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UX + SEO Best Practices for Multimedia Content

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In today’s digital world, we’re all vying for our customers’ limited attention. For us marketers, that means that we need to reach our audience where they are with content that piques their interest. Often, that means we need to create content in various formats, like written articles, podcasts, infographics, videos, and quizzes.
Yet, no matter what content formats you’re producing, you need to ensure that you’re optimizing them for both users and SEO. This will allow you to maximize traffic, engagement, and conversions on your website. Here are a few best practices to follow when adding content, in its various formats, to your hub.

General Best Practices

No matter the content format, these best practices will improve user journeys, potentially leading to increased engagement and conversions.
Tag Content by Type
Tag different types of content with their respective formats. This will help readers identify what they’ll be clicking on and set expectations when they’re taking time to interact with your brand. For example, if someone is sitting at her desk at work, she may not be willing to watch a video, but would be fine scrolling through an infographic.
USAA Stories.png

USAA tags content as “Article” or “Podcast” so people will know what they’re about to click on.

WordPress Tip: You can create “content type” tags by using regular WordPress tags. When these tags are visible on your content hub, visitors can filter content by format.
Eliminate Content Cul-de-sacs
You never want to bring a reader to a dead end on your content hub. Keep the reader engaged by serving related articles within or at the end of stories. This will deepen readers’ experiences with your content hub and, ultimately, your brand.

Every article on GuideSpark’s content hub features three related articles to keep readers engaged.

WordPress Tip: Ensure the related content is actually relevant to the article the visitor is reading. You can accomplish this by adding logic to how WordPress populates these articles: Make sure that the tags and categories of related articles align with those of the main article. Remember to always have fallback logic that will populate these modules with the latest published posts so you’re surfacing your most recent content.

Best Practices for Long-form Written Content (Whitepapers, e-books)

Use Prominent Calls to Action (CTAs) for Gated Pieces
High-value content, like whitepapers and e-books, works well for lead generation. People are usually willing to share email addresses in exchange for a valuable piece of content. Make your CTAs prominent and visually appealing by including teaser text and photos.

Infusionsoft drives people to download high-value content by promoting it with prominent graphics.

Paginate Non-gated Long-form Content
If you’re not gating whitepapers or e-books and would like to feature their full text, we recommend paginating the asset, rather than using an infinite scroll. This allows search engines to crawl and index individual pages, whereas text that appears after the first load on an infinite page may not get crawled – thus missing key data that may help you rank for keywords.

Best Practices for Infographics, Quizzes, and Interactives

It’s challenging to get the full SEO value of visual content because it doesn’t have the backlinks and text that search engines crawl and use to rank content. To compensate, include an introductory or summary blurb about the visual content. This will help search engines better index these pages and give readers more context about the content they’re about to consume. 
Plus, optimize the following formats using these tips:
If your infographic is an image or Javascript embed, Google will not be able to crawl the text within it. In addition to including a text introduction on the front end, make sure your metadata is accurate and hits upon the keywords for which you’re hoping to rank. Also consider embedding an HTML version of the infographic, which will be crawlable.
Quizzes are great middle- to bottom-of-funnel content. The interactivity usually results in a very engaged audience that’s invested in learning their results. This is why every quiz should end with a CTA – you can use the results to direct readers to a product page or a high-value action, like filling out a contact form.
This advice pertains to any type of interactive content: Use it to drive a preferred action.

Best Practices for Podcasts or Audio Content

Because audio content also lacks written text, you need to take a few extra steps to help it rank with search engines. Consider including a written transcript below the audio player in order to make the content crawlable. Promote serial listening by including a full player somewhere accessible every page, like the right rail. This may also boost return listens, as users won’t have to search for the article that has the audio embed within it.
USAA Money Drill Podcast.png

USAA promotes its Money Drill podcast on the right rail of article pages.

Best Practices for Video Content

Similar to other types of visual content, it can be challenging to get the SEO value of video content, since search engines don’t index content served via an embed code. Include a quick, text-based introduction to your video, or feature the transcript, in full, below.
In addition:
Include CTAs on Video Pages
Consider higher-value CTAs on pages that feature video. Video watchers are a highly engaged audience, and that CTA will be there for the duration of time they are experiencing the video. Use this real estate wisely!
Utilize Play Buttons or Autoplay
If your content hub can support autoplay, that is a surefire way to get people’s attention. However, autoplay may inflate video play metrics, so be aware of the potential compromise if you go down this route. An elegant alternative is to overlay a play button on an image still from the video to indicate what format the visitor is about to experience.
Kathleen Conley is a Content Marketing Advisory Services Director. Victoria Golden is a Senior Marketing Specialist on NewsCred’s Analytics Center of Excellence team. 

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