More and more orthodontic, dental, and professional practices are implementing the latest in online marketing strategies to increase new patient referrals. Using video as a marketing tool not only grabs the attention of viewers when they click on you website, it increases the SEO (search engine optimization), if set up correctly, to improve page ranking on the search engines. Unfortunately, many of these videos on You Tube, Google Video, My Space, and Facebook are not set up properly with SEO to attract patients. This is something that every Internet marketing beginner and advanced marketer should know how to do, especially after spending thousands of dollars on a professional video production as part of a marketing strategy.
Listed are 10 basic SEO tips you can implement to optimize online videos to ensure they are picked up by the search engines. It will also increase viewers from social networking sites that use the search tool to find content they want to watch.
1. Brand Your Video Channel
Use your main keywords in your channel’s name; ex: John Smith DDS, your brand name, or City-State orthodontist. Tests report implementing this little optimization trick can improve your SEO ranking. Eventually, you brand name will become popular enough online that users will use your channel name to search for your videos.
TIP:When you setup your channel on sites like You Tube, My Space and Facebook, your user name is your channel name… so brand it with the same name on all sites right from the start. Some sites, like My Space, won’t allow you to change your username once it is setup. Make sure it is set up correctly the first time around.
2. Choosing A Category
Make sure you choose the correct category for your videos. Remember, you want highly targeted viewers interested in the services you have to offer, patients who will contact your practice to schedule a new patient exam. Find the general category that relates to your area of expertise, as close as you can. Many categories do not cover your specific areas of expertise, so do your best. This not only gives you better page ranking for your videos, but also increases new patient referrals with SEO, over time.
3. Always Use Attention Grabbing Titles or Headline Copy
Your video title or headline requires two components to ensure better positioning on the search engines and on any site’s search tool: The first is keywords or key phrases that are relevant to the content of your video. The second is action verbs. Discuss a problem, solution, or general information people in your target area are online to research. This would include general information available to the entire community, community service, and special events.
4. Optimize Your Description
The same keyword rules apply to video marketing and video search engine optimization as your website… Only use keywords that actually pertain to the subject matter in your video description. Take the time to script your video properly to improve SEO.
- Always list your website URL; yourwebsitename.com first.
- Use your main keyword at the beginning of your video description and use a variation of your main keyword at least 2 times on the rest of the body description.
- Make sure the copy makes sense and offers a good overview of the content in your video.
When applicable, point out what viewers are going to learn or experience and the benefits and features of treatment being offered.
- If the video is a testimonial of treatment expertise or office event, make note of it.
One of the main features of Web 2.0 is “Tags”. It is a content management tool that helps computers, web users, and search engines find and categorize online content. This is one of the most important areas of your on-site video SEO efforts. Use them on every video you submit to any type of online video sharing site. Your ticket to success online is your use of main keywords, secondary keywords, and any keyword that relates to your content.
TIP: First use the keywords that you use on your title, and description, then use other keywords related to the content. Also use your brand name as a tag. For example: If your content is about orthodontic treatment, you main keyword is your brand name. Your secondary keywords are orthodontics, braces, orthodontist, plus each keyword listed again with your city, State. Viewers from all over the world help improve your page ranking so you want to include generic and demographically targeted tags alike.
6. Tagging All The Way
This is a simple but very useful on-site SEO tip that you need to use to maximize your video. Use as many tags as you can. Make sure you use the maximum number of characters that the site let you use. Here is why: Every tag you add to your video automatically creates a web page for that tag. Each page has a link back to your video page. This allows you to optimize the site structure to back link from relevant web pages on other sites.
Some sites limit the number of characters you are allowed to use when creating tags. In this instance, make sure to include your strongest keywords and the city, state for each first to optimize new patient referrals. Use secondary keywords to fill in remaining character space allotted.
7. Become A Social Butterfly
With web 2.0 and social media today, you need to be an active user of online communities by visiting other channels, commenting on videos, and not only on those related to your niche, but on any video that you watch. Every time you post a comment on someone else’s video page, your channel name becomes a link back to your profile which is linking to your videos. This makes you an on-site active link, expanding the reach of your online video pages. Remember… the more back links the higher your page ranking, and the better your search engine position.
Marketing team members who have access to the business online sites can help with the linking and commenting process to increase visibility.
8. Use Videos To Attract Attention
Post your videos on your website, in your blog, and complement them with some text to encourage visitors to watch your videos. The goal is to attract your viewer’s attention, encourage them to research further on your site, and ultimately contact your practice to schedule a new patient exam. Video testimonials, video office tours, and practice overviews with a call to action asking patients to contact your office for an appointment significantly increase new patient referrals.
9. Create A Circular Viral Video Effect
Every time you post a video on your site, whenever possible, link it through You Tube instead of hosting it on your website server and then again uploading separately to video sites. Every time a visitor clicks on your video on your website, blog, My Space, Facebook, etc. it increases the total views on your You Tube video, if linked properly. This in turn increases your video page ranking and SEO for that video. When new patients search in your area for treatment providers, your video will have a high page ranking on the search engines and drive traffic to your website. You will need to incorporate the assistance of your webmaster when adding video to your website. On a blog or social networking sites, it is very easy to upload video yourself.
I understand the quality of the video on your website is affected by uploading and viewing through You Tube. However, the goal of your video is to “Grab Attention”. The ability for patients to find your video, website, blog, My Space page, etc. immediately with high page ranking… supersedes the loss of video quality that may occur through You Tube, especially with testimonials and office events.
10. Take Advantage of All Your Social Options
If you have the time, besides My Space and Facebook, to increase viewers, upload your video to other social and video networking sites. The more social network sites you use, the more one way back links you receive to increase your page ranking.
Always remember to provide good content in each video. Include useful tips whenever possible, and always add some fun… Nothing happens overnight. Be patient… let your videos work for your 24/7, behind the scenes to increase referrals. Sooner…rather than later, new patient referrals will begin to increase with a strategically optimized video marketing program.
Mary Kay Miller is owner of Orthopreneur Marketing Solutions and the author of the first multi-media marketing eGuide for orthodontic and dental professionals, “Marketing Your Practice Through Different Eyes”. You can download her FREE ebook at http://www.orthopreneur.com
In today’s tech savvy society, the “Rules of Marketing” have changed forever with the advent of the Internet and Social Networking. Unfortunately, most professional practices have not yet recognized the importance of updating their marketing plans to meet the preferences of their current target audience; GenX, GenY, and Global Tweens. Succeeding in any business environment today, requires grabbing the attention of the most entrepreneurial and tech friendly generations in history. They are also the most overstressed and distracted demographics to date. Failing to understand and develop marketing strategies and tactics that appeal to these generations in their personal style, both in learning and information gathering, may prove disastrous to many practices down the road.
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