Lights Camera Action: Get Noticed in Video Search
Video content can be a great tool for marketing and product engagement. More and more people are consuming content in video form, and it lends itself perfectly to product tours, demonstrations, and problem-solving narratives which promote your product or service. Creating video content is the first challenge, and getting it right for your purpose is not an exact science.Sure, there is accepted wisdom that people won't watch more than 30 seconds to a minute of a video before moving on, but this behaviour is more widespread on social media where people are actively looking for entertainment.If people are looking for the answer to a problem, or in-depth product information, they will watch as much as they need to (unless your video is incredibly boring).
When creating your video it is worth bearing in mind that the videos which have the highest ranking on Google's search engine results page (SERP) are ones which answer a question or provide a solution to a problem, and for this reason videos title “how to...” are particularly successful at getting a high ranking. You don't want to make a video that is too long or which repeats itself, as people will get bored and move on to another, shorter video. They may come back to yours, but people leaving the video before the end does you no favours in the rankings.At the same time, there is also little point in making a video which omits important information.Deciding what to create can be the most time consuming part of the process.
While Google is notoriously vague about the exact criteria on which is bases its search algorithms, we do know that videos that are watched all the way to the end, or close enough to the end to indicate that interest has not waned, are the best performing in SERPs. There are various tools, such as vidIQ and Ahrefs, which can provide insights about tags, keywords, captions and thumbnails which will improve the chances of your video ranking highly on Google. It is also worth knowing that videos posted directly to YouTube appear higher up in the results than those which have been embedded a different website – if you want to host the video on your own website it's worth embedding the YouTube version into your page although it can take up to 3 weeks for embedded video content to be seen and ranked by Google.
Google has recently added a video based feature similar to featured snippets – this new feature is called “key moments” and pushes users to specific moments in videos which answer their search query.Putting labelled timestamps in your video description increases the likelihood that your video will be the one considered to contain a “key moment” and it also makes your video easy to use for your audience, who can jump straight to the part of the video they want to see. This can mean that people don't watch the whole thing, but if you have achieved inclusion in a “key moment” then your video is already highly ranked, so the metrics on the average view duration are not such an important consideration.
As with any online marketing platform, YouTube offers users insight into video performance through the analytics tool.This tells you all sorts of information including the source of the traffic, the amount of the video watched (on average) and the average watch time of your channel as a whole. These are important metrics to stay on top of, as they influence the relevance that Google sees in your content.They also tell you which of your videos are the best performing and this can inform the creation of further videos in terms of what to focus on.
Video is a growing area for businesses looking to grow their audience online, and with some time and investment you can get ahead of the pack when it comes to creating an audience as well as gathering potential leads through video content.
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