5 Tips for Transforming Video Content Into SEO Gold
By 2014, 90 percent of all content online will be some form of video, according to theVisual Networking Index Forecast from Cisco. This approaching reality highlights the integral role video optimization plays in attaining a first-page Google ranking. Consumers are increasingly looking to video to fulfill their information needs and Google is taking notice by allocating more of its search engine territory to video content and less to traditional web results. Although Google's integration of video has created more competition for plain-text results, it has opened the door for video assets to acquire coveted search engine rankings.
According to Forrester Research, videos, if optimized effectively, are 53 times more likely than traditional web pages to jump to the top of Google's search results. Regardless of the new opportunities that "universal search" presents, companies repeatedly neglect video in their search engine optimization strategies.
As the number of people surfing the web continues to increase, online videos are becoming the quickest and easiest way to offer timely content to a larger audience. Most online companies have a war chest of video content that can be used to further their SEO goals. Videos offer something new for consumers to view and share, crucial components in achieving SEO success. As Search Engine Watch reported, videos yield over 40 percent more clicks than plain text, making them an essential piece in driving traffic, leads and content sharing.
Here are five tips to help you start repurposing your videos into SEO supplements:
- Content is key: A law firm posting a cooking how-to video wouldn't only be irrelevant, but also confusing to its audience. Providing viewers with pertinent and valuable information is key to successfully integrating video into your SEO strategy. Uploading a video just to say you have video on your site will never generate the desired results. Google is lenient on what it classifies as "video content." Still photos, screenshots and prerecorded slides all count as video footage, so get creative. Also note that time is essential when it comes to holding viewers’ attention. As a rule, keep your videos to 10 minutes or less. Split longer clips into smaller segments and tag each accordingly. Not only does this increase viewer engagement, it keeps the user looking for more.
- Location matters: When selecting a venue for your video, there are two common practices: hosting it directly on your site or posting it on a third-party site such as YouTube. If driving prospects to your site is your main motivation, then hosting your video is the best move. If you want the highest volume of views and social media buzz for your videos, then posting them to YouTube is the right choice. In the end, hosting and posting video is the optimal solution. Keep in mind that each method has different upload requirements. When hosting your video, you must include "video" in the title and description to ensure it's properly indexed. This step isn't necessary with third-party sites.
- Keywords make a difference: Without keywords and tags, search engines are oblivious to your content. Search engines primarily rank videos based on the match between search keywords and the video's title, making those the best places to insert important terms. That's only the first step, however. Don't miss out on further optimization opportunities by skimming over details. Create an expressive link, use video tags and write a comprehensive description. Give search engines and third-party video sites an inside look at your content, and make it available to special-needs viewers by putting together a text transcript.
- Submission equals discovery: Unlike traditional web pages, where Google uses crawlers to uncover and index web content, video requires manual submission in order to be indexed. Reading video isn't one of Google's core competencies, so make it easier on both parties by submitting your content through a Google video site map. This allows search engines to identify and tag your videos, associating them with the appropriate search terms. A quality site map should include the video file, a thumbnail image, and a keyword-loaded title and description.
- Create buzz: After you've created worthy content and completed all the technical steps, it's time to get the word out. Post links of your videos on your company's blog and various social media accounts. Encourage viewers to comment and share your video with their own networks. As your audience starts talking, tweeting and sharing your video, you can almost count on increased visibility, traffic and, ultimately, transactions.