How to Get Your Videos to Rank for Local Search Phrases

How to Get Your Videos to Rank for Local Search Phrases
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The power of video is stronger than ever, so now is the time to start incorporating this into your local marketing strategy if you haven’t already. With video at the heart of people’s decision making, whether consciously or not, it’s time to capitalize on this phenomenon to convert your local customers. Kayla Matthews shares her top tips on how to be a successful video marketer in order to take your local business to the next level.

Are you wondering how businesses can use video-based marketing to reach their local audiences? Do you want to know how the most successful businesses out there get their videos to rank for local search phrases and reach customers in their area?

What kinds of keyword targeting strategies should you be using in your video uploads to establish a presence where it matters most — locally?

Let’s take a look at some of your options for taking full advantage of this very valuable form of marketing.

Why Bother With This?

There are lots of reasons why videos can be powerful assets for any company’s marketing team. There are also plenty of reasons why your videos should be just one more way you target and convert local customers, either for yourself or on your clients’ behalf.

By 2021, video content will represent as much as 82% of all traffic on the internet. That’s an astonishing amount of traffic and a considerable number of possible customers. This, in a nutshell, is why you bother with video-based marketing and, specifically, why local searches are so important here.

In short, video is everywhere, and it’s helping us do everything:

Next, let’s take a look at how you can do a better job of ensuring your video marketing is actually turning out genuine local impressions.

Tip 1: Geo-tag Your Videos on YouTube

Your first task is making sure you’re using YouTube’s built-in geo-tagging feature for each video you upload. This is located in the Video Manager section of the Advanced settings menu.

Remember to use all the general tag fields, too. You can input the name of your business category and the locations in which you operate.

Tip 2: Include Critical Location-Specific Content in the Videos Themselves

Videos can be shared by customers and potential customers just about anywhere, and via a variety of hardware platforms and apps — both at home and when we’re mobile.

One way to ensure your video is always perceived as locally relevant, no matter how or where it’s being watched, is to add a sign-off to the end of the video itself. This can include your company’s name, location and contact information, complete with a local phone number.

This is helpful for a number of reasons. The first is that people who watch your video and see details about your company will immediately perceive you as genuine and legitimate. It helps plant you in the real world, where real people in your region now have a way to seek you out.

But another reason this is helpful is because it will help ensure your video earns traction where it’s most valuable for a local business: among regional customers.

When the Dallas Zoo posted a video of one of its gorillas breakdancing behind the scenes, it justifiably went viral everywhere. But the most immediate effect of the video making the rounds online was increased interest in visiting the zoo itself, to see this charismatic gorilla in person.

Tip 3: Use Local Flavor in Your Promotion Efforts on Social Media

Social platforms make it easy for marketers, companies and customers alike to find out about trending topics and keywords that matter to them and that are timely and relevant. This means you have an opportunity to find out about the most frequently hashtagged regions, events, and landmarks in the area you’re targeting. But how does this help your videos convert local customers?

It’s all about creating and sustaining a conversation and a sense of community. Once you know what kinds of features are getting buzzed about, you can reference them when you’re promoting your new video uploads. When marketers piggyback on headlines this way, we call it “newsjacking.”

Another idea along these lines is to create videos that promote or accompany local events such as fairs, conferences, sporting events, and more.

But why stop there? There’s probably lots going on in your area at any given time, and lots of ways for you to create video-based content that tackles what life is like in the local area and provides something of value for the people there.

Another suggestion is to create “snow day sales” or other extremely timely events that capitalize on what’s going on in the community. Since snow days can happen without warning, this might be a great opportunity to dust off the company Instagram and post some videos about your employees helping clear snow from neighbors’ cars and walkways — and talking up the discounts and free hot chocolate you have waiting for walk-ins who brave the cold to see you.

In any event, there are lots of ways to create compelling, video-based content that turns some of the public sentiment and buzz in your direction.

Tip 4: Pursue Video Ranking for Multiple Locations

Create individual pages for products and services for the areas you’re targeting. One idea is to host region-specific video testimonials made by your customers. Optimize the content on these pages, including H1 and H2 headings, with keywords related to the specific area. Mention landmarks and provide simple driving directions. Use just one landing page, however, and only one primary web domain.

Another important point when you’re trying to rank for relevant phrases is to use “long-tail” keywords — especially toward the beginning of your titles. Long-tail keywords are those so-called natural language phrases that web users input into search boxes or dictate by voice.

They’ll typically use language that’s more specific than garden-variety keywords, and they’ll usually set you up perfectly to answer a question or solve a problem. “How Do I …,” “Where Can I …,” “How Much Does …” and so on are all great examples of phrases that tend to segway into long-tail keywords.

Tip 5: Make the Most of Video Descriptions

Maybe it goes without saying, but the description field is an often underutilized space for adding keywords that are relevant to your local area, too. Perform some basic keyword research by looking at the most popular videos that show up for search terms you’d like to rank for. Add these terms naturally to the description field in addition to the location-specific terms.

It’s easy to forget that the description field is also a great catch-all for any information you don’t want visitors to miss. This is another wise place to incorporate some information about your physical presence, including your address and contact information.

Tip 6: Utilize Video in Email Newsletters

Generally speaking, companies that include videos in emails to customers enjoy a click-through rate that’s 200 to 300% greater than companies that do not. This isn’t an opportunity you want to squander.

What these numbers tell us is that video can be a compelling way to gently nudge your newsletter recipients into trafficking your website. It also tells us the inbox is another excellent avenue by which you can get some traction for locally optimized videos.

Tip 7: Know Which Types of Videos Get the Most Hits

If there’s a piece of advice worth closing with, it’s to remember to give the people what they want. Whether you’re aggressively pursuing local SEO for a client or just focusing on your own company’s content campaigns for now, these suggestions never go out of style when you’re trying to figure out what kind of video content gets the most traction out in the real world.

Consider videos like:

  • How-to videos
  • Reviews, tutorials and walkthroughs
  • Sports- and fitness-related videos
  • Funny timewasters like cute animals, spoofs, outtakes, and behind the scenes videos

You can probably think of a few ideas of your own, too, but it’s good to know you don’t have to think too far outside the box to capture and keep the public’s attention. Some types of videos just seem destined to remain perennial favorites.

For example, the Johns Hopkins University “Thank You” campaign from 2014 is still worth talking about. It drew attention to a local institution by showcasing the teachers, students, and faculty who call it home. When you want to position your company or organization as a pillar of the community, and show off the passion that makes it possible, this is exactly how you do it.

Hopefully you now have a better idea of where to start with your video marketing efforts, and specifically with getting your videos to rank for local terms.

It can be a time-consuming task, but it’s always a rewarding one for companies that take the time.

Kayla Matthews writes about advertising and marketing technologies and strategies for publications like Contently, Marketing Dive, Inc.com and DMNews. To read more from Kayla, you can visit her personal tech blog, Productivity Bytes, or follow her on Twitter @KaylaEMatthews.

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