09 Feb 13 Reasons Why Nobody’s Watching your Videos
Videos are a big deal – a third of all online
activity is spent watching them . Of course, you already know this; you’re
in the video game already. The benefits of this marketing channel aren’t lost
on you. Viewers, however, are.
Listen…video is a minefield, people fall by the wayside
everyday; we don’t you to fail, but if you don’t do something about your lack
of viewers soon, you could well become one of the many. So why aren’t they
paying attention? There are many reasons – a bakers dozen, in fact.
1. You’re boring
Sorry to be the one to have to break this to you, but if no
one’s watching your videos, you’ve really only got yourself to blame. To attract
views you need to be comfortable in-front of the camera, with a confident
demeanour and a clear speaking voice. A good video with viral potential needs
to be upbeat, timely, informative, engaging and inspiring. Quite a few
things to have bundle into a few minutes, but that’s what the people want, and you’ve got that in your locker – we believe in you.
2. You’re rambling
There is a place for long videos, but that ground can only
be tread upon if you have a solid following; which comes from people watching
your videos. If you’re publishing lengthy content, it could well be the reason
people aren’t watching. The ideal
length of a YouTube video is 3 minutes, so think about breaking your
videos down into sizeable chunks. Viewership and engagement are important on YouTube, so you want visitors watching your content for as long as possible.
Keeping videos at 5 minutes or less will help you do this.
3. You’re not using the right keywords
Keywords are every bit as important in videos as they are to
the rest of your Web content. YouTube – assuming you’re using it (which you
should be) – is the world’s second largest search engine, so choosing the right
terms and phrases is really the only way you’re going to be found. Keywords should
feature in titles, descriptions, tags and the actual file name of the video. If
you target the right keywords, there’s a good chance that you’ll rank well on
Google too. Note: this is not a cue to start making cute cat and skateboarding dog
4. You’re not encouraging visitors to act
Not act as in Robert De Niro, act upon what you’re
encouraging them to do. A lot of weight is placed on user experience signals by
the likes of YouTube and Vimeo, so the more likes and subscribers you have the
greater the value that will be placed on the video. The problem is, even though
someone has watched – and enjoyed – your video, getting them to hit the subscribe
button before they leave is like getting blood from a stone.
You can solve this problem by telling viewers in as
heartfelt a manner as possible at the end of every video, that a click on thumbs
up and subscribe would be very much appreciated. While you’re at it, ask them to
share your content too – everything is in place for them to easily do so.
5. You don’t allow embeds
Allowing people to access the coding of your video so that
they can publish it on their own website isn’t a problem if you upload on
YouTube, which provides that option as standard (as seen in the above image).
However, you shouldn’t forget about offering the same option for your own site.
A simple embed button is brilliant for boosting backlinks and therefore great
6. Your descriptions are too short
I don’t want to kick you while you’re down, but search
engines aren’t watching or listening to your videos either.
Chin up, they would if they could, but they can’t – they’re
robots. Because of this they have to judge whether or not your video is any
good using text-based information. Therefore, the more information you can give them about your video, the easier
it’s going to be for them to rank it for your keywords. There are other
bloggers out there that argue descriptions are best kept short and sweet, but
I’m not one of them.
Yes, you need to keep your first sentence concise and
inclusive of keywords so it provides a good snippet, but after that go to town.
Okay, no one is going to read a 1,000-word description, but 250-300-words of
good content will help you rank.
7. You’ve got no video sitemap
A sitemap puts every useful piece of data about your video
into a text file and submits it to Google to help the search engine do more to
put your video in front of your audience. Without one, you’re severely
handicapping potential viewership.
An additional thing while we’re on the subject of providing
search engines with information: are you using schema.org?
This is a form of HTML mark-up that delivers even more data to search engines
without conflicting with your sitemap.
8. You’re not using tags
All your competitors are tagging, so why aren’t you? Tags
matter. They make it easier for people to find and categorise your videos.
Think about how people search for videos (or check out competitor keywords) and
tag away – 3-5 separated keywords should do the trick.
9. You’re not publishing transcripts
A transcript can take a video that nobody’s watching (yours)
and turn into one that everyone’s watching – well, everyone with an interest in
the specific topic anyway. Transcriptions get videos ranked by providing search
engines with keyword-rich content, but they’re not just useful for SEO purposes,
they also offer viewers an option to read what a video is about if they aren’t
able to listen.
10. Your titles aren’t catchy enough
We’ve spoken about keywords and these definitely need to be
in your titles to increase viewers, but targeted phrases alone aren’t enough.
You need to make titles catchy so that they capture the attention of the user.
Think of Web users as consumers walking past your shop window – your video
title needs to be the thing that draws them into your lair of video goodness.
11. You don’t make any use of Playlists and Channels
If you’re just uploading video after video, a YouTube
channel can quickly become a cluttered mess of content. You’ve got to point
visitors in the right direction by organising videos into ‘Playlists’, or ‘Channels’ if you have a range of different topics or different presenters. Make them
keyword-rich too, so that people can find them.
12. Your thumbnails suck…if you have them
A good thumbnail can really boost views and click-through
rate – both of which can help improve your search presence. If you put no effort
into the design of your thumbnails, viewers will make no effort to watch your
video. The ideal thumbnail should be:
1280 x 720 pixels (640 pixels minimum)
In JPG, GIF, BMP or PNG file format
16:9 aspect ratio
13. You haven’t embraced annotations
Annotations can be the difference between viral and lame. If
you’ve never heard of them, they’re basically those interactive elements that
are added to videos after uploading. You know the ones: those speech bubbles,
notes, spotlights and pauses that people use to get you to subscribe or watch
another video. Putting annotations in place can really boost viewer engagement;
but, as the above video from the YouTube Creator Academy
(well worth a watch, by the way) shows, you’ll need to avoid overdoing it.
Videos are an important part of any marketing strategy, but
a total waste of time if no one’s watching them. Put these tips into practice
and don’t let yourself become part of the crowd – no one will find you there.
If you need any more advice on how to make videos that
people actually want to watch, you know where we are.