How significant is video to people visiting your website? The statistics may shock you. But before we reveal those numbers lets take into consideration what major social media sites have been focusing on lately. It should be no surprise that the largest push is in utilizing video in any and all possible applications. Facebook is “cautiously” adding video advertisements to the site, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Facebook is also testing VoIP calls in Canada. If successful, video calls/conferencing will be plugged right into the messenger.
The point is that video increases the user’s’ experience, if done correctly. Video also can improve your SEO, if done correctly. So, our goal is to give you the top ten tips and tricks, to get the most out of video for your site. That includes user experience as well as SEO ranking. Oh, about those stats, 17 % of people will only spend 4 seconds or less in a site. But those same people will hang around long enough to watch videos for nearly 3 minutes. To advertisers, 3 minutes is valuable time. To you, it will be worth it’s weight in gold.
Words Still Matter
As a matter of fact, words may even matter more than before. When it comes to Video SEO, adding words to your video is one of the most important, and most missed, tips that makes your video perform for you.
1) Uploading transcripts to the video page will help you greatly.
Within the context, various keywords, and phrases, will be ready for indexing by search engines. While a description is good for a title, and a brief introduction, a transcript can act like the framework for SEO.
2) Use the comment sections to host keyword descriptions and entire transcripts.
Every video hosting site has a reserved area for your description of the video. Try to upload the entire transcript into that section, or as much as the site will allow you to put in. Also in the description should be a clickable link to your site.
3) Make your keyword phrases match the video title.
One of the most tedious tasks of creating content is doing keyword phrase research. However, once you start finding accurate matches for your content, make that the title of your video. The search engines are already doing a lot of the work for you! One priceless application is Google’s Keyword Tool. Prior to the official launch a user had to be logged into Adwords to use this. They have changed that, and users can now use it without signing in.
4) Video Quality: Dialogue and Resolution are One in the Same
While keywords are going to help index and put your content in front of people, all of that effort will be for naught if the video quality is terrible. And by “video quality” that includes dialogue as well as the actual video resolution. If you create a video that includes poor dialogue, and find yourself trying to mash together your dialogue spontaneously, your viewers will most likely leave. Or worse, leave negative comments.
You won’t need an expensive high-definition camera to do all of your video work. But you do not want to use a cell phone video camera from 2005 either. And as far as dialogue goes, don’t have only one person look it over. Have multiple sets of eyes read it. Read it out loud and record the audio first. Get some practice with the script to make sure it is the best it can be.
5) Comments, Likes, Shares, Oh my!
The next most important feature of an online video is partly out of your control. With good quality video and dialogue in your finished clip, it is now up to viewers to be merciful. And the number of “Likes”, comments, and the number of times it is shared, will all matter to Google and other search engines. But if you have done everything right, it should be fairly easy to obtain positive reinforcement in this category.
6) Upload Videos to the Second Largest Search Engine
When you think of “search engines” you immediately think of Google, Yahoo, Bing, and then maybe smaller ones like “Duck, Duck Go”. But YouTube itself is a search engine. Not only that, it is the 2nd largest search engine! So now you can understand why we focus so much on YouTube when listing SEO tips for Video SEO. With 1 billion unique visitors each month, YouTube should always be your first option for video hosting.
7) Creative Landing Page
The page that hosts your video needs to be an expansion of what you already did for the comments section and the video title. Your page for the video should have a separate, and unique, description of the video. Copy and pasting the exact text from the comments section can actually hurt you in search engine rankings. Your landing page needs:
a) The new description
b) Relevant still images
c) Links to relevant content on your site
8) Keep Your Video “Crawlable”
YouTube has added various options for sharing and embedding videos. While this enhances the standard users’ experience, site owners have been unintentionally penalized by using these new options. You need search engines to “crawl” your page and your content thoroughly. In order to do that, you need to use the old embed option that starts with the html “
9) Microdata Markup
Micro what? While “microdata markup” sounds like a very technical, and likely difficult, process, using it yourself is much easier than it sounds. Less technical too. Back on the Google Webmaster Blog we find an entry that could easily be missed. This entry talks about using Schema.org as a markup tool that transforms microdata into a format that works harmoniously with major search engines.
Webmasters familiar with using the markup strategy have written step-by-step tutorials on this as well, making it easy for any user to implement. Follow SEO Gadget’s guide to ensure smooth integration using Schema.org.
10) Create a Video Sitemap
In doing so, you will be creating a cheat-sheet for search engines. While having search engines crawl your video, possibly the transcripts, and the descriptions, will give it a nice edge with keywords and keyword phrases, a video sitemap pulls the entire strategy together. Creating a sitemap just for your videos will give the search engine a single stop to index relevant data, and send users your way.
If you need a tutorial that explains how to create a sitemap for videos for all platforms, then you will want to take a look at the step-by-step instructional post by Phile Nottingham. He covers, Youtube, Vimeo, Viddler, Brightcove, et al. But if you are only using YouTube and want a sitemap automatically generated for you, then you are in luck. Byteflood has created a sitemap generator just for YouTube. Just paste the link in and press the button.
Someday Search Engines Will Be Smarter
We all wish that search engines were much smarter. As amazing as the technology is, it also unintentionally creates a lot of extra work for everyone. One day search engines might be smarter. Hopefully, all of the work with content that is done every minute around the world, will eventually lead to algorithms that can tell exactly what you are trying to do, and deliver the best results, all while we just drag and drop our content into our web pages. But we are not there yet.
And until that glorious day arrives, you and I need to do a fair amount of tweaking, labelling, organizing, etc. Before reading this list you may not have had a good Video SEO strategy. But now you have a virtual arsenal; a page that should be bookmarked, passed around, and used for reference from here on out. Well, at least until search engines reach their nirvana.
Fred Meek has over 20 years of video production experience and owns MindBOX Productions in Austin, TX.