SEO. It’s serious business, and ultra-important. Why else would it get the “acronym” treatment? You know, when only the “big deal” concepts can be shortened into just a few letters because everyone knows what they are without having to bother saying the whole word.

Search Engine Optimization – SEO – is such a big deal because it helps you market your business, be found by potential customers, and rake in tons of revenue. But only if you’re doing it well.

SEO is more than just being found on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Yes, it’s about being found, but it’s also about being being chosen, and then keeping the interest of those who picked you so they don’t bounce back to Google and try again. Video can help you accomplish all three things.

I’ll give you some proof:

Pages with video are 53 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results, according to one Forrester Research study. Not only will video help you be found more easily, it will help make sure your website or content is chosen by searchers, since search results with video have a 41% higher click-through rate than plain text, according to an aimClear study. Once prospects land on your page, video will keep them interested in sticking around: 17% of people spend less than four seconds on a website without video, but people will often spend 2.7 minutes watching an online video.

Here’s how you can use video to get the most out of your SEO efforts:

Keywords

Traditional techniques, like keywords and metadata are as vital with video as they are for text content. So, in the same way that you would optimize text content, make sure you’re utilizing keywords in your titles, video descriptions, and even your YouTube channel description, as well as using tags so Google can easily find and rank content. Choose 5 to 6 keywords using the Google AdWords tool to improve opportunities for your video content to be ranked highly.

If you’re trying to decide what keywords to use in a YouTube video, check out what YouTube search auto-suggests for your video’s topic (just do this by starting to type in the topic of your video, and see what auto-populates for you). Choose keywords that are more specific rather than highly competitive and generic ones. For example, countless videos could be ranked for ‘how to play guitar’, and yours could drown amongst them. But you could rank near the top for video searches on how to play a certain type of guitar, chords, or songs.

Sitemaps and Transcripts

You should also be making sure to tell Google about the videos on your site by submitting a site map. Check out this awesomely informative post if you’re unsure how to do that. (If you have a video marketing platform like Vidyard, you don’t need to worry about it since VIdyard takes care of that for you.)

Search engines cannot “watch” your video in order to determine what topics are actually covered in your content. Video transcripts provide that information. You can post a transcript somewhere on your page, or post the transcript as a written blog post to accompany your video. Also consider the closed captioning option on YouTube; it acts as a searchable transcript!

Your videos work in partnership with all of your content to improve your SEO results. Include them in pages that offer a variety of other media types, like text and images, since these diverse pages receive better rankings in search.

Content

You could be an SEO master at getting people to click on your page. But if your content doesn’t back up what you’re selling, it could be driving people away and breaking trust with potential customers.

So how do you make sure people will be interested in your content? Evidence suggests that 80% of video content that appears in search engine results pages are informational videos. Think about creating some explainer videos for your product or service; not only is it an engaging way to explain why people should want to purchase your product, these videos will also help your chances of your content appearing on top search pages.

Keep your videos simple; content that includes too many topics or key points likely won’t appear in search as easily as if you focused on just one key area. So don’t be afraid to specialize in a certain topic to attract searchers.

Also, don’t forget that well-done content also means well-chosen content titles and thumbnails. Don’t be tempted to use click-bait to get more hits and drive up your chances of appearing in search results. Audiences won’t thank you for it, and in the end it will only hurt your SEO efforts when viewers stop returning to your pages.

User Experience

A viewer’s experience of you doesn’t have to stop with one well-done video. An awesome experience of your brand is the perfect complement to your strong content. Think about the big picture surrounding your video content.

For example, where should you place your video on your webpage or landing page? Make sure it’s “above the fold” so viewers don’t have to scroll and won’t be tempted to click off your page. On most browsers, that means your video should appear within the first 600 pixels.

If your video content is part of a branded channel on YouTube, you can create playlists to keep people watching your content, rather than being tempted to watch unrelated (or your competitors’) recommended videos. On your website, you can suggest other videos by adding calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout or at the end of your video. Not only will this help with SEO (“time on page” will be off the charts!), it’s a great way to use video to help push viewers along a content journey and through the sales funnel.

Your niche, converting content will be so engaging that it could spread like wildfire through audiences, only helping your SEO efforts. Strong content is like the popular kid at a party who everyone wants to spend time with; welcome to the social side of SEO.

Social Impact

You don’t have to do all the work yourself to get your content and brand out there. Great content is shared and embedded on other sites, which drive visits and back-links to your original content. This cross-platform promotion, natural discovery and sharing of your content will encourage more views, increasing its popularity and the likelihood it will end up in search pages.

Video continues to prove its worth as the modern marketer’s perfect medium for helping you be found by your target audience, engage with them better than ever before, and convert them into customers. How is video helping your SEO efforts?

Emily Ross