HOW TO USE SEO FOR ONLINE VIDEO & VIDEOBLOGGING
A guide to online video and videoblogging on YouTube, and how to use SEO to maximise their impact. This builds on information discussed in Tutorial 6.
The television broadcast professionals of tomorrow will be multi-skilled. Of that, there is no doubt. They will seamlessly move from television to online content, and chances are they will be operating across a number of different platforms simultaneously. So it’s essential that programme-makers are aware of how online content is made and how the demands on them differ slightly.
Putting performing cats to one side for the moment (…did you know that 30,400,000 searches for ‘cat’ are made on Google every month? Yes, more than 30million!!!), online content has developed its own grammar.
Online journalism for instance, is video and text working together to tell a complete story. A journalist can write an article and embed a video alongside it to give a more rounded, 360-degree account of the news event, or he/she can make a video first and then write text to add another layer to the narrative. The story can be developed further with audio podcasts, pictures and links to other content online.
Online video was explored in Tutorial 6 which you may want to refer back to…
Another area where online video is proving useful is in helping to promote a company brand, which is the subject of this tutorial. Today, it’s vital that a business has a strong online presence, and company managers are quickly realising that video should be central to a marketing campaign.
The fact is that we are a visual society. Companies upload hours of video to websites, Twitter and Facebook. But this has to be quality video that engages an audience. Bad video gets ignored straight away because we simply don’t have the time to decipher and digest it.
This tutorial will discuss the following:
- How to make online video with impact that engages a target audience
- SEO – Maximizing the impact of a videoblog by attracting a large audience
HOW TO START
So the first question is the obvious one. What shall I make a video about? What would interest an online audience? This can be a very intimidating question. You want people to like your video after all, not switch off (and click off) because they’re bored and/or irritated by an unsubtle pitch for business. Here are 10 tips on how to produce effective online video.
TEN TIPS TO SUCCESSFUL ONLINE VIDEO
TIP 1 – FIND YOUR NICHE
What is your niche subject? What are you an expert on or passionate about? This should be the subject of your video because you can pass on information of benefit to your target audience; words of wisdom that demonstrate your expertise and will help your audience improve their lifestyle or business in some way. Online viewers like to learn useful information for free.
The best way to do this could be a ‘How To’ video tutorial on an interesting aspect of your business. Nothing preachy and definitely not a hard sell, but advice of genuine benefit that’s so appealing to your target audience that they return for more. This is an effective way to build your brand within your target audience, a core aim for all successful businesses.
- To learn more about finding that niche interest, visit www.gideonshadwick.com. He offers an easy-to-understand beginners’ guide to online video for businesses.
So, you’ve found your niche subject, but is there an audience for it? Is there a way of researching this before you start filming?
Time for Tip 2…
TIP 2 – GOOGLE KEYWORDS
‘Keywords’ are very important. These are the words that will be the most dominant in your text, title and tags. They’re also the words that your target audience are already using. By using these keywords in the body of your work, you can attract an audience repeating them in Google searches. Hopefully they’ll find you and like what they see.
Go to Google’s Keyword tool (below) to find out how many people are already searching for keywords that relate to your niche subject. Look at the numbers under the ‘Global Monthly Search Volume’. Also, check if the keywords are trending under the ‘Local Search Trends’ column.
This research gives you useful information about volume of interest that you should consider before deciding if your niche subject can generate an audience and, as a result, a potential market in the future. If there are people out there already talking about topics around your niche subject, there’s clearly more chance of your video attracting an audience.
TIP 3 – QUALITY CONTENT IS KING
It’s vitally important that the content is high in quality. Make your video interesting and engaging. Have something to say to your audience. Remember, your audience doesn’t want to be ‘talked at’ or subtly sold a product. They’re far too smart for that and will quickly click elsewhere. They want to be informed and entertained. So give great thought to the content of your video before you start recording. Also, if your video is good, there’s more chance of it being shared.
Use keywords in a natural way, not out of context. And don’t just repeat your keywords over and over again. Google’s search engine is very sophisticated and picks this up, so such tricks won’t work. The content has to warrant a high search ranking on merit, though your video will benefit from a well-structured SEO strategy.
TIP 4 – REGULAR VIDEO UPDATES
If your content is of good quality, you’ll probably generate interest from your audience at first, but if you don’t add new content regularly, people will lose interest. So it’s a good idea before you upload your first film to have a few others already edited and on the shelf. Start as you mean to go on, with regular content from Day 1.
Also, the more content you add, the better you will rank in search engines. Google likes to see quality content, regularly updated. This will increase your chance of a high ranking.
TIP 5 – WHAT EXACTLY IS SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Basically, it means what you can do to appear as high as possible in Google search rankings. You want to appear on Page 1 if possible. Here are some interesting facts to put its importance into context:
The website that is top of a Google search receives 33percent of the traffic searching for a keyword or phrase, compared with 18percent for the second position.
Four in 10 people don’t click on paid ads, they prefer ‘organic SEO’ instead which means they head towards content that has naturally grown in importance and popularity. While less than 1percent ever go to pages 2 or 3 in a Google search.
Source: Hannan Kattan, co-founder of EBS Digital, an online marketing company http://www.ebsdigital.com/
These facts prove it’s vitally important to consider SEO. But what does this mean for a video you’ve uploaded to your YouTube channel? What do you need to know?
- Firstly, make sure you research your keywords thoroughly in advance and use them in vital parts of your video: the title, description and the tags. Also ensure it is in the right category.
- The more shares, views and embeds your video gets, the higher it will appear in a YouTube search. So share it with as many people as possible. If someone grabs the embed code of your video, it gives you a backlink to your YouTube channel. This is great for searches.
- Get other videobloggers on side. Start commenting on their videos, leaving video responses and joining their channels. But do your research first because you want to connect with the right people who use the same keywords and categories. Hopefully they’ll eventually share and embed your videos.
- Make it easy for people to find out more about you after watching your video. Invite them to subscribe to your YouTube channel and carry a clear link to your website in the video description.
TIP 6 – VIDEOBLOGGING
There’s quite an interesting debate currently taking place about DIY video-making. Regularly updated online video is a costly process if a company is employing a team of professionals to do it each time. So can a company do it themselves? Where is the dividing line between quality video and bad video? As I explained earlier, if it’s bad video, no-one will bother watching it, no matter how powerful your SEO strategy.
I think the best way to explain this is to break down the content you are making into two groups. One is online video, which could require extensive b-roll and complicated visual sequences to properly tell the story (also see Tutorial 6). The other is videoblogging, also known as vlogging, which is someone talking to camera, and companies – and individuals – can definitely deliver this inhouse.
Some of the most popular ‘How To’ tutorials are produced by DIY vloggers, like the husband and wife blogging team behind www.dollarsandroses.com.
The husband is Jeff and he offers financial advice. This is a videoblog he recorded on the Kodak Zi8 pocket video camera.
Below is a link to their guide to the different cameras they have used to film their videoblogs.
So to sum up, yes, videoblogging can be produced by DIY vloggers. The editing process doesn’t have to be complicated; jump cuts work well and are an accepted editing device for videoblogs.
But what makes a quality videoblog? The answer, as always, is engaging content. Have something to say to your audience and deliver it with a certain style. This can be authoritative or tongue-in-cheek. The choice is yours.
TIP 7 – EMBED YOUR VIDEO IN A BLOG
So you have your quality video uploaded to YouTube with SEO in place. What next?
Now you should embed your video into your own WordPress blog. This creates a whole new layer to the service you offer your audience because you can add text, stills, audio content and links to other online content. This also improves your SEO even more. Google has advanced voice recognition algorithms which can automatically transcribe your video into searchable words. So it’s a good idea to include your main keyword phrases at the start of the video.
Another thing to consider, if you have time, is transcribing your video yourself. You can place the text – or key sections of it – directly below your video on the blog. This means Google will be searching for your keywords in a number of different ways. It’s safe to say that you are SEO’d to the max.
TIP 8 – INSTAGRAM & VINE
You may well be aware of a battle raging between these two popular apps. Vine is a six-second clip-in-a-loop video sharing app, but Instagram has now muscled into this market with a new app offering 15 seconds of video and editing options. These are both very simple to use and could prove a quick and effective way to upload short clips. But always remember to make the content relevant and engaging. You should always aim for quality video.
TIP 9 – FILM ON YOUR ANDROID OR IPHONE
With constant advances in phone camera quality for iPhones and androids, this is another option for recording a DIY videoblog. But there are limitations to sound and lighting. Here are a few short videos about filming on a smartphone made by experienced videomakers.
Below is a link to training video for BBC journalists about how to film on smartphones.
And here are some other videos offering practical advice to budding smartphone videomakers.
TIP 10 – STAY AHEAD OF THE GAME
What the arrival of Instagram and smartphone cameras have shown is that technology is constantly evolving and offering new opportunities to videomakers. My final tip is keep across these advances. Join forums and LinkedIn groups that keep you informed of new ways to make and process quality video. Be aware of what’s just around the corner…
Suggested additional reading about online video:
- The Online Journalism Handbook by Bradshaw and Rohumaa