Optimizing Video Content for SEO

Optimizing Video Content for SEO

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Video is now the most popular type of content on the Internet. Users spend more time watching videos than reading or viewing images. If you’re not already using video, it’s a good idea to start as soon as possible. Video content will bring more users to your website and social media pages and keep them there longer, which will have additional benefits to your page rankings.

Videos are good for your SEO. But optimizing your videos for SEO is different from optimizing a web page. So how do you optimize a video to maximize the SEO benefits?

Video Transcripts

A video transcript converts the video into text that bots can easily scrape. The transcript is how you can still rank for keywords that are included in the video. Google can’t read what’s in images or videos without text, so providing transcripts of your video is essential to maximizing the impact your videos can have on your SEO. This is especially true when you have a page or a post where the video is the primary focus.

Thumbnails

Thumbnails don’t actually do a lot for your SEO directly. They do, however, have an indirect effect in that they encourage users to click on your videos, which does have an impact on your SEO. The more clicks you get, the higher your page rank. The thumbnail image is the first impression users will have of your video, so make it engaging.

Captions

The more text you have with your videos, the better. Google uses text scraped by bots to index and rank pages and content. Captioning your video with a good description that includes your keywords provides even more text for Google to use.

Post on YouTube

Whether you host videos yourself or not, your videos should be uploaded to YouTube. It’s the second-largest search engine and uploading your videos to YouTube will make your video easier for users to find. YouTube is also a major social media platform and will reach your audience as soon as it’s posted. 

Plus, videos hosted on YouTube often appear directly in Google searches and rank on their own. While this may sound like it’s taking views away from your web page, a lot of users will seek out videos on YouTube itself without going through Google to reach them. You can still embed your videos on your website and share them on other social media platforms, but having them on YouTube will increase the audience that your content can reach.

Optimizing on YouTube

When you post a video on YouTube, take advantage of all of YouTube’s features to optimize your video for SEO. Make sure the keywords you want to use that are relevant for your video are in the title and in the description. The filename of the video is another opportunity to insert keywords. Don’t forget to use the tags, which will show up as hashtags, so that users can find your video more easily.

In addition, make sure to use the subtitles and closed captioning. This is YouTube’s version of providing a transcript for your video. Google will be able to use the text from the subtitles to rank your video.

Need some help growing your web presence and strengthening your brand? You’ve come to the right place.

How to Lose Readers and Alienate People Part 1

How to Lose Readers and Alienate People Part 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Pop-Ups and Autoplaying

User experience is an essential component of SEO. Google has been updating its search algorithm for years, trying to tie search rankings to UX so that users online can have the best possible experience. Much of SEO now revolves around providing users with the best possible content and making it easy for them to find.

But what will provide a good user experience? It’s impossible to please everybody. Your target audience isn’t usually everyone on the entire Internet, so if there’s a smaller demographic that makes up your user base, there may be more specific guidelines for what they’re looking for. If you do have a very broad audience, you can still try to appeal to most of them.

And there are some things to avoid doing that will help improve the user experience on your website.

Bad Advertisements

If you’re trying to sell a product or a service, advertising is necessary. It may sometimes seem like users hate all ads, but that’s not necessarily the case. They hate bad ads, which will make up to 82% of Internet users click away from a website that hosts that ad.

Some behaviors to avoid:

  • Pop-up ads
  • Autoplaying videos
  • Autoplaying audio
  • Unpausable ads
  • Retargeting

As nice as it may seem to try to force users to look at your ads, that won’t actually convert them to customers. In fact, it may do the exact opposite. No one likes it when an ad begins to autoplay and won’t let them pause it. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself – would you do that behavior in person? If not, then don’t do it online.

Intrusive and annoying ads can actually harm your brand and your company’s reputation. Users form bad opinions of brands from just a single negative experience with an ad for a product or service. That’s not to say you should avoid advertising altogether – advertising itself is fine. Just make sure that you aren’t creating bad advertisements that will push customers away instead of interest them in what you have to offer.

Pop-Up CTAs

It’s nice that you want your users to sign up, subscribe, or visit another page on your site. But repeated pop-ups asking users to do these things can actually drive them away from your website instead. You don’t need to avoid pop-up CTAs altogether, but be careful in how you use them.

Remember the philosophy “all things in moderation.” That will serve you well with pop-up CTAs. Have them pop up only at certain places on your site or during certain stages of the user’s experience on your website. You can create smart CTAs that will only pop up at certain stages.

It’s also important to make sure the copy on your CTA is polite. If a user has to view a pop-up, they’ll be less annoyed if it’s at least polite. If your CTAs come across as too pushy, that may alienate your users instead.

Autoplaying Multimedia

It’s not just autoplaying ads that are annoying to users. Videos content is important to engaging with your users, but if it’s set to autoplay, that can turn off many potential viewers. Not everyone is always in a place where it’s okay to watch a video with audio. Some users may be at work or in public and they just want to view your site without having a loud video forced on them.

It’s easier to click the back button than it is to try to pause the video or to turn down or mute the volume and most people will do exactly that.

 

Need some help growing your web presence and strengthening your brand? You’ve come to the right place.

How to Create Backlink-Worthy Content

How to Create Backlink-Worthy Content

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Backlinks are vital to your SEO strategy. They tell Google that your content is of high quality and that others think it’s good enough to link to.But getting backlinks can be difficult. You could always offer a guest blog in exchange for a backlink, but not every site that you want to link back to you wants to take that offer.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have a backlink strategy and employ other methods of gaining backlinks. But you can increase the number of organic backlinks to your site simply by offering high-quality content that people want to link to. So what kind of content generates organic backlinks?

Think

Think About Why People Link

The first step to creating backlink-worthy content is to know why people link in the first place. If you link to an external site either on a webpage or on a blog post, why do you choose that site? Usually, it’s because you get something out of it – it lends authority to your own content, there are images or video content that you want to reference, or even because you think it would be helpful for your own readers.

Take a close look at content that you choose to link to and think about what characteristics led you to link to that content over something else about the same topic. Then, try to create your own content to reflect those characteristics.

high-quality content

Be an Authority

A key characteristic of high-quality content is that it’s informative. It’s something users want to read. Sure, it’s important to include keywords and alt text for SEO, but your content should cater to readers, not to search engines. The search engines are taking user experience into account when ranking sites, so it’s important to make sure that you’re creating content with your users in mind.

Research what’s already out there and then put your own spin on it. Make sure to link back to credible sites. If your content is better than the other content that’s out there, then yours will be what people will naturally link to.

use videos or images

Use Video and Images

The Internet is steadily moving towards video. Users will spend more time watching videos than they will reading text. So not only will this help with your SEO, but it’ll also attract more users who will spend more time on your page. And it’s not just about videos, either – images and infographics are also essential to your content.

Visuals can help break up the text so it’s less intimidating to users, as well as helping users understand what your content is about. It makes your content much more engaging to your users, who will spend more time on your page, improving your bounce rate. Studies have shown that in addition to all of that, visual content also helps you obtain more organic backlinks.

The quality of your content and how it resonates with your users is the most important thing. Adding visuals improves your content, which has the knock-on effect of improving user experience, which increases your CTR and the number of backlinks you can get, which then improves your search rankings.

Need some help growing your web presence and strengthening your brand? You’ve come to the right place.

UX Signals and Why They’re Important

UX Signals and Why They’re Important

Reading Time: 3 minutes

UX signals are how your users tell you whether or not they’re finding the content on your website valuable. UX stands for user experience, which has been Google’s primary focus since its inception back in 1998. Google’s early updates, including Panda and Penguin, were designed to improve user experience and discourage the black hat SEO tactics that were making the Internet a great place for shady marketers but a discouraging place for users.

Google Is for Users

Google didn’t stop updating its algorithms with Panda and Penguin. Every update since has been intended to improve the online experience for users. SEO has thus had to change its focus over the years.

In the early days of Google, SEO was, for many, a way to manipulate the search engines and game the system to be the top results. Users and websites who were focused on providing high-quality content for their users were left behind. Google has since made a lot of updates to change this and to punish such black hat SEO techniques while rewarding sites that provided a good user experience.

User experience is the most important factor in SEO. The better your UX, the more users will visit it, the more Google will reward your site by moving it up in the search rankings, and the longer users will stay on your site. But how do you know that your website is really providing a good user experience?

What Are UX Signals?

This is where UX signals come in. They’re the Internet’s way of letting you know whether your users are happy with your content or not. UX signals are behavioral patterns, which are used by Google to affect your page rankings. The most important two are click through rate (CTR) and bounce rate, which Google takes the most seriously. These two UX signals definitely affect your page rankings.

Click Through Rate

Click through rate, or CTR, is the number of users who click on your snippet on the SERP, or search result page. If your CTR is high, that’s a good sign and Google will bump your page higher in the search results. If your CTR is low, it will rank lower. Google wants to display at the top to pages that users click on the most, trusting users to click on the best pages.

It’s important for your SEO that you monitor each page to see what its CTR is. Those with a high click through rate are definitely doing something right. For pages with a low CTR, check out the meta-description of the page and model it after the pages that have a higher CTR. Having a more engaging and appealing snippet will help draw more users to that page.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the rate at which users click on the SERP link to your page and then bounce, or click back to the search results page again. A high bounce rate indicates to Google that while your page’s snippet may be enticing, the site itself isn’t engaging or valuable enough to users to keep them on your site.

It can be tricky to determine whether or not your bounce rate is high because there are different measurements of it. Whether or not users visit other pages on your site counts, as does how long users spend reading your page. Your bounce rate can also vary depending on the type of website. An online store may have a lower natural bounce rate than a blog, where many users read just one article.

Pay Attention to Analytics

Google Analytics will be your best friend when it comes to measuring your UX signals. Not only can you monitor your CTR and bounce rate, but you can also see how long users stay on each page. Look at how many return visitors you have. If it looks like users aren’t visiting very much, don’t stay for long, and don’t look at anything else you have to offer, pay attention to that. Your content may need an update to be more appealing to your target audience.

How to Optimize Your Keywords for Voice Search

How to Optimize Your Keywords for Voice Search

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Voice Search

There was once a time when voice search was firmly in the domain of science fiction. You’d see space ship captains or superheroes search by asking the computer, usually an AI, a question. However, that future is now a reality. More and more searches are voice-based searches every day.

Google Voice Search has been around since 2012 and has been increasing in popularity ever since. Mobile devices have their own built-in voice search as well, including Cortana and Siri. Then came Amazon Alexa and Google Home and the other dedicated voice search virtual assistants.

Ever since 2017, voice search has been one of the top trends in SEO. It’s therefore essential for SEO marketers to take voice search into account when planning any SEO strategy. In particular, keywords are affected by the new voice search trend. So what do we need to do to optimize for voice search?

Google Voice Search

Modern Artificial Intelligence

Imagine artificial intelligence in science fiction. When people interact with it, whether it’s a computer or a robot, it’s always via voice. For the most part, people speak to these AIs exactly as they would a person. The format of any query is conversational.

People don’t usually search for single-word keywords when they search for something using voice search. They ask a question. Keywords should, therefore, be designed to respond to this type of search.

Answer a Question

Say you run a pizza restaurant in Winter Springs, Florida. The keywords that you’d want to rank for would probably be pizza, Winter Springs pizza, best pizza restaurant or something similar. But if people are looking for pizza using voice search, they’re not searching for pizza. They’re asking “What’s the best pizza in Winter Springs?” or “Where can I get pizza in Winter Springs?”

Your keyword strategy should seek to answer questions that your customers are most likely going to be asking.

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are going to be an important part of your SEO strategy. These are key phrases that are generally three or four words or longer and has a head keyword. A head keyword is a short general keyword (like “pizza”) that the long-tail keyword is based around.

The advantage of long-tail keywords is that they more accurately represent how people actually talk. They can answer a question or mirror a question that users are actually asking. Single keywords are nice and easy for typing on a computer but longer key phrases are necessary to respond to users’ voice searches.

Long-tail keywords have the added benefit of being easier to rank for. You’re competing only with other pizza restaurants in Winter Springs for “best pizza in Winter Springs” instead of competing with the entire world for “pizza.”

Optimizing for Voice Search

Answer the Public is a great resource for key phrase inspiration. If you enter a short keyword into its search bar, it’ll provide you with a chart filled with questions that users ask about that particular word. You can look through their list to find the questions that you think your users might want to know the answer to. Then, you can use Google Analytics to see what has the best results.

Need some help growing your web presence and strengthening your brand? You’ve come to the right place.

Facebook 2019: Updates to Look Out for This Year

Facebook 2019: Updates to Look Out for This Year

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Facebook 2019

 

Facebook, which has been a fixture of social media since 2004, has been constantly updating since its founding. 2019 is no exception. This year’s updates include some fundamental changes to Facebook’s approach to online privacy, as well as some more cosmetic changes.

The Future of Privacy

Facebook hasn’t always had the best relationship with online privacy. It’s had repeated run-ins with the FCC over how users’ private information has been handled, often publicly without their consent. But 2019 sees Facebook turning over a new leaf.

In the past, Facebook’s aim was to make as much of its content as publicly available as possible. In fact, many shared more than intended because they hadn’t updated their privacy settings. But today, Facebook has recognized that the future of online communication isn’t public, but actually private.

Most people now communicate online either directly or in small groups, rather than posting things for as many people as possible to see. The idea is to make people feel like they fit in more by creating small communities via Facebook groups and Messenger. Facebook is even exploring the idea of making posts expire after a certain period of time, similar to Instagram Stories.

For users, this is great news. Their privacy will be even more protected online. But for businesses seeking to use Facebook for marketing and SEO, the new focus may necessitate a change in approach. Instead of sharing content to the Facebook world at large, content creators may need to instead direct their efforts towards smaller groups.

Facebook has also made some updates to its logo and website to reflect its new groups and messenger focus.

Ad Updates

There were also a lot of updates to Facebook ads that were announced for this year. You can now insert product stickers into Instagram Stories so that users can click a link directly to an online store if they like the look of a product. But that’s not the only thing that’s new in the world of Facebook advertising.

Starting in 2019, ads will have the capability of using augmented reality – businesses can use this feature to demonstrate how products can or should be used. Ads can also be posted on Facebook Stores – while not as popular yet as Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories will be another option for businesses to reach their customers.

Improved Metrics

Facebook has made changes to its metrics, especially for video advertisements. This should be particularly useful to businesses using video and will help improve the ability to measure an audience’s engagement with videos. There will also be more self-service opportunities to explore what kind of impact your ads have and how they affect your audience’s perception of your or your company’s brand.

2019 should prove to be an exciting year for content providers and brands on Facebook. With the new ad features available, you can engage more directly with your audience. The new metrics can then help you to understand exactly what impact those new ads had for you. These changes should only improve our ability to create and promote brands with Facebook and we can’t wait to use them!

Need some help growing your web presence and strengthening your brand? You’ve come to the right place.