Community Media TV Blog Series Part 2: SEO

Our previous blog post in this series, and within the unique and specific context of a community media center’s online presence.

First, a quick primer on SEO.

How high a web site ranks in searches and how many different search terms cause a web site to appear in the results are directly correlated with traffic from search engines to a web site.  Taking Google’s SEO algorithm, which uses over 200 factors for ranking pages, we can start with the three principal factors involved in ranking a web page: how content rich a web site is, how many pages link to a website and how frequently it the web site’s content is updated. Fresh content shows Google that the website is up-to-date, increasing its relevancy within rankings. Websites with only a few pages are considered “weak” and irrelevant – a high number of pages can contribute to a higher search ranking. More content also attracts sharing in social media or linking from other web sites and blogs, which also factor into Google’s equation.

User engagement is an often overlooked factor when it comes to SEO – something that is measured passively by Google and other search engines through a number of methods. It is believed that bounce rate and sharing tools also increase a site’s ranking in search results. If a user clicks to view a station’s video from search results, they are more likely to search around after watching the video, keeping the bounce rate low and increasing the average “time on site”.  These factors would be very low if the visitor were simply directed to another company’s website to watch the video, or if the videos are accessible within a single player embedded on a single page on the site.  Pages that allow user to contribute be it by comments or social sharing have an effect on search rankings as well by creating fresh content (comments) and engaging visitors, thus reducing bounce rates.

An SEO-friendly website is extremely beneficial to community media stations as it can help increase the station’s audience. This is because an optimized web site will appear for what SEO experts call “nonbranded” keywords, or search terms that do not include your station’s name or branding.  For example, someone searching for a local politician, restaurant, or event might be attracted to your station’s web site if it ranks well in Google.  Such searches attract visitors that were not explicitly looking for your content and may not even know about your station at all.

These are potential new audience members that you can attract more readily than you ever could through the cable box.  With VOD on the site, stations can increase their SEO for no-branded keywords and gain new viewers within the community searching for information about people, places and events that are related to the content they produce.

The increased awareness arising from SEO is substantial.  In our experience working with PEG stations and media centers since 2011, Polar Design has seen 100% to 200% increases within the first year.  Some stations have increased their traffic by 500% or more by capturing visitor’s email addresses and engaging them on an ongoing basis

Polar Design’s community media solutions are incredibly SEO friendly. Our video on demand tool integrates with leading video playback solutions like Leightronix, CASTUS, TelVue, Tightrope and others. The content management system pulls video content, embed codes, program names, episode names and numbers, descriptions, channels, categories, program air dates, thumbnails, and more from the video playback RSS and automatically adds it to the website. This process creates hundreds of SEO-friendly video pages and eliminates hours of staff work uploading to the website.

If you’re interested to learn more about our online solutions for community media stations, contact us today!

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