The next big thing that will revolutionize the online marketplace is video. Among all other mediums of communication on the web, videos have the power to quickly influence and engage potential customers. While customers certainly like to go through articles, blog posts, PowerPoint presentations and infographics, videos stick into their memory for a longer period of time.

According to a study conducted by the Online Publishers Association, as much as 80% of users recollect watching a video ad in the past month whereas 46% of them took some kind of follow-up action.

Taking a strategic approach to video content creation doesn’t only help you market effectively and create a buzz about your brand or product, but it can also improve your website’s SEO considerably.

Why You Can’t Ignore Videos
According to a recent report by Cisco, videos will control around 69% of all consumer traffic generated online. Videos are fast shaping the future of content marketing. In an age of information overload, small businesses need to produce content in a way that can be digested with the least effort. And videos do just that! The human brain is programmed to process visual content 60,000x faster than text. That’s why videos are fast turning into the best online marketing tool.

Video Marketing

Here are some key stats you should be aware about –

> Around 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute. (Source: YouTube)
> Viewers spend 100% more time on pages that contain videos. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
> Viewers are 85% more likely to buy a product after watching a video about the same. (Source: Internet Retailer)
> Posts that contain videos attract 3x more inbound links than text-only posts. (Source: SEOmoz)

There are plenty of stories on the web about videos going viral as well. Videos carry an inherent potential to quickly attract attention, engage and encourage sharing. They are a perfect tool to compel people to spend more time on your website and interact with your brand. For any internet marketing campaign, social media campaign or SEO exercise, videos are something that you can’t ignore.

Low-Cost Video Production
The best part – you don’t have to plan a big budget for creating videos. Even if you operate locally, you can get into video production and create videos to boost the SEO of your website and expand the presence of your business for increased profits. Dollar Shave Club’s YouTube channel is an excellent example of low-cost video production.

Marketing videos aren’t just for big brands. They are affordable and even small or home-based businesses can create them within minutes. You don’t need to hire a videographer, edit and deploy anymore. Highly efficient smartphones and a wide range of editing software programs have made it pretty easier than ever to create quality videos without spending thousands of dollars. Apart from a smartphone, you can also buy a good camera and start creating high quality videos in-house. All you need to ensure is that sound quality is good and the visuals are steady enough for a fine viewing experience.

If you want people to act in your videos, you can look out for students or freelance actors who will work for you at a cheap price. If you have a few in-house employees, you don’t need freelance actors either.

With the availability of some basic equipment, graphics, some employees ready to act and video editing/production tools by your side, you can easily create cool videos to popularize your small business. There are multiple free (and cheap) online video production tools that you can use for the purpose. Animoto, Magisto and Prezi are good examples of such video production tools.

Given below are some useful tips that will help you improve your website’s SEO using videos –

Integrate Videos
Since consumers like videos more than anything else, the first thing you can do is publish videos on your website itself. Google considers rich media as high quality content. Having videos on your website means telling Google (and other major searcg engines) that your website contains content that’s highly relevant to search requests. As a result, search engines will start giving more prominence to your website, thereby boosting its rankings in SERPs.

In the near future, you’ll most probably see videos becoming an important ranking factor for all major search engines.

Use Keywords in Titles, Filenames and Descriptions
Without keywords, SEO just might not exist. If you want your videos to be found and ranked for the right terms, you should remember to incorporate the important keywords into the titles, filenames and descriptions. How will search engines understand what your video is about unless your make it clear by using the right keywords? While choosing keywords to increase the visibility of your videos, you should try to be as specific as possible. However, you should avoid overusing or repeating the same keywords.

Create Video Transcripts
The next step to increase the findability of your videos is to transcribe them. Google can’t yet comprehend the content of a video in the same way as it can process text-based content. Therefore, you should transcribe your videos word for word and include it along with the video. Video transcripts make it easy for search engines to understand and index video content.

If you lack the time and resources to transcribe the videos yourself, you should choose to outsource the task.

Pick YouTube as Your Video Host
You can either host your videos on your own website or YouTube. Though you’re free to go as you please, it’s advisable to have your videos tied to YouTube, the most popular video-sharing website in the world. First, videos hosted on YouTube are more likely to appear in universal searches. Second, YouTube provides small businesses with a great opportinity to get adequate exposure. [YouTube has over 1 billion active users and the number of hours people are watching videos on this website is up 50% year over year.]

Submit Video Sitemap to Google
Once you’ve integrated videos into your website, you should also create a sitemap for the same and then submit it to Google. Sitemaps tell search engines which pages need to indexed on your website. However, you should keep in mind that a video sitemap is not the same as the general sitemap of a website.

Optimize Load Time
From the user’s point of view, load time carries utmost importance. Since pages that take longer to load frustrate users, Google considers page load time as a key ranking factor. While embedding videos in your website, you should always keep this important point in mind. There are some tips and tricks that you should apply for embedding YouTube videos efficiently so that it doesn’t affect your SEO. Don’t hesitate to seek help from an expert SEO professional or SEO/internet marketing agency in this regard.

Don’t Forget Social Signals
Finally, you should start promoting your videos. It’s crucial to generate as many social signals (likes and views) for your videos as possible. The more social signals your video gets, the more likely it is to appear in SERPs.

Since you don’t need to have a six-figure budget to create videos and they’re becoming only more and more effective marketing material day by day, you must include them into your overall marketing strategy. Publishing videos on a regular basis is a surefire way of getting the word out about your products/services and improving the SEO of your website.