For many people and business, video can be quite the investment, both in time and in expense. Video can be a tough thing to sell, when you compare the cost of producing video with your optimum ROI. There are lot of business folk, including SEOs and marketers, that don’t really understand how good video can be. There are virality and branding to think about. Those two points can lead to a possible increase in conversion rates because of video.
Here are some ways that video can be used to help augment and enhance your link-building activity.
Video As A Media Type Within Interactive Content
Pages where video is part of the multimedia interactivity within your site can be very engaging. In turn, this can bring you quite a lot of links.
Take, for example, the site http://cloudsovercuba.com/. The site is about the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis. More than likely, the site probably wasn’t created with links in mind, but it secured a good share of links, almost 2000 of them. All that from a mere 266 link root domains.
What you need to make sure you do is making your video media easy to access. This mean making the content lightweight, mobile friendly, and quick to load. The best way to do this is to either us the HTML <video> tag, or embed your videos through iframes.
Popcorn.js is great because it allows for you to do some pretty neat things with your embedded videos, like changing the way the pages will look depending on the playback time.
Videos that get highly popular and end up going viral don’t really have a correlation with things that have high quality links. The reason for this is that there is a bit of a difference between those videos that you’re happy to share with others, and the kind of videos you’re happy with including on your own site by either linking or embedding the media.
When using online video services like Youtube, Vimeo, or other social video platforms, the videos won’t link to the domain of the video creator, but will go to the profile of the user on Youtube or Vimeo itself. This isn’t the greatest way for a business to try getting links to their own site in order to improve SEO rankings. There are better ways to creating video link baiting.
If you really want to make sure that the embedding videos found on your site are viewed as the de facto “canonical”, make sure your are self-hosting or hosting with a paid third-party online video hosting provider.
Here are some provider services that you can use :
After setting up your hosting, make sure that the video is embedded in such a way that if somebody clicks on an “embed video” button, they are given an embed code that will have a referring href attribution link to the correct page on your site, and where the video is. At this point, there are no online video providers who offer this as a basic feature. Here is a tool that will automate the process.
Using Your Youtube Presence To Build Links
If you have videos with the potential of becoming viral and/or have a good social element to them, then Youtube can be a great platform for creating leads to link building.
Those who embed one of your Youtube videos should be seen as a solid link prospect. By embedding your video, they’ve already, in essence, have already linked to your site. By sending out emails thanking those who have embedded your videos will be a great way to build relationships and convert the embedded Youtube videos into links for our site, rather than going back to Youtube.com.
To find out who has previously embedded your linked to your videos on Youtube, you can use Youtube Analytics and Open Site Explorer in tandem.
Heres how you can find out where your videos have been embedded:
Advertise Your Content Library Content And Permission Assets
Don’t you just hate Youtube ads? Well, join the club. It’s not that Youtube ads necessarily suck, but the advertising with online video is still a young industry, and has yet to really mature. Most large companies will pay good money to place their advertisements on Youtube as a seeded ad, rather than creating content specifically for the platform and the target audience.
One of the effective ways that Youtube ads could be shown is by advertisng a free content library or permission asset, similar to an email list, rather than a specific product or service that would cost the company money that could be better spent.
The ads found on Youtube can be as long as you want them to be, but those on Youtube will always have that option to click away from the ad after 5, 15, or 30 seconds into the playback, depending on the specific ad placement. This is why you need to make sure you grab the viewer’s attention in the first five seconds of the ad. If you can succeed in the initial hook, make sure you effectively communicate your core message to entice your audience to click by the 15 and 30 second marks. To implement your ads, export your content with the appropriate settings and upload to Youtube. After that, tie your AdWords to your Youtube account. From there, you can start defining the target audience to which you want to advertise.
Improving and Augmenting Page Types With Video
Some evidence is out there that can suggest that simply using video can improve the quality of your commercially focused pages. This means that you’re more likely to generate more natural links across the board.
Here is a screenshot from the Majestic Historic Index for Zappos. This site has invested in heavily product video to improve it’s page type:
What sort of content do you need? Well, more or less, we’re talking about product videos. These videos are created to provide information on a particular service or product.
These product videos can actually be most effective when an audience member is moved from simply showing interest in the product or service and moving them towards a conversion by engaging them on a personal level. This will usually be by asking likely questions and concerns of the interested party. They should be more than just promotional, they need to be informational.
The videos you create to improve and augment specific pages on your site (such as videos for specific products), they should always be either self-hosted or securely hosted using a third-party provider, as mentioned earlier.
The reason for this is that the videos will only make sense on the page they were designed for. So, the video won’t make much sense, or provide much value if your place those same videos are found on a Youtube search, or is recommended. Also, if your content is hosted on Youtube, there is that risk that your site will be outranked by the instance of the video on youtube.com for branded queries related to the product or service covered in the video.
For this type of content, try getting video rich snippets in order to drive more clicks from the search result pages. This can be done by using schema.org mark-up, or by submitting a video XML sitemap. Here is more information for implementing Video sitemaps.
There are many more ways to help build links to your site. Here are some extra tips to help:
- Support your blogs through video content. “Talking Heads are great for providing being informational, as well as being reasonably soft branded. Using footage, animated graphics, and screencasts can be nice way to break up the flow and provide interest.
- Creating video content for other sites is a great way to build links back to your own site. Using video content can really help you nab top-tier guest posts and linking opportunities. By proving that you can create valuable and interesting content for your site, and others as well, pitching for guest-post opportunities on top sites becomes much easier when compared to the normal cold approach.
- Build a content series for social video platforms. By placing your videos and Blip.tv and Dailymotion com can give you quite a high level of authority. Followed profile links can provide the chance to get your content series accepted on to the platform and with the relevant user status.
- You can boost your PR efforts with video news releases. The whole idea behind having video news releases is to help support a press release with ancillary information that can further give more context around the story in question. This is essential and incredibly useful for any PR campaign. These videos can allow your story to make it to the top of a journalist’s pile. With a video release, a reporter will more than likely want to do a write up based on your video, since you’ve already done half the work for them. Everybody wins.
There are many other tips for building links using video content. What else can you think of that could help?