How to increase the SEO and social media impact of video

(Part of my Better Online Content” series of posts: quick tips on creating more effective content that takes advantage of the social web’s unique publishing environment.)

Let’s say you have a nice, short video of places to see and things to do in your mostly rural county or region, but right now it’s sitting on your YouTube channel with about 9 views.

The key to getting more mileage out of such great content without a lot of extra effort (making the video is the hard part and that’s already done) is to always be thinking like an online publisher….

“How could I spread this across the web to reach more people? How can I take this one video and make content with it in more than one place?”

Northern Hemisphere rural destinations: setting this up now will help build your online presence before the fall travel/harvest/festival season.

1)  Title, Description, Tags. You’ll get a lot more SEO (Search Engine Optimization) mileage out of this or any video by giving search engines some text to chew on and index.

Do this: take your destination’s keywords, go into YouTube and give that video a title that pops, a brief description that includes mention of the businesses and towns shown in the video (those are keywords, too) and then tag that video with the things that are in it that people search for: greenhouse, gardening, backroads, wineries, barns, farms, pumpkin patch, things to do with kids, day trips near [Closest Drive Market Big City,] country roads, family-friendly, road trip, farm tour, hayride, u pick, pick your own, etc.

Note: your average visitor doesn’t search for the word “agritourism,” I’ll bet, even though that’s the term for a lot of what we’re talking about for a video like this, so you’ve got to use the words THEY use to help them find your relevant information.

In Google’s universal search, videos (and photos) often rank higher than text for certain keywords because there’s less competition. There are gobs of videos out there, but many are not SEO-optimized even though it’s not hard to do – most of what it takes to optimize is simply a proper title, description and tags.

Increased social media activity around the video will also help your SEO, since social is making more and more of an impact on search results.

2)  Blog post. Embed the video in a blog post, maybe even re-use most of the description that you used on the video on YouTube, and that post will also help your SEO for those keywords.

Don’t forget to link to the websites of the towns and businesses you mention in the post – that helps their SEO and visibility. Use your blogger linking powers!

3)  Facebook. Usually I’d say to share your blog post as a simple link update, but for videos you’ll get more engagement on Facebook by using the video’s YouTube URL, which allows readers to punch Play and watch the video right there on Facebook.

The Facebook update would be something like this: a sentence or two about the video (tell ’em how long it is – people get antsy if they think they’ll be stuck with a long video) tag the businesses shown in it, then include the YouTube URL.

4)  Twitter.  Same advice as Facebook; tweet the YouTube URL so that the video can play right in people’s Twitter dashboards, and include the Twitter handles of at least a few of the places shown in the video.

5)  Bonus – your Newsletter. If you do an email newsletter, mention the video, include a link to your blog post about it and ask your readers to forward and share. Unfortunately you can’t embed a video in a way that makes it push-button playable in most email newsletters, so share the blog post about it instead.

Do you have other ideas for how to get more mileage out of video content? Let us know down in the comments!

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