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Video Killed the SEO Star
Kidding! Video is actually an SEO star-maker. How can video help get your business to the top of the charts? Optimized videos on your website can help increase your web real estate, expand your SEO reach, and build authenticity. In part one of Blue Corona’s series on using video for SEO, we’re going to lay down some basics on why video is a must in today’s marketing environment.
When MTV launched in 1981, it had only around 300 videos in rotation. Its playlist grew as record labels saw how MTV exposure sent record sales skyrocketing. Video budgets exploded, and productions expanded from a few cameras filming a “live” performance to technical masterpieces like Rockit and Thriller.
A similar revolution is underway today. As online videos continue to drive customer engagement, more businesses are using video to captivate audiences and increase leads and sales. But to make the most of video’s power, you’ve got to optimize it. The good news is that you don’t need dancing corpses to make an SEO-friendly video! (Although, if you’ve got some handy, go nuts!)
Why Should I Use Video to Market My Business?
Videos are sticky–that is, they engage people more and keep them on your site longer. For many home service companies, including HVAC servicepeople, plumbers, and remodelers,video is an ideal way to explain or demonstrate ideas that might be difficult to convey with text.
Video also makes an emotional connection with the viewer. I know that sounds mushy, but hear me out–what I mean is that we engage more with faces and voices than with text. I’ll let someone more qualified explain the specifics, but suffice it to say, videos help connect you and your business with viewers. And once they feel connected, it’s more likely that they’ll become a lead.
Optimized videos also increase your authority on the web. When more people are clicking on your video about repairing bathroom tile, Google and other search engines will start to see you as a bathroom tile authority, and your search engine rankings will grow.
What Should My Videos Be About?
Good question! As with all content marketing, to find a good subject, think of your customers’ needs and how you can meet them; think of their problems and how you can solve them. But don’t make a commercial. Consider this immortal phrase from creative writing workshops: “show, don’t tell.” Making informative videos that serve as knowledge resources for viewers is a much more effective way of proving your expertise, experience, and trustworthiness than merely telling them that you’re a trustworthy expert.
Some sticky ideas for home service businesses might be:
- A video in which you explain why programmable thermostats are a good idea, and then show how to program a couple of the latest models.
- A video that starts with an explanation of why you need to change your air conditioner’s filters regularly, followed by a quick rundown of how to do it.
- How-to videos: how to spot repairs waiting to happen; how to clean equipment; how to prevent common problems.
- Equipment and system maintenance: you can do seasonal versions in which you demonstrate the DIY maintenance homeowners can/should do for their HVAC equipment, gutters, roofs, decks, etc.
- Video testimonial: see if you can film a short video in the home of a happy customer. They can talk briefly about the project and how much they love it, and you can show the work you did.
- Product showcase: show an array of the latest energy-efficient appliances, fancy faucets, universally-designed door hardware, or whatever your specialty (or major moneymaker) is.
All of this will promote your expertise and the services and products you offer without making prospects sit through an overt commercial.
How Will People Find My Videos?
Start with optimized file names, titles, and descriptions. All of these will contribute to your search engine rankings.
- File name: Which of these file names sounds more marketable to you? “HvSXm_7784_801Z” or “Spring_Gutter_Maintenance_HowTo”? A descriptive file name not only helps your video get views, it shows that you’re paying attention to details.
- Title: Use keywords–but only a couple. Too many keywords will make your title seem spammy. Example: “How to Install Insulated Siding” vs. “Insulated Siding Install Siding Cleveland Boomer’s Siding Best Insulated Siding Installers.”
- Description: Start your video’s description with its URL so a viewer can easily get straight to the video. Use keywords in your description, but don’t stuff. After the URL, you might lead with a question. “Is your natural gas furnace banging or bumping? Learn how to recognize the five most common gas furnace problems, and how to perform smart furnace maintenance.”
Uh-oh, looks like Ben didn’t put a link at the beginning of his description! Don’t worry, I’ll send him this post!
In addition, use these tools and tips:
- Tags: Many video hosting sites employ tags to help viewers find videos by topic. When choosing tags, use keywords that your customers would be searching for. If your video is about how geothermal energy is more efficient than oil boilers, you might use tags like “energy efficiency,” “geothermal,” “home heating,” etc.
- Thumbnail: The thumbnail is the frame of the video that appears before the viewer clicks on the video. It doesn’t have to be the very first frame; most hosting sites will allow you to choose the frame you want to use as the thumbnail. Choose an attractive frame–rather than an awkward shot of the speaker with his or her mouth half open, use a pretty product shot or a key point in your demonstration.
- Visibility: Set visibility to “public.” Embed the video on your own website (the hosting site should have instructions on how to do this) and share the link on all of your social media outlets.
- Call to Action (CTA): Include your phone number or web address at the end of the video, along with a specific CTA. “If you want to learn more about butcher block countertops, call us at…”
- Use videos in your newsletters. This is a great way to get more mileage out of your video productions. You can embed the video within the newsletter email, or include a link to it with a description. (If you’re not doing a newsletter, here’s why they’re a good idea!)
Are you ready to start making videos now? Start storyboarding and stay tuned for the next post in our series on video and SEO. We’ll be covering the best (and most budget-friendly) ways to make videos for your business, and how to upload and optimize them on various platforms.
Want auteur-level assistance with your SEO efforts? Contact us and we’ll do that thing with our hands where we hold them up like a movie camera and look at your website through them. And then we’ll really get to work.
Note: All the images used in this post are from Blue Corona’s Vimeo account. Check it out!
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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