Video has come to play an increasingly significant role in marketing across industries, and the world of automotive is no exception. There are billions of YouTube users, and they’re consuming over a billion hours of video each day.
If your dealership can tap into the incredible appeal and reach of YouTube, you can land your business’s name in front of a whole host of prospective car buyers in your area. But as with other forms of search, SEO is a critical component in ensuring your videos are discovered. Let’s take a closer look at video SEO and how to create a channel that nets incredible results for your dealership.
Why Does Video SEO Matter?
Like with other forms of search engine optimization (SEO), video SEO is how you get your video to show up in YouTube search results for relevant queries. It includes many of the same aspects of regular SEO – things like keyword research, using appropriate tags, and crafting titles and descriptions that speak to those keywords.
At this point, you might be thinking, “Okay, but what if my audience isn’t on YouTube? With all the focus I already put on traditional SEO, is video SEO really worth the time investment?”
The important thing to keep in mind is that Google owns YouTube. Videos you post on YouTube, therefore, appear in Google search results. And if you’ve ever had video results populate in response to one of your searches, you know that these videos appear at the top of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) – above all written content.
Therefore, if you’re able to create great video content that shows up for the right searches, your dealership’s name has a shot at appearing at the top on both YouTube and Google, ahead of third-party listings sites like Autotrader and CarGurus. For an individual dealership, that provides you a huge leg up on the big competition.
Now that you understand the power of video SEO, I’d be willing to bet you’re interested in learning how to make it work for you. Let me walk you through what goes into creating video content that performs well in search results.
Make Video Content that Ticks the Right Boxes
As with regular SEO, YouTube has certain factors that it takes into account when evaluating video content. Some of those factors are things outside of the video, like the tags you use or the title you give to your video. But others are inherent in the video content itself.
It’s important that you use streaming video, rather than a slideshow of still images, in your YouTube videos. Google has pixelation software that allows it to detect whether a video is streaming or a series of still photos, and it rewards the former.
Some dealerships, faced with the prospect of creating videos for each of the models they have on their lot, think they can cut corners and simply use still images to churn that video content out quickly. But that is a mistake.
You also want to create videos that are the appropriate length. Most consumers have short attention spans and don’t want to sit around for a 15-minute video. Remember, too, that online research often occurs early on in the education phase. By loading a video up with each fact and figure about a particular vehicle, you overwhelm viewers who only want the broad strokes.
The optimal length for a YouTube video is somewhere between one- and two-and-a-half minutes. Any shorter than that, and it’s hard for you to provide any meaningful information. Longer videos have the capability to perform well, especially if they’re around a topic that consumers are interested in. So, you should reserve longer videos for topics that you know your average consumer would want to watch for 10 minutes or longer – something like a Q&A about a specific vehicle, a test-drive of a car, or even a day-in-the-life of an employee.
Provide the Right Information in Your Title & Description
Moving beyond the content of the video itself, YouTube’s algorithm likes to see certain elements in the title and description of your video. Make sure that you include your contact information, address, and a link out to your website. Not only does this make it easier for interested viewers to get in touch, but search engines also reward backlinks and businesses who share consistent contact information across all of their online assets.
One thing you shouldn’t put in your title or description is the price of the vehicle. YouTube tends to show informational content above sales content, and once you include the price, you’ve signaled that your post is about selling a product.
Manage Your Channel
Great video SEO tactics go beyond what you do on each video. YouTube also considers your channel as a whole when deciding where to display your content. There are a few things you can do to keep your dealership’s channel in good standing.
Do not bulk upload videos. While it may be more convenient for your team, it trips YouTube’s spam filters. The last thing you want to do is be mistaken for junk content!
It’s also a good idea to create one channel for all of your content, rather than trying to create different channels for different makes and models or services you offer. By unifying all of your content under one channel, you strengthen your standing in video SEO. If your content covers several categories, instead build out separate playlists that group related content together.
Integrate Your YouTube Videos with Other Marketing Strategies
The final step in reaping the full rewards of your video SEO strategy is to ensure that your video content and YouTube channel do not exist in a vacuum. Use your YouTube channel to drive traffic to your website by including your URL in product descriptions.
You can even use SMS technology to send video links to consumers. This is a great follow-up tool, allowing you to check back in with those who have stopped by your dealership but didn’t immediately make a purchase. Sending them a video of the cars they test drove helps remind them of how much they loved the car in real life.
For dealerships looking to outperrom those big third-party listings sites, video provides a great opportunity to show up in Google SERPs. But you’ll only increase your chances for performing well in both Google and YouTube’s search results with a strong video SEO strategy. To learn more about how we can help you get there, check out our solutions.