According to the latest research, not only is online video the fastest growing media online, but is has now surpassed search as the most popular activity online. Online video views surpassed searches performed on the top 5 search engines, according to stats released by comScore and covered by ReelSEO in October 2008.
Online video, combined with search, is one of the most effective ways to drive internet users to your videos and market your products and services. However, being that online video marketing is such a new strategy, there are still many aspects of video marketing that are not well understood. For online marketers and video content producers, it is important to learn and practice techniques that increase the likelihood that internet users will discover their content via the major search engines. To do this, one must understand video search optimization, also known as video SEO.
To start off, let’s answer the simple question, “What is Video SEO, or SEO for Video?” Basically, it is the process of creating and publishing a video such that it is easily discovered, indexed, and ranked by search engines. When we talk about video SEO, there are really 2 distinct strategies and methods to consider.
“Posted” video SEO is one strategy whereby the goal is to get as many viewers as possible to your video content. “Posted” video is basically when you optimize video content that is uploaded to video sharing websites. The benefit with this strategy is that you can leverage the massive viewing audiences that already exist at these major video destinations like Youtube and metacafe. Additionally, by uploading videos to these video sharing websites, you can leverage the pre-established page rank and authority that these sites have in order to assist you in ranking well within universal search.
When optimizing your video for uploading (“posted” video SEO), it is very important that you choose your target keywords wisely and include these in your titles, descriptions, tags, comments, etc… There are also many services available on the web that allow you to upload your videos to multiple video sharing websites at once. Although there are a few tactics that can help, for the most part, a “posted” strategy does not assist well with driving traffic back to your own website.
In addition to “Posted” video search optimization, there are many techniques and strategies for “hosted” video SEO, or “website” video SEO. With this, the goal is to optimize video content that is placed on your own website. With universal search on the rise, it is possible to utilize video content to increase your own website’s chances of ranking in the major search engines as well as the video search engines. The main benefit in this strategy is that you can expose potential viewers to your other business assets, products and services.
With “hosted” video SEO, it is most important that you follow best practices in general for search engine optimization. Because search engines can not yet read within video content, it is important that you optimize the HTML pages that contain your video content much in the same way that you would with regular SEO. Although there are many detailed tips and techniques for “hosted” video SEO, most can be summed up with the following tips:
1) Make sure that the page with your video on it includes a good amount of relevant on-page text to guide the search engines. Include your keywords in your meta tags, URL string, descriptions, etc…
2) Consider publishing a transcript or captions for your video.
3) Keep your videos in one main directory with one video per unique URL.
4) Publish a video sitemap or MRSS feed to help guide the search engines to your video content.
5) Be sure to generate off-site links to your video pages by encouraging users to share and link to your videos.
Whether your strategy is to drive visits to your video or to your website in general, video SEO is an effective way to leverage the power of online video. If you are interested in learning more advanced tips and techniques for either “posted” or “hosted” video content, ReelSEO is the website to visit. They are the only site completely focused on providing resources and information for Video SEO.
Good luck and happy optimization. Get on board with Video SEO today.