Video SEO – The Foundations
Videos can create a lot of interest, gain inbound and outbound links and generate website traffic, however search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN are not yet able to read video content so a number of techniques must be employed in order to build a presence for your material.
photo credit: oswalo Super8 Video Camera
Background – do some research with Analytics to discover where visitors of your video are coming from as well as what % of video traffic is arriving from search engines and what % of your traffic is coming from alternative sources such as video sharing websites. It is usually better to host your video, rather than just post it on YouTube. Hosting it puts you in control of the keywords, metadata and monetization of the content, however ultimately you can do both.
Because Google and other search engines can’t yet read video content you need to tell them what it is via the title tags and metadata. Making sure your in-file metadata is keyword rich (and including the word ‘video’) will tell the search engines what the content actually is and therefore making it more likely to be picked up by their algorithm.
It is better to limit yourself to one video per URL; this simplicity is more search engine friendly and in the same vein rather than pop-ups, embed your file into the page itself with its own player that supports all video formats.
Best practice codes for standard SEO can also be applied to video; community is a big part of search engine optimisation and you should encourage interaction and sharing by making your embed code available to all your site visitors, this way your video can disseminate across the web without you lifting a finger. This not only gets you views but also helps to build a relationship with the blogosphere which you later capitalise on and offer more content in the future.
Similarly enable social bookmarking tools for Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon etc which will help proliferate your video content further, including a link to your site where the file can originally be found will drive more traffic to your chosen destination. Viral marketing opportunities are an excellent form of distribution and publicity.
Create video sitemaps and optimised video landing pages. Allow your audience to subscribe to you video content through RSS feeds.
Utilizing video sharing websites and video search engines such as YouTube, Blinkx, Blip.TV, MetaCafe and Vimeo can improve your video traffic vastly, not only with viewings but also if you can get a link in the “related videos” section. This is an excellent option to take advantage of as videos are like Pringles, once you pop you can’t stop, the majority of people never just watch one clip they watch many.