Part-1: Video SEO
Optimizing you video for search engines and video portals
It seems that Google as well other search engines is giving a priority to videos in their SERPs (search engine results pages) now. It is quite logical because producing a video is much more time-consuming and costly than just writing content. That\’s why it is given a heavier weight.
As a marketing tool, it is again more effective than any well-written content because:
– Watching videos is easier than reading copy;
– Video mediums are richer and stronger, because they include moving images, sounds, titles, editing, real people, sometimes even scripts and acting – not just text.
No doubt, video is hot now. It started long before the \”Youtube boom\”, but then most Internet users didn\’t have broadband connection to enjoy online video experience. Today it\’s easy to afford fast Internet speed from the comfort of your home or even a mobile phone. This tendency will only continue. Internet and Television will eventually unite, and online video channels are the future. Since more and more companies are realizing this, there is a strong necessity to understand how to win the competition in this hot field as well.
We will not talk about what video should be like. It obviously should be of high quality, interesting to watch, and relevant to the viewers. We will talk about how to optimize the video, how to promote it, and how to rank high in search results with the video.
Let\’s start with the video optimization.
Remember 3 things here:
The video title should be short but descriptive. Tell what the video is about in one line and make sure to use words that fit what people would naturally search to find that content. You want you title outstand all others in the results to make people clicks on yours.
The video description should explain what it is about and how the viewer can benefit from it. It should include a couple of major keywords that will make it easy for your video to be found in searches.
The video keywords (most video sites call them \”tags\”) should include up to 30 of the most targeted words/phrases related to your video. This is important for not just being found via search engines and video portals but also for being a \”related video\” for the videos from your competition. That\’s your additional traffic right here.
Each search engine has a separate section to search for videos, but how many people use those? Don\’t you use the main search like most others do? So, here is a hint: you might want to add the word \”video\” to your title, description, and to the keywords list. Many people include this particular word into their search queries when searching for videos.
For example, your digital camera or a webcam often automatically gives videos the file-names like video001, video002, etc. Why don\’t you rename your video file to something that also includes your major keyword before submitting it anywhere? If you video is about selling flowers call the file: howtosellflowers.mp4 (mp4 is just a video format, there are plenty of them and most are compatible with video sites which simply convert them into Flash or their own formats after you upload the file.) This little technique will help you outrank your competitors when you are neck and neck.
There is one more thing to consider in \”optimizing\” your video: a video screenshot. The screenshot (also called a thumbnail) must be attractive as well. Select a shot that best conveys the content of your video and is compelling enough to get people to click on the link.
As far as video blogging or vlogging – your own videos on your own site – goes, I suggest doing all the SEO stuff to your videos as you do for your regular pages. Add it to your RSS and Sitemap; have a separate folder/section for them on your site; get SEO-friendly URLs; and get inbound links to your video pages.
Finally, keep it short! Videos under 5 minutes are always most popular because they don\’t take much time to download or watch.
Next time we will talk about video marketing! Until then,
Director, Online Marketing
Every problem comes with a solution
A few months ago I stumbled on something about a new kind of search engine being developed that searches within the video itself, audio tracks, etc. Any thoughts/information on that?
Thanks for your kind words, Sean.
I think what you heard of is: http://www.blinkx.com/
This is an excellent topic, I'm glad you posted this.
Do a Google search on the term "BillQuick" (my "day job" ) and in spot 10 or 11 you will see a result linking to a video I posted on Brightcove back in July. The video has over 4,000 views! Previously, we (like many companies) kept our video assets behind our firewall and the only exposure we got were our user base and maybe a few people that found them by chance.
I've realised several advantages of posting your videos to services like Brightcove, Revver, Veoh and YouTube–you get several advantates:
1:: Viral (4,000 views!!!)
2:: More impressions and traffic back to your website
3:: An advantage that many people don't think of..saving bandwidth and faster speeds! You get a content delivery network without having to pay for one. We host our entire site, software and asset library on internal servers and have had issues with choked bandwidth during peak times. Video assets tend to be large files and the downloads were PAINFULLY slow on DSL and lower speeds. We don't have the budget to outsource to Akamai or EdgeCast..so posting to video sharing services is the next best thing!!!
Oops Shavkat, I thought Jared posted this!!?? It showed up in Plaxo as a post by Jared!! Sorry!! 😉
No, worries, Michael.
Thanks for the great comment. Your case shows everyone what' video marketing is about and gives more explanations on why it is important.
P.S. Very nice blog there, I see some of our friends in your blogroll. How about our sensible DM Blog? 🙂
This is a well-written and informative article.
I began to realize the importance of video a few months ago when I started seeing the topic addressed frequently in articles like this one and also realized that I was having problems attracting traffic to my site.
When my site first started, the content was all text-based; I didn't even bother with including images because my main strengths are in the areas of proofreading and writing articles. However, after visiting some other professional blogs, I realized the advantage of multimedia was the main thing that seemed to separate my blog from the ones that were considered high quality and attracted the most visitors.
So about three months ago, I started making an effort to include at least one image in each post. Later on, after I discovered channels like YouTube and Metacafe, I began to include relevant videos as well. It seems to be making somewhat of a difference because my traffic has gradually increased and I'm even getting a few sporadic comments on my articles now (there were practically none before). I still have a long way to go in terms of traffic and promotion before I realize any significant revenue from my efforts, however.
Meanwhile, thank you for the tips. It makes sense that if we are going to include video as content on our sites, then we should do the relevant SEO as well.
Karl, thanks for your kind words and sharing with your experience as well. I looked at your blog and I loved it. You've got one more interested reader there, i.e. me, who had just subscribed. 🙂
I'd appreciate a linkback if you like our corporate blog and meanwhile keep your eyes open for my tomorrow's post on video marketing.