Creating videos and posting them online can be an excellent way to promote your business and increase trust and brand awareness. With over 48 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube alone every minute, its now harder than ever to get your uploaded videos ranking highly in search results. To achieve this, you do not just need to take your user’s needs into consideration, but also what search engines prefer.
Many marketers think that creating videos and posting them on YouTube are the only steps they need to take to get their videos on the screens of their target audience. But with the high volume of video-based content being posted online, it is not just enough to simply upload them. To ensure that your videos get the reach you desire, you have to optimize them for search engines. Since search engines have no way of “reading” videos, your focus should be on using the right keywords and using other strategies to ensure that your business vehicles get pulled into search results. Below are a few strategies you can use to optimize your visual content for search engines.
1. Keep the videos data light
search engines are not just focused on directing users to websites with the most relevant information but also where they will have the best experience. For this reason, the indexing algorithms tend to pull up pages with quicker loading speeds.
First, you need to put the resolution and video player size into consideration. Does the content really have to be in data intensive HD format? Consider the video file types; FLV, SWF, MPEG4. Some offer faster loading speeds than others. Lastly, take the image compressions on the page into consideration. A JPEG file can be approximately 20 percent lighter than a PNG format file.
2. Content matters – make the videos short, interesting, and informative
After this recent Hummingbird algorithm update, Google placed content above everything else when it comes to ranking websites. Regardless of whether it is video or text content, it must be prepared in such a way as to convey a solid message in an intriguing manner. If users don’t find value in the video content, very few, if any will take the time to share it with their friends and colleagues and as a result, the page will fall in search rankings as Google won’t deem useful enough to display it among first results.
Before posting any video, you need to determine the message you need to convey and strive to stay true to that message. An online business needs to consider its audience, determine what they would be most receptive to and craft the message that best fits this criteria.
3. Ditch YouTube, host your own videos
This is a really big decision you have to make if you are serious about your videos ranking highly in search results. Using YouTube or self hosting them. If you intend to achieve good SEO results with our video ( where a thumbnail clip is provided next to the search results) then you really need to consider ditching YouTube in favor of self hosting. To this end, there is a variety of third party services such as Vimeo and Brightcove which offer paid services that allows you to upload video and embed the content into your blog. This is still self hosted and if needed, you can still get some great analytics from it as well.
4. Don’t just submit, ensure they are discovered
Google uses crawlers to discover, then index web content. Unfortunately, it is not very good at reading flash content and as a result, most video content remains invisible to Google’s search bots. The good news is that your video content can easily get blended into Google search results if you submit via a video sitemap. This is very similar to an XML sitemap, but it is specifically formated for video and contains information about your video content.
One of gravest video SEO mistakes you can make is to assume that search engines will automatically index your videos once you submit the web page on which the video is embedded. You need to ensure that all your video pages have a robots.txt file. This will file will help Google verify the web location where you submitted the video are valid. The file also contains embed codes which confirm the presence of the video.
5. Tittles and tittle tags
When ranking videos and other forms of visual content, the match between the video tittle and search keywords is one of Google’s biggest considerations. Although the search engine encourages you to submit more Meta-data such as keyword tags and descriptions, they don’t hold much water when it comes to SEO. Google loves when the video tittle matches the page’s tittle tag and rewards content with a higher weighing when determine results ranking.
Just like with traditional SEO using long tail keywords will greatly improve the video’s search engine performance. In other words, it pays to be a little more specific when coming up with video tittle.
6. Share the video whenever, wherever
Just like with traditional SEO, Google also rewards popular, informative content with better search rank. Sharing your videos and getting lots of views on social media platforms is the best way to draw Google attention to the content. But your sharing should not just be limited to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. You can also embed the video on you business blog, and send it out as part of a newsletter.
7. Track and analyze the video
Analytics and tracking are vital as far as determining how well the videos are performing SEO-wise. Analytics include total viewing time, viewer demographics and drop off rates and they are all great indicators of how successful the videos are as well as what they are lacking. You can utilize the basic analytics tools that video hosting sites have built in.
These are only but a few tips that can help ensure that your marketing, informational or promotional videos get optimized for web search and get the lifespan that you desire. These practices should ideally be used in combination to get the best results for your video marketing campaign.