Video is an important facet of any law firm’s social media strategy. According to a recent Cisco study, 80% of internet traffic will come from video by 2019. Adopting video into your firm’s internet presence can help encourage new clients to engage and interact with your attorneys.
At Knapp Marketing we are no strangers to the explosive potential of video. We frequently develop messaging, direct video shoots, and then edit the content for law firm websites. But producing video is only part one. Taking some time post-production to optimize your law firm videos for search engines can make a world of difference.
By launching a video component, you’ve already taken the first step. Here are some of our techniques for making sure your law firm videos get noticed:
Think Like a Client
It may seem counterintuitive to focus on making your video appealing to human viewers to improve SEO when the practice is inherently directed towards a computer algorithm. However, search engines are constantly rewriting their algorithms in order to behave as much like human searchers as possible. In order to target Google, Bing, and their competitors, you need to make content that real people will find helpful.
To do that, think about your target viewer’s point of view. People search for legal videos for many reasons. They want to hire an attorney for a merger, or have been summoned to appear before a government agency, for example. Think about why a person might search for your video in particular, and write titles for your videos that address those concerns directly.
For example, if your law firm specializes in criminal defense, “tutorial” format titles like “When Should I Get A Lawyer?” or “How Do I Plead The Fifth In Court?” may draw new clients.
150 Characters: The Magic Number
Google and other search engines look at the first 150 characters of a video description to determine relevancy and share it with searchers. Popular video hosting platform YouTube does the same thing—which makes sense, considering Google owns the service. That means 150 has become a magic number among SEO experts when it comes to description length,
Always write a description for your video, and make sure that it uses no more than 150 characters. If you must go longer than 150, put the following characters in a new paragraph. Do not write a 200-character sentence: it will get cut off and be unclear to search engines and people alike.
Use Tags To Differentiate Your Video
YouTube gives you the opportunity not only to add a description, but tags. Tags are helpful phrases that strongly relate to your video. You will want to use a mix of single words (“lawyer”) and phrases (“white collar crime”) in order to best optimize your video.
Try to think about tags as potential terms that people might type into the search bar to find your video. People use different kinds of language, so you will want to consider listing the same term in multiple ways. For example, if your video is about white-collar defense law, you may want to tag it with both “defense lawyer” and “defense attorney.”
Always Provide Closed-Captioning
Even YouTube’s advanced algorithms aren’t smart enough to “watch” a video to find out what it’s about. However, they are smart enough to know that tags and descriptions might be optimized or padded. As a result, they give the highest SEO priority to a video’s closed-captioning: the content of the video itself.
YouTube frequently provides automatic closed-captioning on uploaded videos. The fact that YouTube performs this service shows just how much they need it to organize videos—they’re not doing it out of the goodness of their heart! That said, automation is frequently inaccurate and less helpful than it could be. Do your own closed-captioning to ensure proper spelling and grammar, and to make sure your lawyers don’t look silly thanks to robotic mistakes.