Video has emerged as the king of SEO-friendly-content. Innovations in the search engine has resulted in “SERP” (Search Engine Results Page) by Google that shows embedded videos, images, and feeds from social networks. This has changed the traditions of Search Engine Optimisation. Now search engine optimised videos are one of the quickest and surest methods for landing in the first page of a search engine result.
A study conducted by Forrester Research claims that videos are 55 times more likely to display in an organic search ranking. Not only that, videos are becoming increasingly popular on smart phones and considering the three-fold increase in video traffic on mobile phones reported by YouTube, videos are one of the latest priorities of Google.
Check out this search result for a search query on “crumpler 6 million dollar bag review”:
In this snippet, the first small red box shows image results, the second and third results (in big red boxes) show video results.
So what is Video SEO? And why is it important?
Video SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a set of techniques that optimise video content to gain search engine traffic to your website. It’s important because it helps your video content appear in search engines (such as Google and Yahoo) and will ultimately bring traffic to your website.
Top 11 Video SEO techniques
Based on our real time experience of developing content specific videos and providing VSEO services at AndMine.com, here are the best tips on how to optimise videos for search engines and drive organic traffic to your site.
1. Genuine and relevant videos
First thing that matters is the originality of your video. And secondly the video should be relevant and congruent to the website or webpage on which it is displayed. Such video content reduces bounce rates and earn good page ranking for your websites from search engines.
2. Short and Smart Videos
The length of any video should be kept between 1 to 3 minutes. Lengthy videos are more prone to irk the viewers and subsequently increase the bounce rates. Additionally, content should be relevant to the topic and informative for the viewer. You can always consult a specialist for your video content strategy.
If you have a lengthy video, it’s better to divide it into parts. But ensure that each part has an important message or piece of information.
3. Host your videos with the video giant: YouTube
Integrated with Google, YouTube is the largest online video host and also the second largest search engine. For improving your SERP, it is more important that your videos are uploaded to YouTube. More than 80 per cent of videos that show up on Google SERP are from YouTube. So be where the trend is.
4. Video Sitemap
Though search engine crawlers search your website for updated video content, it is better to create a video sitemap and inform the search engine through Web Master Tools. This XML file informs the search engine about your site, the title, description and duration of the video and accelerates the search engine indexing process for your video.
5. Branding starts with the Video Channel name
Branding is an important aspect of e-commerce. So like your products or website, your video channel on YouTube should speak out your name and must have your logo on it. The title of your videos, and name of your video channel should be the same – focusing your products. This will help in branding your videos and subsequently in driving traffic to your website, and ultimately converting those visitors into quality customers.
6. Congruency in Titles, Tags, and Meta-tags of videos
Congruency and consistency should be maintained in providing Titles, Tags and Meta tags to all your videos on YouTube. They should be based on the targeted keyword(s). Optimising these elements will help you drive more traffic from search engines.
7. Strategic Tagging
Strategic tagging means placing a unique tag in all your videos. This type of tag helps in controlling the “Related Videos” sidebar of YouTube and also in controlling related videos shown after a video has finished playing on YouTube.
8. Description and Linking
One of the primary benefits of uploading your video to YouTube is getting a link back to your website from its description section.
Putting your website’s link right at the beginning of the description, as shown above (red box at the bottom left), will have maximum probability of the viewer seeing and clicking on it. If your video is related to specific content on your website, then make sure that you put the link to the specific page rather than the home page.
9. Be Social and Responsive
Quality and quantity matters in socialising a video across the social networking sphere. Sharing videos on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ assists in gaining more attention, comments and sharing by users. Creative and highly distinct videos that have more likelihood of being shared online can boost your efforts to socialise your brand.
Adding Facebook’s Open Graph protocol meta-properties to your website helps in integrating your videos with Facebook. This update assists in embedding videos into the user’s newsfeed and allows the user to check and share the content without ever leaving the newsfeed. It’s certainly worth updating this on your website.
10. Optimise website Video URLs
The page URLs on your site must be optimised for search engines by including the actual title of the video rather than a general category. So instead of using a page URL like www.mywebsite.com/catg12/article1023.html your URL should be something like: www.mywebsite.com/video/video-seo-tips.html. This will help search engines with indexing the content of your page and drive traffic to your website.
11. Add Closed Caption to videos
Uploading closed captions or a video transcript to your videos helps search engines in identifying its content. Providing a keyword-laden video transcript is an easy way to tell search engines what your content is. Google and YouTube can help in making captions as well.
In a nutshell, ensure that your video marketing strategy adheres to 3 essentials: 1. Genuine and strategically prepared videos, 2. SEO optimisation, and 3. Use Social networks for socialisation. Follow these guidelines and steadily you will make it to the first SERP.
So expand your customer-reach by adopting video marketing strategies into your business.