Showing up in local search results is a pretty big deal if you’re any sort of local business. When people search online locally, but plan to buy offline locally, being the organization they find first and find when mobile could mean the difference between growth and death.
While lots of people publish tips about Google Places pages, local web content, address citations and the sort, not enough people are talking about the power of local video when it comes to gaining an advantage in local search.
Many people are talking about video from a content standpoint and I agree, but what about locally optimized video for SEO. I’ve seen this intentional tactic produce some pretty incredible results in a very short time – particularly when it comes to a Google and YouTube combination.
See, here’s the deal – Google wants to give people interesting search results and as often as possible that includes a mix of local Places pages, videos, products, images and blog posts all mashed together on page one for specific search phrases.
Local businesses that get good at producing and optimizing video can find their YouTube videos zapped to page one for highly competitive search terms with very little effort.
I did a little test over the weekend to prove this theory. Granted there may be other factors at play here, but here’s what I and I believe you can do it too.
I am hosting a couple workshops in Kansas City in June. Since this is for me a rare local play I wanted to see what could do to get some local search results. So, here’s what I did.
- I created a very brief video recorded directly to YouTube.
- I even did a little bit of editing using the new YouTube Tools
- I named the video Kansas City Marketing Workshop and Training
- I added a description with this term
- I added keywords that related to the term
- I saved the video
- I embedded the video on a page on my site.
- I pointed to the video on YouTube from my Facebook page
Total time invested was about 15 minutes. About 30 minutes later this video showed up on page one for the search term – “Kansas City Marketing Workshop”
A day later it moved to the #2 position for the search term and #4 position for the term Kansas City Marketing Training. I conducted these searches logged out of my Google account and even received the same results using private browsing in Safari.
There’s no telling how long this video will stay at the top of the results for my search term, but it certainly reinforced the idea that this is a powerful way to gain additional local search results while creating useful content.
Below are tips to keep in mind as you explore this tactic:
Do the keyword research
Use a tool like WordTracker or Google Keyword Tool to hunt for some search phases that make the most sense. You’re not looking for hyper competitive terms like “Marketing,” you’re looking for longer, less searched phrases that you can quickly impact.
Also keep in mind those frequently asked questions. Focus on making videos that address those issues.
Create multiple videos
The idea behind this approach is to create dozens of simple videos that allow you to build a library of content that addresses many of the things your prospects are searching for.
Make the videos sell
Make sure you add URLs and annotations to your videos so you can send people to pages that give them even more information.
Optimize for specific terms
Use the search phases you uncover as your video titles, in descriptions and as keyword combination. Do a search on YouTube for the phrase you are trying to win and see what comes up. Once you find the top videos in your search term make note of the keywords and borrow liberally.
Point to the videos
Google loves it when other sites point to videos that are hosted on YouTube. You can give your videos even more juice by linking to them from your web site, Facebook and other video hosting sites.
Experiment with the intriguing little tactic and you may uncover some pretty fantastic results for frequently searched terms that might not otherwise stand a chance of competing for.