Videos are becoming more and more important on the internet as more users gain access to faster internet connections. It is because of this that businesses need to start thinking about video SEO and the strategy behind marketing video content on the internet. Videos are especially important in helping drive traffic to your website. Google and other search engines recognize that videos usually offer high quality content, and take time and effort to produce. For this reason, they place a lot of importance on videos and see them as supporting signals for the quality of your site’s content.
Because of the time and effort factor, we want to make sure that when we do create video content for our users, we are doing it properly. There is nothing worse than wasting time and effort to produce something that will, in the end, not help you drive traffic or sales on your site. So now that we have a video, how do we market it properly for maximum results?
1) Hosting Your Video
The obvious choice for hosting is YouTube. YouTube is the most popular video hosting service, and is actually considered the number 2 search engine in the world behind only Google itself. YouTube is good for videos that have entertainment intent, but if your video could end up being found in search engine results (SERPs) for a specific term, it would be better to host on a different platform that gives you more control over the ownership of your video. In this case a paid service like Wistia or Vimeo Pro would be a better option. With a service like Wistia, your video result listings will link to the video hosted on your website rather than bringing the user to YouTube.
2) Choosing Keywords
The keywords you choose are very important, just as with any SEO strategy. There are a few places that the keywords you choose are going to be important. The first is the actual filename of the video. The search engines look at the filename and use it to determine what the video is about.
A catchy title is also a plus. In the case of YouTube, this refers to the title field when uploading a video. It can also refer to the title used in an XML Sitemap, and the heading used on your site directly before embedding the video code. Certain services also offer keyword fields when uploading a video. You may also utilize these fields in order to tell the system what keywords you are trying to be found for with your video.
3) Comments and Social Sharing
It is important to provide users with the ability to comment on your video and to give them an easy way to share the video with their connections on social networks. Most of the services you will use to host your videos will have areas to do this on site, but you will need to take care of this on your own when the video is being served on a page within your website. Some services offer tools to help with this, but in other cases you will need to manually program in these features yourself.
Supplying a transcript along with your video helps search engines know exactly the content that appears in your video. Since it would be very difficult if not impossible for the search engines to view and interpret all of the content on every video out there, transcripts can help you be found for other terms that are not specifically targeted within the title or filename. The transcript acts as the content of a webpage for the video, and without it you can assume that your video is the equivalent of a page on your site that is optimized for good keywords, but is lacking any supporting content. There are services out there that will manually transcribe your videos for you as well.
5) Video XML Sitemaps
Video XML Sitemaps are very important for helping your video content be found. Video Sitemaps give search engines a definitive list of all the video content on your site in a format that gives them all the information they need in order to properly index all of your content. This is similar to your regular XML sitemap in making sure that all of the videos you have created can be found in their SERPs for the terms you are targeting. Not only will it help you get found in SERPs, it also gives you the opportunity to influence how your video entry will show on the various search result pages. Video XML Sitemaps are also a sure fire way to make sure that the SERP listings link the user back to the video embedded on your site and not to a third party website like YouTube.
6) Schema.org Markup and Rich Snippets
Another way you can help your videos get found is to use Schema.org markup and Rich Snippets with your videos. By tagging and marking up your code with these snippets, you are providing additional information and context about your video to various search spiders and crawlers looking for content on your site. Google recommends using Schema.org markup to help make sure your videos are fully optimized and accessible to spiders.
7) GeoTagging and Merging YouTube with Google+
If you are hosting your videos on YouTube there are a few additional things you will want to do to get most out of your videos. The first is to setup GeoTagging. This will allow you to enter the latitude and longitude coordinates for where the video clip was shot. This will help to localize your video if that is your intent. You will also want to merge your YouTube Channel with your Google+ Page so that you can easily share and manage your video posts with your contacts.
8) Link Building
Once you have a video created and have shared it on your website or a 3rd party hosting site like YouTube, you will want to share it with the world. You want to build links back to your videos naturally so you do not incur any penalties with search engines. The best place to start is by sharing on social media channels so that your user base can help you spread the word. Integrating the video into a blog post and promoting through other marketing channels is also key. There are endless possibilities when it comes to sharing your videos, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box.