10 / February 2016, Matt
Building out a unique, relevant, quality content library represents the most important factor to create SEO success. But this reality leaves a great deal of room for interpretation and development. Good writing undeniably serves an important role in this. Textual analytics that Google and Bing’s search engines run reward well-written, well-developed writing, and the more you build out with a focus on your writing, the more success you will find.
Even so, content goes beyond the written word. You can do a great deal to contribute to your success by creating additional kinds of content to supplement your SEO writing campaign. Images and videos, for example, can serve two important purposes. First, from a user experience perspective, images and video content break up the page and make your content easier to read. They also add color and visual appeal to the screen layout. They create an element of fun while providing a break for the reader. In turn, they make the sections of text that you provide easier for readers to focus on than an entire page of nothing but text. If you are posting 2,000 words or more, this can make a tremendous difference for holding the reader’s interest.
Beyond this, though, strong image and video content can rank by itself in the search engines, thus complementing the page rankings that your content achieves on a broader level. If you prepare and format your image and video content well, you can create results for your website specific to image searches and video searches, and use those rankings to bring more visitors to your website. When you build effective media into your SEO campaign, then, you set yourself up for even better success than you otherwise are achieving.
The key to making this work comes partly in creating great images and videos, and partly in effective web design. When you marry the two, your search rankings will drive higher than ever. More importantly, it will also help drive conversions, meaning that your business truly gets peak results out of your SEO marketing campaign.
One of the first elements required for formatting your video and image content is to create effective, descriptive titles for your media. Google’s algorithm emphasizes keyword placement in titles and headlines, because these presumably reflect better what the main thrust of the content will be. Your goal, then, should be to help this work by using keyword phrases in meaningful titles that define and describe images and videos that relate directly to your business.
The first element of this requires you to create or select images and videos for which you would want to build page rankings—not just for the sake of page rankings, but because they bring people to content that represents you well. Every aspect of your content should work toward your end goal of representing yourself in a way that drives views and conversions; visual content is no different in that respect. It should be unique, so stock photos are out. It should also be relevant to who you are and what the rest of the content on your page reflects. Finally, it should be created with high quality in mind.
Once you have created and/or selected the right image or video, you need to create a title or heading that reflects your keyword research and delivers a strong description of what your site visitors should be trying to find. A clever or ironic heading for visual content may sound good within the page, but it will do less to bring people to you in the first place than something more direct. Sometimes simpler is better—and this is one of those times.
Captions appear immediately below (or sometimes above) the image or video, and provide a brief description. Similar to the alt text, they provide something for search engines to identify and use to index, but in less detail than the alt text. It should usually constitute a brief synopsis of the message you wish to convey through visual media. It also delivers that message with punch for viewers on your site in a compact way, ensuring that your messaging gets through. You should prepare it to say something consistent with and descriptive of the image, intertwined with the overall messaging in your content marketing plan.
Finally, your description gives a more detailed discussion of what your visual content is meant to convey. When someone opens the image itself, the description can open up as part of a separate content page, allowing you to garner additional page rankings to those on the main page on your website.
All of these serve to add content for search engines and for viewers. They also layer your messaging, allowing you to create a thicker, stickier messaging by effectively using visual media strategies. When you layer all of this in with excellent written content, you have the opportunity to drive site visits, conversions, and revenue in powerful, innovative ways.
Moreover, visual media provides excellent content hooks for your social media campaign. When you develop excellent image and video content, they very effectively grab the attention of those in your social networks. Well-written posts can help drive clicks and page rankings to some extent, but the huge advantages come when those in your network share content with others and get new visitors to your social media presence and your website.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to name a few, thrive on visual content. A funny or interesting meme or image jumps out from the rest of their feeds, garnering more likes and shares on average than your text can gain alone. Here you can use the captions you build as the text in your posts, or you can use similar language meant to further interest readers in what you have to say. You want to stay on message, of course; cheating the system by chasing clicks without relation to your content or your business gives only minimal short term gains to accompany the longer-term harm it creates. But catch attention with an image or video that you can back up with strong content, and you go a long way toward building results in your content marketing campaign.
As with the rest of your content marketing, social media should be seen as an extension of your campaign that consistently points to your end goals. The temptation to get too cute with your efforts is stronger with social media than anywhere else. A fine line stretches between entertainment to entertain and entertainment to drive results. You always need to keep your endpoint in mind, and deliver to your audience with visual content that helps you get there.
Great content provides unique, relevant information to your customers and potential customers in a way that gets them excited about you and what you do. Visual content, when you provide it well, serves that purpose by adding variety in an interesting and visually pleasing way. It breaks up the written content for your readers, gives them something to look at or watch, and helps hold interest longer. People will stay on your pages longer and, over time, convert more often than visitors on text-only pages.
While written and visual content break each other up, though, they should always complement each other in the building out of your content library. Using images and videos improve seo. When used all together to enhance your users’ experience on your site, you will get the added benefit of stronger seo. Working with 1st in SEO means working with people who not only get this, but know how to make it happen. Contact us today, and we can help you build out content that is visually exciting and emotionally compelling for your audience.