7 Proven Tactics to Improve Your SEO with Visual Stories

7 Proven Tactics to Improve Your SEO with Visual Stories

7 Proven Tactics to Improve Your SEO with Visual Stories 370 218 Samantha Lile


In a world driven by data, the art of the visual story is often lost on today’s marketers. What they might fail to realize is that visual stories – whether they be in the form of video, slide shows, infographics or another medium – not only engage audiences but also provide a significant boost
to digital marketing campaigns and search engine optimization strategies.

After all, with more 130 trillion web pages, a strategy is necessary to boost the rank of any site, no matter how attractive and engaging it might be. After all, users will never have the chance to experience your story if they aren’t first directed toward your website.

Is it any surprise, then, that more than 91 percent of traffic generated by Google is directed to sites appearing on its first results page – more than 32 percent to the top listing alone? Fortunately, visual stories like video provide a plethora of opportunities to optimize your website
for search.

Interested in visually engaging your audience while boosting your overall traffic? Check out the following seven ways visual storytelling can maximize your SEO efforts:

1. SERP Ranking Preference

Since Google has started featuring videos at the top of its first-page SERP, the search engine’s algorithms have begun prioritizing pages with video content. Users will notice an increasing number of first-page results now feature a thumbnail or video snippet. Google has even been experimenting with technology that can identify relevant elements of video content to better cater search results. Adding this machine-learning ability to its
search algorithm will surely prioritize videos even more in search results. The day may soon arrive that any website without video has no hope of appearing in the majority of first-page SERPS. And since 55 percent of all clicks occur on the top three
results, video will become an even more vital part of business’ digital strategies.

2. Increased Dwell Time

How can search engines determine if quality content appears on a website? One way is by measuring how long users spend on the page before leaving, known as “dwell time.” The longer users dwell at a site, the more authority Google assigns it, increasing its ranking. Adding a video to a landing page is one of the surest ways a business can increase its dwell time. After all, it takes longer to absorb video content than to glance at some photos or text. And since people are naturally more engaged with video than still imagery, they are more likely to spend some time watching.

3. YouTube’s Massive Audience

The value of posting a video to YouTube cannot be underestimated. After all, the website not only boasts more than one billion users – almost a third of all internet users – but it’s also the world’s second-largest search engine. Posting your video to YouTube before embedding it on your website automatically opens up that second-largest search engine, as well as exposes your video to an extra billion possible viewers. Since internet video traffic is expected to increase by 400 percent and account for four-fifths of all consumer traffic by 2021, it’s not an audience that’s going to
shrink any time soon. Aside from that, it’s been found that Google is far more likely to rank videos hosted on YouTube than on another server. In a study of more than 6,000 search queries, Stone Temple found that 88 percent of videos ranking in Google’s top 10 results were found on
YouTube.

4. Transcribed Keywords

While Google and other search engines might show preference to pages that feature videos, they are not yet able to crawl the actual video content. Just as with other images, the search engines need text to determine the page’s topic and other keywords. Videos, however, offer website designers and digital marketers the perfect opportunity to tell Google what’s included in the video without investing in additional content. Including a transcript of the video elsewhere on the page offers an abundant source of text and keywords for search engines to crawl – more so than most off-page elements that
can be added in the background. Of course, videos only rank higher when keywords are chosen strategically. Choose the best keywords to focus on with the Keyword Ranking tool, which helps determine which words are most likely to boost your page rankings. Then, use the Keyword Density tool
to be sure you aren’t “stuffing,” a tactic that can score you some Google penalties.

5. Extended Social Reach

It’s no secret that social sharing is a huge factor in a website’s traffic as well as its search ranking. While inspiring viewers to share your video is a great marketing strategy in itself, Google’s search algorithm is widely believed to now account for social media activity. A positive social media response can be an indicator of valuable content, and in its search for the ultimate user experience, Google favors value. Likes, shares, replies, favorites and any other social engagement will increase a site’s authority in Google’s electronic eyes. Since video generates 1,200 percent more shares than images and text, adding it to your website is an effective way to engage social users.

6. More Metadata

Videos also carry with them the opportunity to provide search engines with plenty of metadata to decipher their significance. Off-page factors such as titles, file names, descriptions and tags can be edited using HTML or publishing software. Unlike some other types of content that might have a limited number of metadata available to complete, videos offer plenty of possible tags and descriptions. For best results, titles should include relevant keywords, and descriptions should be at least 200 words long, with keywords placed throughout. Likewise, all metadata information should provide as much context to your video as possible, so it can be best discoverable by a search engine.

7. Inspired Backlinks

Because audiences are more engaged with video content and more likely to share it, this propensity creates more backlinks to your website. Another way Google gauges the quality of a website is by determining how many other online locations have linked to it. When another site posts its own link directing users to your content, this is known as a backlink. Some of the most-shared and linked-to types of videos include troubleshooting,
tutorials, behind-the-scenes tours, video diaries and customer testimonials – all content with which audiences can engage.

A common way to share video content beyond the realm of social media – and therefore build links back to your blog – is by offering it as guest content to other blogs and websites. Site owners can be picky at what types of guest content they accept, but a quality video is usually a safe bet. In fact, your guest post often will help out the blogger, who’s own site can benefit in search rankings by consistently offering a variety of fresh
content.

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We already know that visual storytelling combines compelling narratives and emotional visual media for a marketing strategy that places customers right in the heart of a brand’s message. But some of the very visual storytelling elements that drive successful branding also create the perfect online environment for search engines to crawl, boosting SERP ranking and, thus, profits. For even better SEO results, a variety of tools have been designed to further enhance video promotions, including:

  • SerpStats is another keyword research tool that provides in-depth insight into what competitors are doing to rank their videos.
  • Vidiq offers video marketing tools to help storytellers build an audience via YouTube. The resource helps users choose the right tags to boost their video ranking.
  • Cyfe helps storytellers track and analyze their YouTube stats and video performance. The tool monitors a YouTube channel’s performance and displays metrics such as views, traffic sources, audience retention, and engagement.


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Samantha Lile

A native of Missouri's scenic and historic Arcadia Valley, Samantha Lile is a successful web-content creator with a journalism and mass media degree from Missouri State University. She contributes to various web publications from her home in the beautiful Ozarks, where she resides with her husband, four dogs, and one cat.

All stories by: Samantha Lile