Within one year of its launch, YouTube became the fourth most popular website in the world, and is currently a multi-million dollar enterprise. This fact alone should explain the utter relevance and power of video content to the modern Web. Widespread broadband internet access, increasingly capable video recording hardware and editing software, and high-capacity data storage have conspired to convert the web from predominantly text-based to an increasingly audio-visual phenomenon
Since people seem to want video content, the big search engines are incorporating video links into their organic results – and as with any content, there are ways to optimize your search engine performance.
Ten Tips for Quality Video SEO Results
1 – Make sure the video is worth the effort to find it.
Content must be relevant, and it must have an acceptable standard of quality. Potential visitors to any site probably have a great many alternatives they can turn to for any particular interest. Before worrying about other optimization factors, make sure the videos you’re promoting are the very best quality you can produce.
2 – Integrate the video.
In strong SEO practices, all content is tied to other content on the site, and nothing stands alone. Make sure the videos include links back to other portions of the site to increase traffic and sympathetic search results. For example, link back product demonstrations to the products’ description page.
3 – Optimize keywords.
Nearly all good SEO practice comes back to keyword optimization. Search the statistics, find out what keywords are most relevant to the videos you’re producing, and use them. Build catchy titles around them, and incorporate them into the video descriptions and associated text. As in tip 2, make sure they integrate with other keywords important to your site as a whole.
4 – Seek wide coverage.
The end goal of SEO techniques is the generation of web traffic. The chances of a user going to any particular website are fairly slim, so get your content out there. Post to YouTube, Vimeo, and Google Video, but also look into the specialty markets that offer specific types of video. Be creative, and get your content in front of as many people as possible.
5 – Omit needless words.
A trick right out of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, this advice is as true for video content as it is for text. Keep the video brief and punchy, down to exactly what you need to convey your message. People prefer videos of about five minutes’ length, as a rule of thumb.
6 – Brand yourself.
Video content is an excellent chance to associate your content with your site’s brand. Incorporate your organization’s logo into the video (generally in the introduction and/or conclusion), and be sure to link back to your site. However, keep these mentions discrete and logical. Over-stressing the name often leads to eye rolling and clicking to another site. Let the video’s strengths carry the product name, instead of simply repeating it.
7 – Think of the user.
People are not robots, who will automatically respond positively just because they saw a video. Respect their intelligence and the time they’re taking to view the content you’ve provided. Allow them to comment on or at least rate the video, so they feel a sense of contribution to the brand. Consider the option of providing embedding code so they can post the video to their own sites, and provide a contact point so they can leave commentary (moderated for politeness, of course).
8 – Use RSS.
RSS is a standardized syndication format that allows easy publication for frequently updated materials. People set up RSS feeds to their preferred content sources, be they comics, blogs, or video feeds. If you submit your content to RSS and users see it, they’re more likely to add you to their feed and therefore return to your videos in the future.
9 – Remember the Code.
Search engines still operate largely on indexes of hard copy material. Video hasn’t replaced text content so much as grown into a role alongside it. Descriptions and transcripts of your video content add another point of interest for search engines along with meta tags and titles, so don’t neglect good HTML-sensitive writing.
10 – Choose an appropriate format.
If your content is generated toward a predominantly Mac-friendly audience, you will win more viewers by settling on Apple’s .mov format rather than Windows’ .avi. Do some research into your target audience and see what formats are most preferred, and stick to that format. In the past there may have been some merit to offering alternative formats, but with widely available broadband access, people can acquire multiple players with relative ease.
As with text SEO practices, video SEO is not about magic bullets or painting by the numbers. It must be an organic, considered practice that takes many factors into account. All content must be tied intrinsically to the entire business, with video and text content supporting each other in an integrated effort to promote the whole. Adding Video will not save a site from shoddy products, but as part of a comprehensive plan of good practices, it is one more tool in the successful business’ toolbox.