In this article we are going to tell you how you can use video content as bait to get SEO links. Firstly; it is worth noting that you should not be creating content with the sole aim of getting links. Corporate video production must be part of a broad content strategy that is designed to support your customers and potential customers needs.
With that in mind we will explain the two main ways that people link to video content, either by linking to the webpage where the video is hosted or by embedding a video in a web page.
We will then go on to offer advice about maximising the use of video to get links; some of these tips will be technical and some will be more creative. We would love to hear your ideas in the comments section below.
2 main ways to link to video content:
- The first is to link to the webpage where the video is hosted. This is generally done because the page has value to the audience who will be linking out to it.
- The second option is to embed the video. Embedding is usually done because the video has something to contribute to the page where it is being embedded. Both of these methods have value but they are both trying to achieve different things.
Video link bait through web pages
On a webpage that you hope to get links pointing to, video will sometimes only be one part of the whole. Video will add something to the mix of media available on the page, and may or may not be the central feature.
An example might be a text and image based page, which takes the audience through using a piece of editing software. Video might compliment this instructional page by showing the final video result at the end. The value of this page would be more than just the video. It would be in the structure, layout, and the combination of media.
Hosting and outreach
If your video content only makes sense within the context of your page, it matters less where you host your video. What will matter is your outreach. How are you going to get people to link to the page where your video is hosted? You need to target relevant and interested parties who will link to you because your page is of interest to their audience or market.
Using videos as link bait
For someone to make a choice to embed your video on their webpage, they are essentially asking their audience to stop looking at their own content and to start looking at yours. People don’t do this with any old content – the content has to be fantastic, or at least fantastically appropriate.
Why would someone embed someone else’s video? There are two very general possibilities. Firstly, your content may say or add something that they can’t get elsewhere. Secondly, your video might not be wholly original, but it might be making a point in a way that is superior to how anyone else has made the same point.
Hosting and outreach
If your goal is for people to embed your video on their websites or via social media, then a wise approach to hosting is essential. If you host on YouTube or similar, you may find that you are at a disadvantage. The links will take the audiences through to the platforms domains (i.e. to YouTube), rather than your website. In SEO terms, this isn’t very useful if you want to build links back to your own website to build rankings. Of course, there are other benefits to hosting on YouTube (it is easy and good for brand awareness) but these don’t help your SEO.
Technical steps for maximising your online videos as link bait
These tips are useful in isolation. However, the most effective strategy is to use them all together. Follow each step, one by one, to maximise the usefulness of your video link bait.
1) Host your own videos
To ensure you get the full benefit of people linking to your video content, host it on your own website. If you use a platform that allows you to publish video away from your own domain, turn this option OFF – this is important if you want people to link to the page where your video is hosted. If you create a custom embed code for your video from your own website, when people embed your video, it will link back to your own website.
2) Maximise sharing possibilities
Firstly, make sure you have social share buttons on the page with your video. It is then essential to contact any sites who have an interest that means they might like to link to your video. Make it as easy as possible for them to link to your video by including your custom embed code in the email you send to them.
When you have finished contacting other organisations with your video, after about four months, put your content on some video sharing platforms (YouTube, Vimeo). Share these versions of the video using social media and aim to get more shares and likes.
3) Return to limited sharing options
After a few months, set your videos as private on any video sharing platforms. This will mean that anyone who has embedded the videos from these platforms will be left with a disabled video. You then need to target anyone who has embedded your video with the embed link to your video from your own website. If your video is still current later on, you can repeat this process.
Top tip: To find out who has embedded a YouTube version of your video, go to your YouTube Analytics page and click on ‘Playback Locations’ on the left hand side of the page. This will list the places where your video has been embedded, enabling you to contact them with your custom embed link.
Creative tips for maximising your web videos as link bait
Fill a gap
It is becoming more and more common that people use Facebook alone to host information about events. It is not an uncommon experience to search for an event online and for the only link to be the Facebook event. Facebook is obviously a really useful tool in this way but it is also limited in what it can offer on one page.
This is an example of when you can fill a gap by producing a web page that offers more than the Facebook page. You can include multiple media forms, including video of course, to create a highly valuable page for relevant audiences. You can then target relevant parties with the link to your page or to embed your custom video code. You will benefit from the links because you are offering a source of information that isn’t already there.
This is only one way of filling a gap. Use the same idea in your own industry area to fill identified gaps.
Build good offline relationships
Sometimes the old fashioned methods are the most creative methods! Build rapport with the people you want links from by touching base with them offline. Send them company freebies, invite them to events, and collaborate where possible. These are not necessarily the easiest ways to get links but they are a long-term strategy and will have a wider impact.
Give something back
If you have a skill and you want a link from another website, offer your services. For example, it may be that you can write good content about a particular issue and can offer a free blog post in which you include your own video. We are all busy. If you can offer something of value, for free, whilst getting what you want in return, do it!
Another example would be to create a video that compliments a number of businesses or organisations. We all enjoy praise and these organisations are likely to link back to you if you are saying something good about them.
Tell us how you have been creative to get links in the comments section below.