As 2012 comes to a close and we start to take a look back at the year we will start discussing some key trends and sharing recommendations we have made to clients in order to help you move into the New Year with renewed energy.

The first trend or topic to discuss is creating YouTube videos and posting them on your website.

What are the Benefits of Video for SEO?

Throughout the year we have recommended this to several clients who have asked, “How can we generate even more buzz around our website, engage with our visitors and vamp up other parts of our marketing plan?” Not only are videos engaging and interactive they can also help increase traffic and sales.

We have encouraged clients to shoot short videos for several reasons:

  1. Almost everyone owns a mobile phone with video capabilities that you can use to film on your own.
  2. It doesn’t have to take long to film a video – once you get the hang of it you can produce one in 15-30 minutes.
  3. Videos are interactive and let you engage with the viewers.
  4. Videos can be optimized and are shown as “Rich Snippets” in the Search Engines which helps increase your Click Through Rate.
  5. YouTube accounts are free to create and can help drive traffic to your website.
  6. Helps with branding and awareness.

Optimizing videos on YouTube for SEO isn’t complicated, but first you need to have videos to optimize. Here are five ideas to get you started on creating YouTube videos for marketing your business.

# 1 – Create a Series of “How To” Videos

Who can benefit: Any business that has a particular set of skills or expertise that people need.

Think back to a time where you had to do something for the first time. Would you rather observe someone show you how to do this or read instructions on how to do it? Chances are you would rather watch. Today when people have to figure out how to do something they go online and Google “How to install a shower base” or “How to fix a leaking washing machine”. So if you were looking online for “How to …” would you choose the option with a video or one of the plain text options? I bet you’d watch the video.

So if you are an appliance repair company, create “How To” videos for fixing common washing machine problems. If you are an Italian restaurant, create a “How to make fettuccini alfredo” video along with other delicious recipes. If you manufacture shower bases, create a “How To” video series for installing the shower base.

#2 – Create “Product Features” Videos

Who can benefit: Any business that sells a product that is complicated to use, has a high ticket price or advanced product features.

This may be the most underrated or underutilized way to use YouTube videos on your website. Why not take your products for a test drive that all your visitors can watch? Show how each major feature of your product works and focus on features that are hard to sell through a short product description.

If you are feeling ambitious why not ask some of your loyal customers to create a short video of them using your product? You could offer a discount incentive or free merchandise, making this option a more affordable way to generate video content than you sitting down to make the video. It also builds extra credibility with your audience as the information is coming from a peer and not the business itself.

#3 – Film Customer Reviews and Testimonial Videos

Who can benefit: Any business that has customers who need confidence before purchasing (which is everyone!)

We all like to be reassured that a business has happy customers and can deliver on what they promise. Short candid customer reviews and testimonials can do just this. Ask some of your customers if they would be willing to provide a 30 second review of their service. Prompt them along with questions such as:

  • What did they buy?
  • How was their experience?
  • How is their life better now?
  • Would they recommend you to a friend?
  • Were their expectations met?

Chances are if you get a customer who has had an exceptional experience talking they will give you a very positive review, which can be significantly more valuable than just trying to sell your product.

#4 – Answer “FAQ Questions”

Who can benefit: Everyone

If you’ve had a customer ask you a question chances are there are at least 10 other customers or potential customers are wondering the same thing. Creating short videos to answer each of these questions gives your visitors the information they are looking for and the confidence that you are capable of delivering on your products or services.

FAQ type videos can help answer common questions and help move customers from the unknown or hesitant stage to a point where they are confident to make a decision and move forward.

The Next Step: “How do I SEO YouTube Videos?”

If you are asking this question it means that you are planning to film your video or perhaps you already have a few videos posted on your website. Here are our Top 10 tips for how to “SEO optimize” your videos on YouTube for best rankings:

  1. Write good descriptions. Optimize YouTube video by placing your most important information first. Be sure to include your targeted keywords for the video and add in links to your optimized YouTube channel page, a subscription link and your other social media links with a link to related content on your website.
  2. Encourage viewers to Like, Comment and Add to Favorites. Specifically ask viewers to do so by asking a specific question to attract comments or tell viewers to like the video.
  3. Publish Frequently. After testing out your hand at creating videos develop a schedule for filming and posting new videos. This sets the expectation that a new video will be posted when visitors come back.
  4. Optimize YouTube Tags and Titles. Put your main keywords first and your branding with links towards the end.
  5. Drive traffic to other videos. YouTube is a sharing community and likes it when you promote other videos. Remember to promote both your own videos and other related videos, video channels and playlists.
  6. Optimize YouTube Channel. Edit your text profile with targeted keywords about what visitors can expect from your channel, add links to your social profiles and edit links to your main website and blog.
  7. Embedding YouTube Videos for SEO. While your videos are hosted by YouTube be sure to embed them on your own site too so that your website visitors can benefit from watching the movies too! Consider sharing your videos on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as you publish. Generating as much buzz is the goal!
  8. Add Rich Snippets into Source Code. Add schema.org markup to your website where videos are posted so that the video thumbnail will appear in your search results.
  9. Create a Video Sitemap. Create a sitemap with all webpages which embed video or contain URLs for videos. See Google Support for up to date details on how to create a video sitemap.
  10. Google “SEO YouTube Videos” to stay up to date. We are always seeing changes in best practices in how to properly optimize videos. Look for recent articles, updates from YouTube and updates from Google.

For more information about YouTube videos for marketing your business contact 1st on the List.