Seo for video

Monday, June 28th, 2010

As well as being a great way to engage your website visitors and reach millions of users by distributing your video on sites such as YouTube, with more search engines listing videos in their search results, video is fast becoming a key SEO tool, enabling you to extend your visibility across key search engines and boosting your rankings for relevant keyword phrases.

With the onset of Google’s Universal Search (where other media are also displayed on result pages), a video is said to be 53 times more likely to appear on a first page of results than a traditionally optimised page. This creates a unique opportunity to attract potential customers with a visually engaging video.

We’ve gathered together some of the top techniques for optimising your online videos to ensure they get picked up by search engines.

Keyword Research

Firstly, identify the best commonly searched keyword phrases relevant to your video content. Try to choose longer phrases as these tend to perform better than one or two keyword phrases, which are often highly competitive and are less targeted. There are a number of keyword tools available to help you with this – we like Google’s free keyword tool.

Landing Pages

Before you distribute your video online, decide where you want to direct visitors that see your video, as your homepage might not necessarily be the most relevant place. The best option is often to create a specific landing page, which contains the video plus more information and calls to action to enable visitors to find out more or make a purchase. Make sure this landing page contains the same keywords you will be using to optimise your video by adding them to the page title, meta description, content and headings etc. Surrounding your video with key search terms that reflect the content will help search engines to find and index your video. Add the URL of this page to the video so when you distribute it on other sites, viewers can visit this page.

Video Optimisation

Make the most of the opportunity to reach thousands or even millions of users by distributing your videos online. You can upload your video to a number of video sites such as YouTube, MetaCafe or Vimeo and instantly have access to a completely new audience. When you upload your video you’ll usually have the option to add your keyword phrases into the video title and description and most sites also allow you to add tags to categorize your video and further aid searches.

  • Title: This should be a catchy headline to encourage users to view the video. Titles are usually between 75 and 120 characters and should contain your key search terms. Don’t be tempted to pack it with lots of keywords as this may be seen as spam. If you do want to include your company/brand name, it should go at the end.
  • Description: This should be an interesting and relevant summary of your content. Descriptions can be around 200 characters – though some sites and search engines allow fewer characters so ensure your key content is within the first 160 characters. Include your key phrases and the URL of your landing page (including the http:// part) as this can act as a link back to your website.
  • Tags and Categories: Where sites allow you to enter tags, include your top keywords and keyword phrases, plus your product/brand, location etc. If categories are available, add your video to the most relevant categories.
  • Comments: Get the ball rolling by adding a comment inviting people to provide feedback and include the URL of your landing page to help them find out more. Make sure you respond promptly to any comments. Not everyone will be positive so try not to get involved in an argument, simply thank them for their opinion and move on.

Tracking and Analysis

Add tracking to your video landing page to monitor the number of visitors to the page, where they arrived from and whether they converted to an enquiry or sale. This is important data as it can help you measure the success of a campaign and as you distribute more videos online you can decide if certain sites and strategies are giving you better results than others and adjust your strategy accordingly. If you don’t already use analytics/tracking on your website, Google Analytics is an excellent free resource.

If you would like any assistance with optimising and distributing your videos online, get in touch with us.

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Mark started in the Internet industry in 1994 working with one of Canterbury’s first Internet Service Providers. In 1997 Rocket launched New Zealand Tourism Online and then Avatar Web Promotions in 1998. New Zealand Tourism Online was sold to Telecom Yellow Pages in 2006. Mark enjoys meeting with Avatar’s clients and strategising winning Web solutions. When not at Avatar HQ, Mark’s into playing tennis, going on family camping trips and supporting the private space industry.

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