Video SEO – The Importance of Video Optimisation

Don’t leave your clients on the cutting room floor! Drive their traffic and increase sales leads through video SEO and video optimisation…

Video SEO tools like YouTube are no longer just a way of sharing video clips – it has become a Search Engine in its own right. More than 13 million hours of video was uploaded to YouTube in 2010 alone. In addition to traditional Search Engine Optimisation, SEO experts now need to also think about video optimisation and leverage videos to drive quality traffic to websites and capture new business. Here are 10 ways you can optimise your videos.

Hosting the video on your site

The decision on whether you want to host videos on your own website or upload them to third party sites will depend on your video SEO goals and whether you want to drive traffic directly to your website or obtain link juice through a third party site like YouTube. Keep in mind that if you syndicate your video to a site like Tube Mogul, this may compete with the rankings for the videos hosted on your site and cannibalise your VSEO efforts.

Video hosting on third party sites

Savvy SEO experts know that YouTube is not the only video community available to their clients. Not only are their dedicated video hosting websites available, videos can also be hosted on social media sites such as Facebook, sent to video syndication sites such as Tube Mogul and embedded in blogs to drive traffic to your website through video SEO and video marketing. Some of the main video hosting sites include:

Video link bait

You want to create videos that are interesting, compelling and add value for your viewers. Ideally, you want to use the video as link bait and encourage people to email it to their friends, embed the video on their blog, post it on their Facebook page or tweet about it via Twitter to drive traffic back to your website. As per classic SEO, ideally you only want quality, trustworthy and authoritative websites to be linking to your videos.

Video formats

As you may be hosting your video on several sites, it is best to create the video in as many formats as possible so you will not be limited by the sites you can host the video on. Even more importantly, your web site users can choose the format and quality best suited to their platform and internet connect speed. Popular video SEO formats for the internet include .FLY, .MP3, .MOV, .MPEG-4, .WMV and .AVI.

Video SEO titles and descriptions

As with Web pages, it is important to have a good keyword rich title but it also needs to be catchy to draw in viewers. With descriptions, include a link to your website at the very top of the description and use original content. This may not be a do follow link but you want people to click on the link once they have finished watching the video and visit your website. Keyword rich anchor text in descriptions carries a lot of weight.

Video tags

Some video hosting sites allow you to add tags for video optimisation. Tags play an important role in video SEO and help people to find your video but again standard SEO rules apply – no spamming or keyword stuffing. For example, if people are looking for videos about video marketing, your video might be tagged with the keywords ‘video marketing’, ‘VSEO’, ‘video optimisation’ and ‘Video Search Engine Optimisation’.

Filenames and URL

Use keywords in the filename of the video and the URL that you are hosting the video on to help Search Engines identify the content and index it appropriately for Web searches. As per standard SEO, the name has to reflect the actual content of the video. So for example, if the video is about a restaurant at a hotel, a good url name may be

Video site maps

If you have decided to host your video on your own website for video optimisation purposes, it is important to create a video site map and submit it to Search Engines. Each Search Engine will have video site map guidelines for you to follow. As you would with images on your website, keep all your video files in one directory. This makes it easier for Search Engine spiders crawling over your site to find them and index them.

At the 2010 SMX Advanced conference in Seattle, leading video marketing bloggers ReelSEO met with Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer and Head of Google’s Web Spam Team and found out his thoughts on video site maps and video SEO.

Encouraging interaction and sharing

The whole nature of video hosting is to create a video community. The ultimate goal of video SEO and video marketing is for your video to reach the video hosting page and be the most viewed, recommended, discussed or popular video and go viral. Each video hosting site is different but here are tips on encouraging interactions, subscriptions, comments and sharing of your videos:

  • Enable comments on your videos and respond to feedback in a timely manner.
  • Comment on videos that are related to your industry and encourage them to provide feedback on your videos.
  • Add friends and invite them to subscribe to your videos.
  • Subscribe to other companies or people’s videos that are related to your industry.
  • Encourage ratings and reviews of your videos by asking your clients, suppliers and friends to rate your video.
  • Post your video as a response to someone else’s video: This is a great way to attract more views to your video.
  • Include the embed code for easy video sharing.

Video analysis

An important component of video SEO is analysing your video statistics. If you are simply hosting videos on your website, this would be done through your Web analytics program such as Google Analytics to see many people are downloading or linking to your videos and other statistics. Hosting websites such as YouTube will usually have their own analytics program such as YouTube Insight to give you valuable data about your videos.

Decide firstly what your video  marketing goals are and this will become the foundation for your video marketing campaigns and how it fits into your overall Search Engine Optimisation strategy. We include video optimisation in all of our SEO Plans from SEO Starter Plans to SEO Maintenance Plans. Compare our SEO Packages or speak to our SEO experts about video SEO and how we can help grow your business.

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