant faster than seeing your delicious food in a video. My point is, run a quick search on your target keywords and if you find that one of them would do better as a video, then it’s worth exploring.
The metadata, or the data about the data, is what search engines will use to categorize and get information on what your video is about. As of this recording, search engines can’t really look inside your video and say what the video is about. So, they use the metadata (like the title, description, and keywords) to decide where in the index your video should go. Knowing this is how the Internet functions, you should title the video something that people will search for. Try to think of the title as the keyword phrase or the phrase that your customer will type into the search field, and that you want your video to be part of the first page results. The description data is just as important, but can be a more broad description of the video as a whole, and you can apply other similarly targeting or themed keywords in this area. Keyword metadata has been used and abused over the years, and will probably not carry as much weight outside a video sharing site, but it is what the video sharing site will use to categorize your video, and you don’t want to just leave it blank. Make sure you give the video tags and keywords wherever the video is shared, but just know that this might not be as effective in the search results as writing a targeted title and description.
Lastly, as a word of caution, don’t just write for the search engines, because ultimately, a human will decide whether or not to click on the video and watch the content. Always put yourself in the mind of the audience first and ask what are people searching for that would help them find this video, and what encourages them to click-through.
Remember to link
Link building requires a lot of digital legwork but there is no greater substitute for gaining authenticity on the Internet in the minds of the search engines. Simply put, the more sites and individuals that link to your video content, the higher it will be placed in the search results. If you are posting the video on a popular video sharing site, make sure that you embed the video on your blog or website, and encourage others to link to your video, either in the content, or on the comments area. One of the major benefits to producing quality content and uploading to a video sharing site, is that, if it’s good, people will want to share it, and will do this on their own without you needing to ask them. But, in my opinion, it never hurts to ask, or just remind people that you don’t mind them sharing your content, if that is in fact part of your strategy. And I assume that if you are watching this video on SEO, it is.
Another link building practice that is pretty new but can help you build views and authority, is to link your video to other videos you have posted. On YouTube you can do this as an annotations, or my favorite, just make a playlist of all your videos, and let your audience view all your work in one place.
Summary and a simple approach
Here is a quick summary on the ideas mentioned in the last few videos for those of you really on the go. Using SEO to distribute and reach a wider audience for your video assumes that you have identified a few content gaps and have researched and arrived at your target keywords. Look over your target keywords and see if any of the content jumps out at you as being better suited and communicated as a video. Make that video content the most engaging content ever, and title and describe it in terms that your audience is searching for. The last part is to make sure to encourage others to link to your content, and also ensure that your video links to other videos that you have produced and are relevant.
Thanks for watching, and this article is free for you to link to and share, so please feel free to do so. We’re posting new content here, wherever here is, every week so please come back and check us out. Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing you here next time.