SEO: why and how to optimize videos for your site?

If web content has long been limited to text, then images, the technologies developed by search engines now allow us to publish all types of formats on a site. This is particularly the case for video, which has earned its reputation on the Internet: just look at the market share of YouTube, the leading online video provider and the third most visited site in the world (all categories combined), to see this. However, publishing a video on your website will not be enough to give you the obvious benefits of this type of content. You will need to optimize your videos, while ensuring that it enhances the user experience: follow the guide!

Why post videos online?

The effects of a video on the traffic and natural referencing of a website are numerous. It will allow you to :

  • Increase traffic and conversion rate on your website;
  • Promote the creation of your company or the launch of a new product or service online;
  • Communicate your company’s actions, commitments and philosophy in a more informal tone;
  • Improve the visibility of your website on the main search engines, and thus improve the visibility of your company;
  • Position yourself as an expert in your sector;
  • Present the functioning of a product or service that is difficult to handle;
  • Humanize your company, especially if it is a pure player (with an exclusively virtual existence), by introducing your team members, your premises…
  • The benefits of a video, especially on natural referencing, are numerous. On the other hand, the publication of this type of content cannot be improvised!
optimize your video commercial

Publish a video on a website or a blog: it’s getting ready!

Seduced by the effects of a video on the natural referencing and traffic of a website? Wait a little longer before taking the plunge! Even before going to the production stage, it is essential to define your video strategy by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Who is the video for?
  • What should this content be used for: converting, educating, building loyalty?
  • What is the tone chosen for this content: formal, informal, offbeat?
  • What is the main message of this video? In other words, what idea would you like the user to keep in mind after watching it?
  • Who should be involved in the production of this video?
  • What measurement tools will allow you to evaluate the effectiveness of this content? You will find a list of operational KPIs at the end of the article.
  • How to optimize a video for social networks or for your site?
  • The questions in the previous paragraph will help you define the editorial strategy for your video publication. But that’s not all: you must also think about the technical optimization of this type of content. So it’s time to get your hands dirty!

The principles of natural referencing change fairly little; you just have to adapt them to the type of content you want to publish. In the case of a video, you will have to pay attention to :

  • Select your keywords carefully: they remain the spearhead of your SEO strategy, whatever the type of content. These keywords must be consistent and relevant to the theme of your video. They must also appear in the content metadata: title and subtitles, title and meta description tags, caption and/or description, tags, notes and/or links embedded in the video… So many micro-contents to optimize!
  • Plan the conversion of the Internet user: once the video has been viewed, take it to where you want it to go. Your best ally to achieve this: an effective, short and highly visible call to action on the video page. Don’t hesitate to include this call to action at the end of your video, either orally or in writing, to optimize your click and conversion rates.
  • Subtitle your video: Internet users save the time they spend online. Most start watching videos without sound, and decide whether or not to continue watching them within seconds: subtitles have become indispensable! Again, remember to integrate your keywords as naturally as possible. Don’t rely on YouTube’s automatic subtitles: they’re approximate, unclear and sometimes inconsistent, and their quality leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Collect backlinks: these famous incoming links are as important as the choice of your keywords. They indicate to the major search engines, starting with Google, that your content is of interest and that it stands out for its quality. To obtain these external links, first of all, promote your video: its viral potential can be multiplied on social networks. Also, share your content with your professional entourage, your clients and prospects, and your colleagues within the company. Provoke the reactions of Internet users with a catchy call to action, which can simply consist of asking visitors to share the video. Moderate the comments, make the discussion live around your video. Finally, always give priority to the quality of the content rather than the quantity: take care of the script and the dialogues, ensure the quality of the image and sound, surprise the Internet users with a new format. Guaranteed results!

How do you measure the effectiveness of your videos?

Regardless of the type of website you administer or optimize, each of the actions you take (in terms of marketing, sales or content promotion) must be able to be evaluated. It is essential to define measurement tools that are both reliable and operational: these are the famous key performance indicators, or KPIs.

And videos are no exception to the rule: you must be able to quantify, measure or evaluate the effects of this type of publication in order to adjust your content strategy and/or optimize it. Such measurements can also highlight possible technical problems, which may not always be apparent at the time of publishing.

Which KPIs for your online videos via your tracking or Youtube?

To evaluate the effectiveness of the videos you publish on your site or blog, several KPIs can be selected according to your objectives. The key performance indicators of a video on an e-commerce site will be different from those of a blog or a consultant’s site, for example.

Before you pick from this non-exhaustive list of KPIs for your online videos, take the time to refine your strategy and goals. Is this video intended to increase traffic to your site, convert users into customers, or simply to entertain them in a loyalty-building process? Depending on your answer(s) to this question, you will be able to select the right indicators from this list before completing it:

  • The number of views: easy to identify on YouTube, the leader in video on the web, the number of views will give you a fairly accurate idea of the impact of your video. What’s more, it will allow you to adjust your promotional efforts if you find that your content is little or not at all viewed.
  • The number of comments: this indicator will give you an idea of the reactions to your video. It will also allow you to identify the source of the problem if your content does not attract enough traffic: a video that is little viewed but highly commented on suffers from poor promotion, while a highly viewed video that generates no or few comments needs to be reworked at the content level.
  • Comments: it’s not enough to just count them, you’ll also have to read them! Web users will often be the first to tell you what, if anything, is wrong with your video. Take these comments into consideration to improve your content, and don’t hesitate to answer any questions visitors may have.
  • The click rate: if you have integrated a call to action in the page of your video, how many Internet users click on it after viewing it? Whatever the result, you will have to constantly work on increasing the click rate – both through technical and editorial optimization.
  • As you can see, video is now a major web content. It is therefore essential to use it to promote your online business, as long as you take care to optimize it. And make no mistake about it: the optimization and quality of a video cannot be reduced to its referencing. The user’s experience must remain at the center of your approach for your video to produce the desired effects!