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The First Commandment of Automotive Video Marketing: Use Keywords [3 Great Tips]

Like on-page text content, video SEO for automotive video marketing requires the same kind of in-depth keyword research for video to ensure that the right keywords are being targeted. To rank highly in the search engines (including video hosting sites like YouTube), it's absolutely essential that the right key phrases are selected and used wisely as the ones you choose to use will have an enormous impact on whether your video is found and whether it adds to the user experience if watched.

Keywords - search terms that are used to find webpages, videos, images etc related to those keywords - are the building blocks of SEO and video search engine optimization is just the process of letting the search engines know exactly what the focus of your video is so they can return it in the search results based on the Intended car buyer's query. Good video keyword research will help you develop a strategy for video content creation, which will benefit not only the video itself but the rest of your SEO campaign.

Of course, there's usually little point in targeting really short-tail keywords like "used cars", "cars" or "silver honda"- that's a sure fire way of guaranteeing that your video gets lost on page 68 of Google’s results. Unless you are Chevrolet or Justin Bieber, you are simply not going to be able to compete for those kind of terms. On the other hand, focusing on keywords that attract only a handful of search traffic per month is also a strategy to avoid. Keyword research, whilst being a long and sometimes laborious task, is essential for find the right balance between those high volume but less competitive keywords and those that just won't be helpful for you.


So, what do you do when you've found the right keywords for your video campaign? You should already know that you need to use them in your filename, title tag, description, tags and link text but there are also some tips that can help you take the next step to ranking success through keyword optimization.

Tip 1: Use Analytics to Discover Which Keywords Your Users Search

Keyword research is an ongoing process and it pays to keep an eye on the phrases that bring people to your site. All too often, a dealership will make the mistake of optimizing their website for keywords they think the intended car buyer is searching for as opposed to the vocabulary that the potential customer is actually using. Your average customer probably won't find you through your own brand messages (e.g., “The Best Chevy Dealer in the West”) so avoid those at all costs.

SemRush is a fantastic tool for uncovering customer search terms and even better, you'll very often come across specific queries that that Intended car buyers search for - what could be more perfect than creating a video to answer those questions!

 Use the information from SemRush (or any other ketword analysis package you have installed) and divide the search terms you find into:

  • Those which match current content
  • Those for which you don’t yet have any text or video content

 You can then make informed decisions about future video strategy based on capitalizing on content which already attracts a lot of views or addressing search queries which you haven't make any videos for as yet.

 Tip 2: Use a Max of 2 Keywords for Each Video or Landing Page

 I don't mean just use one or two keywords like "Boston" or "Honda," but I suggest constructing your title, content and description around one topic rather than several. For instance if you create an explainer video to promote your dealership, make the focus that particular how-to and it's benefits rather than try and include your dealerships name and location. It's an old adage but one that's true - websites don't rank, web pages do and if you let the search engines know exactly what the specific focus of the page is, they are more likely to return it high in the search results for a user query rather than one than doesn't have a clear focus. Many site owners make the mistake of uploading their videos to their home page, which is just about OK if it's a microsite based around one subject but more often than not, the video has to compete against the brand, the inventory, dealership info, etc.

Don’t try to optimize the video or video page for several keywords at once. Keep it simple and clear and you will be rewarded. Which brings us onto tip 3:

Tip 3: Surround Your Onsite Video With Content

 So, we know that search engines love relevant, fresh, original, focused content. We also know that we need to help search engines like YouTube, Google & Bing recognize and understand what our video content is all about and the very easiest way of doing that is to add copy to the video landing page. This is actually a lot easier than it sounds especially if:

  1. You've created the video script using the keyword targets found via your keyword research. Just use the transcript for instant, relevant content!
  2. Without keyword stuffing, you make good use of the header tags on the page
  3. The URL includes the main target keyword (and the word video - see tip 4).
  4. Comments are enabled (if applicable). Not only does this send the right signals to Google that the page is 'active' and encouraging user engagement, but the comments themselves may also include variations of the keywords you are targeting.
  5. You link out to related target elsewhere on the site

Taking time to understand and discover the keywords that can drive relevant and converting traffic to your site really is the key to success for all search engine optimization, and is our first commandment of automotive video marketing. It will give your automotive digital marketing strategy a real focus and a plan for the coming months.

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