5 steps to increase the SEO value of your tutorial

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1. Show and tell

Video is the latest trend in digital marketing and tutorials are a natural content fit for this medium. Tutorials are one of the most popular types of content on YouTube, and having a great presence on the video-sharing network owned by Google has its obvious benefits. What’s more, a recent report from YouTube states that 91 percent of mobile users turn to videos for inspiration when working on a project. So creating a video tutorial or adding a video walkthrough element to a how-to post is the perfect way to accommodate an existing demand.

2. Utilize multiple social media platforms

Tutorials also offer a great way to diversify your social media content. Now that major social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have native video capabilities, you can adjust the format of your tutorial to fit the network’s demands. People who find your content useful will share it with their networks, which not only does this help you get more views, but it also signals to Google’s algorithms that the content has value.

Short tutorials can also be a very time and cost-efficient way to create shareable video: for example, Instagram’s 15-second constraint forces brands to be creative and brief, squeezing in the maximum value in the minimum length of time. This makeup tutorial shared by Sephora on Instagram is an easy way to teach technique and show off beauty products in one go.

3. Illustrate each step

If you don’t have the resources to film a video tutorial, or your content demands more attention to detail than a short video can provide, a “how-to” blog post may be a better solution. In the case of written copy, traditional SEO best practices apply: choose a target keyword, try to use it in headers and tags, and include the keyword in phrases people will likely search up. It also helps to illustrate as many steps as you can with pictures. This can help explain a certain point better for the reader, where words are not enough. And it creates an opportunity to increase the visibility of your content in image searches by creating alternative tags and titles that include your chosen keyword. Image tags are a good way to increase the SEO value of your how-to post without “keyword stuffing,” or including your target keyword in the post so often that it decreases readability and overall perceived value.

4. Do it live

A good way to incorporate tutorials into your social media strategy is organizing live tutorial sessions on various streaming channels such as Periscope or Meerkat, or hosting a dedicated Google Hangout. A live tutorial isn’t just a way to save time on filming and editing; it can help re-promote older piece of written content that could use a refresh or a SERP boost.

Promoting live tutorials on various social media channels in advance can help you attract viewers and engage with them prior to the broadcast. The live tutorial can act as a precursor to a more comprehensive video or written post, and you can refine it by asking for feedback and encouraging questions from your audience in real time.

5. Seek out questions

Finally, if you’re at loss for tutorial ideas, visit public online forums such as Quora or reddit. See what kind of topics are in most demand and use that as inspiration for an explanatory written piece or tutorial. If you get the opportunity, you may even share the tutorial in the comment thread for the post that inspired you, but be careful not to be overly self-promotional.