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How to Maximize Your Reach With Video SEO

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Right now, video marketing is one of the most critical components of B2B marketing strategy. Unfortunately, many brands still don't buy into the medium—and the ones that do produce video frequently ignore their video SEO, leaving their content unseen by decision-makers.

No matter how high-quality or on-message the video content is, proper video SEO makes a difference—and sometimes a huge difference. To see the most ROI from your video campaigns, apply SEO principles to extend your content's reach—and its potential for organic long-term traffic.

What does video SEO entail?

Think of SEO as a way to put names to faces. Search engines can't see the words spoken in videos—at least, not yet—or understand the context without a bit of assistance. To help viewers find their videos, B2B marketers must maximize the use of text.

The easiest way to do that is to place both video and transcript on one page. That approach serves multiple purposes:

The inclusion of relevant text that lets search engines also "watch" the video, allowing them to index the content.

Also, many executive decision-makers prefer reading to watching video. B2B marketers can cater to both audiences while maintaining the appeal of a visual element on the page.

Those guidelines apply to self-hosted videos, but hosting videos on other sites (especially YouTube) is also a critical component of successful video SEO. YouTube remains the king of video content, and the search rankings of any video that is not present on the platform will certainly suffer.

On the back end, format mistakes are easy to avoid. Search engines love videos in modern formats, but they cannot find anything built in Flash. Moreover, aside from SEO considerations, for many browsers, executing Flash is challenging in and of itself. No one marketing B2B videos today should consider Flash an option.

Help your videos gain SEO success.

Follow these three simple strategies to increase the reach of your video content and connect to B2B buyers.

1. Work outside the page

When compiling transcripts, include captions, scene descriptions, and other relevant factors beyond simple tags; more text means more information for search engines, allowing them to place the video content in the niche where it will perform best. By adding more written content, including titles and descriptions, marketers can help search engines put their videos in front of the right eyes.

However, the page where the video lives, whether a YouTube or a self-hosted landing page, is just one part of the overarching SEO strategy. To attract more viewers, create a better off-page experience both for search engines and for people.

Write content on social media that encourages people to click on the video. Reference the video in blog posts, reinforcing the notion that it contains information relevant to the audience. Fine-tune the messaging viewers receive before they get to the landing page to increase the chances they will click the play button.

2. Perform A/B-testing

Some marketers don't give their videos the attention they deserve, thinking that B2B marketing content can't be as engaging as traditionally "looser" B2C content.

But small details outside the actual content play a large role in determining a video's success. Use A/B-testing to experiment with different titles and thumbnails to find the combination that leads to the highest rate of engagement.

B2B buyers are people, too, and they like creative content as much as anyone else. A touch of creativity can transform even the most mundane topic into an engaging video that will catch buyers' attention.

A/B tests that link to either the company page or YouTube allow marketers to see which approach best addresses the desired KPIs and adjust accordingly. Tools like TubeBuddy help narrow down the combination that will lead to the most viewers.

3. Let long content be

Don't shorten content for the sake of having shorter videos. Titles should be short; videos with good information should be as long as required to convey the message. As we always like to say to our clients, "Answer the question as thoroughly, and concisely, as possible."

According to Backlinko, longer videos tend to perform better than short ones by a wide margin, and prospects who are not interested in a topic will not click on a video in the first place. However, prospects who are interested want to know the whole story. Rather than cheat the real audience out of information they want, include everything that matters.

* * *

Don't let great B2B collateral end up stale and ignored. Video content can be a powerful tool, but without a solid SEO strategy to help the content reach the audience, all the effort spent filming and editing will be wasted. Use SEO to help highlight the most useful and relevant parts of your video campaign.

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Marcus Sheridan is founder of The Sales Lion and author of They Ask, You Answer. He has been dubbed a "web marketing guru" by The New York Times.

LinkedIn: Marcus Sheridan

Twitter: @TheSalesLion


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  • by Geri Tue Feb 27, 2018 via web

    Putting a transcript next to the video doesn't work well on our websites. Would captioning work for search? Can search engines read captions? Thanks.

  • by Nicole Tue Feb 27, 2018 via web

    Thanks for this article. The advice about social media and a/b testing is helpful.

    Since you mentioned both Backlinko and transcripts, I had a question. In a recent Backlinko video, Brian Dean mentioned that YouTube knows the words said in videos. This means that if the keywords you use in the title, tags and descriptions aren't said in the actual video, it won't help boost your ranking. Is this true? If so, why should you still do transcripts/close captioning? Is it helpful just for your own website or also helpful for YouTube.

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