Today’s guest post comes from one of our favorite customers, Adria Saracino.Adria Saracino is the Head of Outreach at Distilled. When not consulting on content strategy or leading her team of outreach warriors, you can find her writing about style on her personal fashion blog, The Emerald Closet.

Video is becoming one of the most highly searched items on the internet—YouTube is now the second most used search engine on the web. Internet users are watching more video than ever before, which has made video marketing a valuable tool. But what do you do with that tool? How do you reap search engine optimization (SEO) benefits from video, or create effective link building/outreach with video?

SEO Benefits

Video is an extremely valuable resource for SEO, specifically by assisting with the following goals: generating more traffic through rich content signals and rich snippets, improving conversions, and link building.

Generating more traffic through rich content signals and rich snippets

A page with varied media types (like images, text, and video) show search engines that page contains a variety of content, which suggests that page is engaging and useful for users. Video increases a user’s time on page, and search engines choose to reward pages with these “rich content signals” in order to provide the relevant results in search queries.

Adding unique video to your site can improve your overall rankings, and therefore traffic (as results higher in the search engine results pages typically get more clicks). Embedding videos from YouTube allows Google to monitor how many people are watching and engaging with videos on your site, and therefore better determine whether or not your website is a quality resource that users value.

Improving conversions

Many retailers have found that video has greatly increased conversion, some claim that site visitors were 144 percent more likely to purchase after seeing product videos than those who did not. Product videos have also brought down return rates significantly, in some cases by as much as 60 percent.

Videos allow for a more authentic experience, whether that’s by allowing users a more accurate product representation, or a more personable encounter with a business. Consumers are likely more informed about a business, product, or service after watching a video, which generally leads to higher conversion rates.

Link building

Links to a site are still the main metric search engines use to determine “authority.” Search engines count a link to a site as a “vote” in favor of that site’s credibility, authority, and popularity. Search results, then, are based on key word relevancy (the words in your search matching the main key words on a site) and page authority (based on links and social sharing). Since sites higher in search results receive more traffic, links are crucial to your site’s success.

Pages with video receive almost 3 times more links than will pages with plain text, and pages with all three media types (video, image, and text/lists) will attract almost 6 times more links than regular text pages. Video, then, is really important to the number of links you get, and thusly your page’s authority and search result ranking.

Outreaching for Your Video

Once your video is created, you need to outreach to promote it. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot throw your video up on YouTube and have it “go viral.” That’s not how it works. Videos that go viral do so via a complex web of social sharing – a web that you can start to instigate on your own.

Using YouTube

Every company should have some presence on YouTube, but there is a strategy to using it. YouTube is only suitable for creative, interesting content that users will want to watch voluntarily (unless you are creating ads and seeding them through YouTube advertising). YouTube should be seen primarily as an avenue for branding, reputation, notoriety, and to help content “go viral.” You should always be creating some content for YouTube, even if you are focusing on other goals as well. Once your video is up on YouTube, make sure you Tweet about it and share it on Facebook.

Relationship building

One of the best ways to get your video out is through outreach, which is largely based in relationship building. When your video is on YouTube and your own website, it’s time to build relationships with people in the niches you’re targeting. If your video targets B2B audiences, contact prominent B2B websites with blogs, or other people you know to be big names in that niche. Start building relationships with these people, and share your video with them. These people can then share your video on their site with their readers. The art of outreach and link building is a subtle one, so make sure you know your audience well.

What’s Next?

There is much more to video marketing than SEO and link building/outreach. If you’re interested in more resources and information, or have questions about the purpose of video or the video creation process, check out Distilled’s video marketing guide, or click on the downloadable PDF below.

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This is a post by a Guest Author. Disclaimer: The author's views are entirely his or her own, and don't necessarily reflect the opinions of BuzzStream.

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