Increase the SEO value of your videos and learn more about the benefits of VSEO for the auto industry.
In the digital age of content marketing, including video in the mix should be a no brainer for auto dealers. Research has confirmed time and time again that videos are one of the best ways to reach customers in the automotive industry. Studies show that after watching videos, 74% of car shoppers learned about specific models and 49% visited a dealership.
Videos are effective not only because they educate buyers, but they also allow customers to interact with the brand and product. However, simply producing a video is not enough to improve a site’s ranking. Here are some VSEO (video search engine optimization) dos and don’ts for auto dealers.
Host videos on your own domain
In order to get the most SEO value from videos, you must host them on your own domain using a secure hosting platform (more on this below). Self-hosting allows you to control traffic to your own site and ensures you get the credit for links and social shares. Hosting on your own site provides better tracking and analytics. This is the most effective way to directly impact and improve your overall site SEO.
Optimize your videos
Start with the basic best practices for optimizing online content. Ensure that keywords from your SEO strategy are included in the title, description and tags with the most important keywords at the beginning. Remember that bots can’t actually watch your video, so it’s important to create a keyword-rich, relevant title and a thorough description that includes a transcription of your video. Use this space to go after those valuable long tail keywords. Tell the bots what your video is about by including important key phrases in your video tags, creating a sitemap that will make your videos easier to index, and providing additional information using schem.org video markup.
Use YouTube to drive traffic to your site
Host videos on your own site, but take advantage of the second largest search engine to get your content discovered. Create short snippets of your videos and put them on YouTube as a preview. Then include call to action links using annotations to drive people to your own domain to watch the rest of the video. Treat previews as separate pieces of content with different titles and descriptions to avoid creating duplicate content. This is a great way to drive traffic to your site, while retaining the SEO value on your own domain.
Forget to put your customer first
It’s easy to get caught up in optimizing content, but it’s no use optimizing bad content. Good VSEO starts with good content. It’s important to create high-quality content that provides helpful and relevant information to your audience. Videos that walk users through the interior and exterior features of the car can help them visualize what it would be like to drive the car. Sites also get a lot of mileage out of how-to videos. Make your videos easily searchable by aggregating them in one resource center or gallery with categories and tags. Enhance your video experience by having separate landing pages for each video, which will also help search engines index videos individually.
Embed YouTube videos on your website
Using the right video platform is just as important as where you choose to host your videos. If you simply embed YouTube videos on your site, YouTube gets all the credit and interaction you want to keep for your own site. Use a third-party secure hosting solution that will create a video sitemap on a subdomain of your site. Every video a user watches presents an opportunity for a call to action, so choose a platform that incorporates interactive elements (i.e. clickable links, forms, surveys) during or at the end of the video to maximize SEO value.
Expect to show up in universal search results
In July 2014, Google decided to change how it treats video snippets in search results. Google now reserves video snippets in universal search results for sites that primarily offer videos (e.g. YouTube) and keeps the rest under the video tab. This dramatically affects VSEO for all sites that self-host. The good news is you can use this to your advantage. By hosting previews on YouTube, you can show up in universal SERPs while showing up in video results for the full videos on your site. If your videos are optimized for both, then you could double your search presence!
Videos optimized properly can be a huge asset to a site’s SEO; especially for auto dealers, since car shoppers are increasingly using videos for research. Are you looking to incorporate VSEO in your current strategy plan? Reach out to Adpearance—our SEO specialists would be happy to help!