Why video? Statistics indicate that that 17% of people spend less than four seconds on a website, but they are willing to spend 2.7 minutes watching a video online. Video is powerful especially if it has quality, educates or engages the viewer. The focus of this blog is on video SEO and not how to create a viral video.
Let’s start of by answering the basic question of what is video SEO and why is it important? Video SEO is when you use videos to help get your site and content indexed for search results. Research shows that it’s much easier bolster your SEO results by integrating your site with videos. Most people think of videos they think of YouTube. We will explain how you can rank higher in search results and increase your domain ranking with video and how to optimize video for SEO.
From our point of view, there are 3 primary purposes for video from an SEO perspective:
- Ranking, traffic and conversions: Help boost your website/blog or video results to get more click and hopefully customers.
- Brand impressions and notoriety: Help get the word out about your business/brand.
- Links: Building credible, quality backlinks back to your website/blog.
We have compiled a list of our favorite video service websites where you can either share your content or watch/stream video content. Most of these sites offer users the ability to upload their video content for free and provide users with the ability to link back to the user’s site to build a backlink or provide sections like tags, titles & descriptions to help optimize your video to be found when searched for by relevant keywords.
Now that you know about some of these video service sites here are some tips you can use to optimize the videos you post on these services:
- Titles: Always provide an informative and if possible catchy title to draw your users to click and play the video. When optimizing for SEO try to include keywords in the title.
- Descriptions: This gives the user more information about the video. Tell the user what your video is about and what makes it unique. Keep it brief, simple but informative is key to well written description. Carefully add keywords where every possible. If the site allows you to link back to your site add the link in the description as well. If you can put in a URL put it at the start of the description so that it doesn’t get lost in the more info/read more section.
- Tags: Tags are helpful because they help tell search engines how to categorize your data. Services like YouTube use the tags to associate your videos with other related videos. Most video services are starting to follow the lead of YouTube and are allowing for smart tags. Whenever possible try to add tags to your videos especially on YouTube.
In order for you to receive the full SEO potential of your videos, you should consider hosting the videos you have directly on your website (instead of using a 3rd party service like Youtube or Vimeo). We recommend this because if you have taken the time to build quality videos you are giving visitors and other people on a web a reason to link back to your domain directly versus the 3rd party service. This ultimately helps your overall SEO efforts by generating a good number of backlinks to your site. The potential drawback to this if you only post your video on your site and not on larger video sites like YouTube that get a billion + visitors a month would be reduced exposure to your video , shares and the ability to go viral.
Here are a few tips for optimizing the video on your website:
- Transcriptions: Content is king! If you are adding video content to your website always try to add a transcription whenever possible. It not only benefits you with SEO but also accessibility for users visiting your site that may not be able to see but are using a screen reader.
- Video sitemaps: Creating and submitting a sitemap for the videos on your site will make it easier for search engines to find and index your videos. This in turn will result in your video showing up as a snippet or search engine result for a keyword ultimately leading people to click on the link or video to watch the content on your website vs. on YouTube or Vimeo. If you don’t know how to generate a video sitemap you can read this Moz blog or signup for Google Web Master tools and generate an account there.
- Social Shares: If you have a quality video that ultimately offers something to the viewer ( evoke an emotion or educate them) make sure you have an easy way for them to share it, either by clicking the Tweet/Share button. The AddThis and ShareThis services are great scripts to include on your video pages.
With the information from this post you now have the tools and tips to start leveraging your video content to help boost your SEO efforts and get you better ranking results.