The SEO benefits of a marketing video are limited, and this article will explain why boastful claims that videos (including rich snippet videos) are false. Videos do have a few benefits, and some of them are SEO related. But, please be aware that no website has ever reached the number one spot based upon the SEO effect of videos (even YouTube cannot boast that the SEO from its videos got it to the top spot).
Start your campaign by making good videos
The quality of a video is going to be the biggest factor in your success. Even its SEO benefits are based upon its quality. Some of the most viral and high quality videos have been linked to by its audience. People have seen videos on websites and linked to them, shared them, or given their friends the URL so that they can watch it. This is a big SEO and traffic benefit that you will never achieve if your video is of a low quality.
Plan the message you are going to give
A plan for your video is paramount. This is not just a screenplay, it is plan revolving around your message and how you are going to give it. This means that if you start with a time limit for your video then you are going to fail.
You must always start you plan with your primary message or goal, because all other concerns are secondary to getting your message across in the most appropriate manner. For example, if you were told to make a 30-minute video to let people know about your new product, then you are doomed to failure.
Instead you should approach the video with the goal of informing the customer about your new product, and then place a limitation that you can only go up to a 30 minute duration (if you must), instead of insisting that the video be 30 minutes long.
Ensure a short, sharp, fast and concise video
A high quality video is one that keeps the viewer watching and engaged, and a short, sharp, fast paced and concise video is the way to do it.
Your screenplay must maintain the attention of your audience
The words being spoken are what maintain an audience’s interest. The message is why people are watching. Spangles, sparkles, effects and sexy music do not maintain user interest. Creative visuals do not mean you will maintain anyone other than a young child’s interest.
High quality videos and high production values are paramount
The shaky camera, tinny sounds and dark settings, such as those in your dad’s basement will not work. There are actually videos on YouTube that have done just that, and they have people watching them to laugh at how bad they are.
Good actors and music is essential
Elevator music is often found in corporate videos, which is not a terrible idea, but keep it short. Doing things such as playing the music an introduction text or headlines pop up is a terrible idea. Also, make sure that your actor is a good one. People do not want to see the ordinary Joe off the street. They need someone that they can respect instantly, and good actors have trained to create such a façade on camera. Also, try to pick an actor who does not have a regional accent.
The sound is important to your video success
Background noise, background hiss, and echoes (especially) are video killers. People are too used to high quality sound from watching TV. They will simply not watch if the sound is bad. Use good sound recording equipment, and adjust the quality (levels, etc) with software when you are editing the piece after it is filmed. Do not be afraid of doing two or three takes in order to ensure you have the sound perfect. There is nothing worse than a silent point in your video when you review it during editing.
Don’t turn it into an advertisement unless that is the goal
A micro advertisement will have people turn off the video; unless an ad is your goal, then just don’t do it.
You want people to link to your site as a result of the video
This is the primary goal of your marketing video. It is possible for a video to be linked to on a massive scale. Embed it into a web page so that people can link to the page and not the video itself. If your video is very good (if not viral) then you can have a lot of people link to that page, and your SEO value will skyrocket. But, this does need to be a stunning piece of video. A video of Dave making a birdhouse out of popsicle sticks may not be the SEO generator that you may have hoped. Everything you have read up to this point is there to help you make your video better, so that people are more likely to link to it.
You want your video to be as lightweight as possible
This is just for initial loading of the page, because a big start file (video image) will take longer to load which will affect your SEO. No matter how long your video is, offer the video to people with different qualities. They should be able to pick between lower quality video and HD (if possible) because some people are on pay-as-you-go Internet, and it will cost them more money to stream a HD video.
If your video is shared, make sure it is shared with a link
Your video being shared is a good thing, but you need to control it. You need to embed a link in the video (if possible), or you need to have a link attached to the template that is shared around. You can do this by adding share buttons to the video on your website. When you set up the share (i.e. what is to be shared) just make sure there is a link someone. It is the most productive way to enjoy any SEO benefits.
Your video may create positive brand awareness
This is a very passive attribute that you should not work too hard to ensure if SEO is your goal. If you goal is also to build your brand then feel free to use your videos to build brand awareness. In that case is it vital that you get your video seen by the right people; preferably by the people who shop with your competitors.
Use videos as the ally to your SEO content and not the driver of your SEO content
To save you a lot of time and effort, you should know that your videos are not going to attract traffic. Their SEO value is negligible. The only place that your keywords will have any effect is on YouTube where your video keywords are only in competition with other videos. People are going to tell you that rich snippet videos are going to draw organic traffic and are going to sell very well. Do not believe those sources. All the articles that tell you such lies are commissioned by the affiliate programs that want you to host their affiliate videos (also known as traffic repellent).