Did you know that your video production business might be overlooking a valuable acquisition channel for new customers? While we often think of growing a video business in terms of word-of-mouth, there’s actually a much more sophisticated channel worth pursuing — organic traffic.

If you’re a video professional or small business owner managing your own website (or perhaps one of your clients), it behooves you to make a splash in the big ocean of Google search results. 

But what is local SEO? And, more importantly, how can you learn to master it both for your needs and your clients?Let’s answer all those questions in more in our guide to local SEO for video pros.

What is local SEO? 

One of the best ways to think of and understand SEO is from when you think about it from a local perspective. 

Local SEO is the process of building the search engine visibility for a local business or company (whether that be a client’s or one you run yourself). The goal of local SEO is to beat out your local competition and increase your organic traffic from searches for your business service in your area.

For example, “videographer in NYC” would be a search term which local SEO would go after. Or something like “wedding planning in Atlanta,” could be a great term for a client to target.

Regardless of your term or industry, local SEO is usually used by brick-and-mortar stores or businesses that operate in a specific area and are looking to put their contact information in front of customers making searches in the same localized area.

Did you know? A keyword like “video production companies near me” receives 2.3k monthly organic searches. That’s thousands of potential customers.
SEO tool, Ahrefs.com

What’s the difference between regular SEO and local? 

Now, the difference between local SEO and your regular run-of-the-mill SEO is actually quite vast.

While local SEO focuses on searches in your area, regular SEO opens the net to everyone… everywhere. This means that audiences across the globe, in languages you might not even speak, are finding your websites, videos or content to engage with.

You can also think of things in terms of organic traffic (which is everything that might show up on a search engine page) vs. quality traffic which is focused on finding an audience with people who have searched the exact phrases which should direct them to your site.

When viewed from this macro-lens, SEO is really just its definition of optimizing search engine results to get the max amount of traffic to your site. The difference between the two simply comes down to different ranking factors and how local SEO has its own set of specific requirements (including keywords for cities or other niche industry terms).

Need a refresher? Check out Vimeo’s A-Z glossary of SEO terms:

Follow these video SEO best practices to boost your video’s visibility in search

Who needs local SEO? 

So, do you really need local SEO? This is a great question and one that faces everyone from small video production companies to big businesses which offer many different services and products. The answer is really going to come down to your specific traffic goals for yourself or your clients.

  • Do you want people to find your website out of the blue and give you a call to film their corporate videos?
  • Or do you want to build a brand so that people are reading a blog, watching your videos, and purchasing products 24/7 from all across the globe?

For many in the film and video industry at least, local SEO might be a great goal for simply getting immediate work and building your clientele, which means your SEO endeavors should be localized and focused on letting search engines know what you do and where you are.

However, if you do fall more in the latter category and are indeed looking to find audiences from all over to engage with your site and content, then your focus should probably be more on specific keywords aligned with your products and services and offering solutions to the problems your products also solve.

How to do local SEO on your own 

For those working in film and video (or perhaps even running your own video production business), local SEO might be one of the last things on your mind.

Just because you might be more focused on getting your camera updated with the latest firmware or knocking out your last project edits doesn’t mean you should ignore your digital marketing footprint. Local SEO should work for you to get your business in front of more eyes.

The ultimate goal of any website for your video production business (or when you're assisting with video marketing endeavors for clients) is to make your sites as search engine friendly as possible.

Now, what does that mean? Well, a lot of things — and more specifically, a lot of things which you can do without too deep of an understanding of theories behind local SEO. To help you out, we have a complete checklist to go through below.

You don't have to go it alone.

Vimeo Experts offers access helpful resources for video professionals, a like-minded community, courses, a dedicated Slack channel, and more.

Local SEO checklist for small businesses  

1. Optimize for mobile.

With almost 50% of all U.S. organic search traffic on Yahoo reportedly originating from mobile devices, it’s no understatement to say that mobile is truly the future of SEO. Which means, from a local SEO and running a video business perspective, this is really where your current and future efforts should be focused.

2. Leverage keywords that include local search terms, like your city or state. 

Your second goal for any local SEO focused websites or content should be to always make sure that you’re using (and leverating) keywords that include your targeted local search terms like your city, state, and offering.

For example, if you run a post-production house in Seattle, you should absolutely be leveraging location keywords like “Seattle,” “Washington,” and terms like “video editing” and “post-production.”

3. Create a Google My Business page (and get verified).

If you haven’t already, you should also go ahead and create a Google My Business Page for your company to let Google know who and where you are. This is a simple and free process that is a quick setup if you follow the steps here.

Once set up, be sure to follow the additional steps to get your Business Page verified with Google as well so that one of the biggest search engines in the world recognizes your company and can push local search results your way.

4. Have a strong content strategy for your website (include name, address, and phone number, aka NAP). 

Furthermore, it never hurts to take a moment to look back at your company’s content strategy for your website to begin with. Is your company’s name clearly identified on your website’s landing (or home) page? What about your address and phone number?

You don’t have to re-build your website from the ground up, but if you can keep your website clean, clear and direct search engines will have an easier time finding your site and information for local search results.

5. Regularly audit and remove duplicate listings.

This actually can be a fun task, although quite arduous if you do find duplicate content. But it never hurts to Google (or Yahoo or Bing) yourself! Search out your own company (but perhaps put your browser to incognito mode first) to see what comes up. 

If you’re finding that websites or listings which are not you (or perhaps you don’t use anymore) are popping up, you might need to clean things up to make sure your current and best site is your top result.

6. Reviews are your friend and increase trust in your brand/business.

If you also haven’t yet, now might be a good time to call in some favors from your favorite clients and/or friends to get some reviews of your company up and online. Whether you’re doing it through Google directly, or from a service website like Yelp, ask some trusted allies to leave reviews of your business.

Ideally these reviews will be five stars and glowing, but let your clients be honest as well. Reviews will further show search engines that you’re a real company that is active and doing great work — which means you’ll get more favorable results with all types of searches.

7. Leverage testimonials for your services. 

Taking things a step further, if you do have big clients which you’ve done lots of work with and built up a strong relationship, go ahead and ask them for a full testimonial about their experience. Not only will this help both your local and organic traffic, it also will help any suspicious web visitors know a bit more about how great you are.

8. Post on social media regularly

Activity signals relevancy, authority, and that you’re a legit and well-liked business in your community. While obviously not everyone’s favorite task, for better or worse search engines do favor websites with active social media channels.

You don’t have to go crazy posting every minute of the day or anything, but it’s best practice to have active and engaged pages on all of the major social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and more.

Don’t just copy and paste the same stuff over and over though. For best results, try to spend some actual time engaging with your audiences on each channel. 

9. Make sure your business hours, address, and information correct across directories.

After doing your work on your social media channels, be sure to make sure all your business hours, address and information is up-to-date and consistent across all your online directory platforms like Google, Yelp, Foursquare, etc…

While you don’t have to post as much on these as you would with social media channels obviously, the real key is to make sure your contact information is consistent and correct. The last thing you want is any potential customers (or search engines) to see two different addresses and get confused.

10. Know that local SEO isn’t a one-time thing, but can be an ongoing process for businesses. 

Just because you’ve done the steps above (and are about to do the ones below) doesn’t mean that your job is ever truly done. In the world of SEO, the name of the game is consistency. Which means if you really want to stand out with search engines, you need to be taking steps to make sure your organic search footprint stays fresh.

Here are some tools and free SEO apps that video pros can lean on to get insights about keeping your SEO juice flowing.

11. Make interactive content based on your location that’s helpful to the kinds of customers you want to attract. 

Another great tip is to try to make your content as interactive and location based as possible. Surveys, local guides, or organized events or meetups are all great ideas to explore to help further connect your brand and website within your niche and community.

12. Reach out to listicles and directories to ask them to feature your business.

To further shore up your website on any relevant directories or compiler lists, don’t hesitate to reach out to any of these listicles to see about getting your website included either for further posts or existing ones.

For example, this Peerspace article listing 8 awesome video production companies in New York City currently shows up as one of the first results for the term “video production NYC,” and would be a good target to get your website featured on if you were working in the same area. 

13. Test your website page load speed

Simply put? People will bounce if your site load speed is too slow.

Another simple aspect to test (but can require dev work to implement) would be to test your website’s page load speed. Search engines will always prefer faster websites over slower ones, and if your website is very clunky it can cause your page to be ignored altogether. Test your website’s speed with this speed tester over at GTmetrix.

14. Don’t forget about the details, like meta-titles, meta-descriptions, and content headers.

When you are working on the nuts-and-bolts of your website, be sure to always fill in all of the details and meta-descriptions for each and every page of your site. This task can be a bit laborious, but if you get in the habit of making sure all of your meta-titles and details are always included, you will truly be putting your website in its best position possible to rank.

15. Stay well-read and proactive about Google’s requirements for businesses — especially when it comes to knowing your “business model” in the eyes of Google. 

Finally, as we mentioned at the start, the task of search engine optimization is never truly finished. Which means to keep your website fresh it will always be helpful to stay up on the latest trends, reports, and tips for keeping your page in good standing with Google’s requirements for businesses.

Find some other SEO blogs or resources that seem interesting to you as well and try to keep up with knowing your relevant “business model” in the eyes of Google and any other search engines on which you want your brand to appear, like:

Wrapping up

Hopefully these tips, tricks and guidelines have given you a solid understanding of how SEO (and specifically local SEO) can be used by video pros for a bigger business impact overall. 

Keep learning with Vimeo Video School.