Videos. You can watch them, listen to them and even read them (more on this later!).
They’re engaging, vary your digital marketing content and are hugely popular on social media and websites. In fact, we’ve written before about video SEO and how videos can help boost your website’s health and visibility in search engine results.
The Case for Investing in Video SEO
1) Wider Appeal:
Videos can appeal to visual and audio learners alike, with tutorial and ‘how to’ videos being hugely popular.
2) More Website Visitors
Wordstream reckons video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors to the average website.
3) Match What People Search for Online
According to VPN Geeks, in 2019 and beyond we can expect to see a 30% rise in the number of Google searches with the suffix “video”.
4) Rank Higher in Search Results
Martech Zone maintains that a properly optimised video makes your brand 53 times more likely to appear on page 1 of Google.
5) Sociable and Sharable
In an article published in 2010, BroadbandSearch revealed that on Facebook 8 billion videos are viewed each day, whilst YouTube sees 5 billion videos watched daily, and Snapchat reports 10 billion daily video views. If you want people to talk about your brand on social media, video is a popular way to do it!
6) Keep Website Visitors’ Attention
Bounce rate is a measurement expressed as a percentage that indicates what portion of your website visitors are exiting your website after only visiting one webpage. The lower the bounce rate percentage the better. Visual storytellers, Crackitt believe that typically people judge bounce rate levels as 30% or less being excellent, a bounce rate of 30% – 50% being good and a site with a bounce rate of over 60% as being poor.
Content Marketing company, Brafton found that video blog posts on one of their client’s websites had a 34% lower bounce rate than the rest of the site on average.
Although there is some debate around whether bounce rate is a direct ‘ranking factor’ (one of the many aspects that influence how Google ranks a website), SEMRush found that 49% was the bounce rate for the domains ranking within the top-3 results for the 600,000+ keywords the SEO tool analysed in a study.
Creating Videos…When You Lack Technical Know-How
Now that we have convinced you why it’s worthwhile investing in video SEO for your website and business, you’re probably wondering where to begin (and what the video at the top of this blog post is about!) Well, so were we!
We know how to distribute video for clients, by uploading it to video galleries on their websites, incorporating them into blog posts, and maximising their social media channels to make sure the videos achieve the maximum reach, but creating videos is where we fell down. Being a small team with web design, SEO, copywriting and social media management skills already under our belts, creating videos was a gap in our skill set. That’s why Pivotal sent me to an insightful Smartphone Video Workshop run by First frame Production’s video expert, Ryan Mulhern in Leeds earlier this month.
We had even had a client share with us recently that they had been deterred from continuing to produce videos as everyone else’s videos that he saw online looked like they were a lot more professional than the ones he was creating. The client in question also attended Ryan’s video workshop with me and we both learned that creating high-quality videos and editing them with just our smartphones wasn’t as hard as we thought! The video at the top of this blog post is a result of what I learned (we were challenged to put our newly acquired video editing and filming skills into practice after the workshop – it was by no means perfect but got me out of my comfort zone!).
Here are 10 tips for creating videos and mastering video SEO that I learned:
💡 Lights! 💡
- Lighting – Try and make use of natural light and film outside where possible. If the weather is bad, film by a window but with your face looking towards the window rather than with the window positioned behind you. This avoids creating too much of a dark silhouette.
- Framing – Film in landscape rather than portrait, especially if your video is intended for LinkedIn. Portrait videos can be acceptable for Instagram though. Practice the rule of thirds (position your face one third from the left of the frame and two thirds up in the frame so your head and shoulders are in the shot). Avoid getting too close to the camera and don’t leave too much space above your head. Hold the camera at eye-level (holding it too low will expose your double chin – if you have one! – and holding it too high will risk you looking small!). Be an arm’s length away from the camera/tripod.
- Background – Make sure you have a nice or plain background. Be aware of what’s in the ‘negative background’ (the space in the frame that you’re not occupying). Make sure there’s nothing distracting in the background of the frame, for example, a tree that looks like it’s growing out of your head!
📱 Camera! 📱
- Equipment – Try to use a tripod where possible to keep your footage steady. Using a tripod also frees your hands up so you can ‘talk with your hands’ and look more natural on camera. Tripods are made quite light and portable these days and you can buy a cheap but worthwhile smartphone adapter/clamp from Amazon to transform any tripod into a smartphone tripod. A Gimbal is another nifty device which is a cross between a tripod and selfie-stick and allows you to walk on camera whilst keeping your smartphone stable.
- Sound – Ryan recommended a Rode Smartlav microphone is good if you’re filming in windy conditions. You can get an adapter for it, so it adapts for different phones. Leads are also available so you can stand further away from the camera when you film.
- Filming – It’s a good idea to put your phone on airplane mode so you’re not distracted by incoming calls or texts whilst using it to film. Ryan advised making sure that something changed every 10-15 seconds in your video to keep your video interesting. For instance, some relevant ‘cutaway’ shots to show to break up your piece to camera/ footage of you talking. Also, keep your videos between 1-2 minutes long as people’s attention spans are short!
- Being on Camera – It’s tricky, but try not to look at yourself in the camera whilst filming. Instead, look at the lens/black dot on your phone when filming in selfie mode and remember to look away from the lens occasionally, trust me, it’ll look more natural.
🎬 Action! 🎬
- Smile! – Pro tip: sport a cheesy grin for a few seconds as you start recording and for a few seconds at the end of your video as it makes it easier to edit out the awkward bit of film where you are setting up and pressing the record button to start and finish recording.
- Editing Apps – Ryan introduced us to a handy app called Quik on Android and iPhone for editing videos. Remember to always save the edited video as a new video in the app so you don’t overwrite the original one, just in case you crop too much off the video and need to revert back to the original. Ryan revealed that 80% of people like to ‘read’ videos now, meaning closed captions are a must. Rev.com is an efficient website who caption your videos for you for $1 per minute of footage (that’s the site I used to caption my video above). Remember to opt for ‘captions’ and not ‘transcription’! Clips app is a helpful iPhone app that types the captions as you speak but records the videos in square and requires you to film your video within the app itself. Captions might not be 100% accurate so you might have to click onto your video within the app and edit the text, then press ‘done’ to export the video.Adobe Premiere Pro is a reputable editing software that allows you to edit and caption your videos all in one place but might require a bit of financial investment and time to learn.
- Video SEO – As Moz advises: “If you’ve created a video for YouTube, make your blog’s URL appear at the start or end of the video. Include it in the description of the video and on the uploading profile’s page.”
If you’re uploading a video to LinkedIn don’t link to your video on YouTube in your LinkedIn post. Instead, upload your video natively (directly) to LinkedIn as the LinkedIn algorithm prefers it if you don’t link away from LinkedIn, and increases the reach of your video if they are uploaded natively. Always add some supporting text when uploading a video as a blog post on your website. This gives the video context and helps tell search engines like Google what your video is about when it indexes and crawls the post. Make sure the blog post has relevant keywords you wish to rank for in the title, URL and meta description too.
If you have any questions about video SEO or digital marketing please don’t hesitate to get in touch.