Since the Google Penguin and Panda updates, a lot of SEOs finally have realized that ranking a website in the long term is not just about building a large number of links. It’s also about creating high-quality content that will attract links naturally over time.

However, one type of content that still is underutilized in the world of SEO is online video. Although a lot of brands are incorporating video content into their overall online marketing strategies, most SEOs don’t place a high priority on it. Usually, they opt for creating various other types of content (e.g., infographics, images, written content, etc.).

If used correctly, video can be an extremely powerful form of content and make a significant contribution to your overall SEO strategy, in more ways than one.

Avoiding a Common Trap and Defining Your Goals

Although the idea of producing a video might seem like a “nice” idea, it’s important to remember that it must compliment your overall SEO strategy and generate a return on investment (ROI).

If you fail to define your goals in the early stages, not only will the video end up costing you (or your client) a hefty chunk of money, it will be money down the drain that could have been spent better elsewhere.

Failing to clearly define goals is a common SEO mistake and one that often is seen with content such as infographics.

Many SEOs will commission the creation of an expensive, cool-looking infographic without putting enough thought into the overall goal. They get blinded by the idea that “infographics build links” without stopping to think whether they want the infographic to increase conversions, increase high-quality traffic (i.e., visitors who are likely to convert to paying customers), or simply provide off-page SEO benefits (i.e., links).

It’s the same with video content. You need to know what you want to get out of it. Without knowing this, it will be difficult to conceptualize/commission a production that has any hope of successfully captivating the intended audience and leading to your desired goals.

What are Your Goals?

From an SEO point of view, there really are only two main goals that you possibly could have – to build links and generate social shares or to increase conversions.

Let’s start by looking the first benefit mentioned above…

1. Build Links/Generate Social Shares

If it’s done well, a video can generate a large number of links for a website; and often from some pretty reputable domains, too. I’m not just talking about a few links, either. I’m talking about hundreds or thousands of high-quality links in some cases.

The problem is there’s so much online video content that unless you create an exceptional video and have a great outreach/marketing plan, its success is going to be limited.

People don’t link to or share any old rubbish these days. So, to get the success you’re looking for, it’s important for you to really think about who you want to share the video and who you want to link to it.

Essentially, your video has to offer something to the viewer. It might make them laugh, educate them, amaze them, shock them, or annoy them (or even a combination of these). The point is it needs to evoke a strong enough emotional reaction that they’ll want to share it, either by clicking the Tweet/Share button or by writing a post about it on their blog/website (with a link back to your site, of course).