Basic Video SEO

How to optimise video content on your website.

Search today, is not the user experience it first was. When searching Google, Bing or Yahoo! we often see richer results than the traditional ten blue links on a text heavy page. Now it is very common for a search query to trigger additional types of results too, particularly when searching Google you may see images, local listings (with a map) and of course video.

Whilst there are many statistics about video content being more likely to get to page one than standard text content; and whilst there is a great deal of truth in such statistics, there are conditions and dependencies. Just having video content on your site is not enough. Setting aside the content subject-matter and quality, your video needs to be optimised so that it can be effectively interpreted by search engines. Search engine crawlers cannot “see”, or “hear” video content, so we’re much more reliant on technical structure and on-page set-up, as information and relevancy signals here.

Technical/Structural

1. One video per page

Having one video per page allows you to explicity target data about that page, to the content of the video. As an example, having a keyword-rich URL, that speaks to the video content will provide an additional relevency signal.

2. Navigational and internal links

Ensure that your video(s) are well linked-to within the site, both by navigation and by internal linking. With internal links it is much easier and more natural to link with explicit anchor text, which will add additional meaning to what it is, that the video is about.

3. Video directory or sub-folder

House all collated video on the site, in to a specific folder or subdirectory i.e. http://mywebsite.com/video/

4. Video sitemap

Tell Google about your video content by creating a video sitemap and adding it to your Webmaster Tools account, for the site.

On the Page

1. Embed content

Ensure you embed your video content, as opposed to playing in a pop-up window.

2. File names

Give the video file a keyword-rich, descriptive name.

3. Meta data

Ensure the page meta-title and description are a good balance of keyword rich, meaninful data.

4. Transcribe where appropriate

Depending on the length of the video and additionally from an accessibility perspective it is considered best-practise to provide a transcript of the audio. Not only will this make the content accessible to hearing-impaired users, but having the content transcribed on the page will add additional meaning to search engines.

5. Allow for easy sharing

Certain types of video content may naturally have that share-appeal, however it pays to make this as easy as possible by ensuring your content is extremely easy for users to share. Consider providing an embed URL, and certainly ensure that you have social sharing icons to make it easy for users to share with their communities in a single click.

About the author

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Nichola Stott

Nichola is Founder and Director of theMediaFlow; with over 10 years experience in online marketing, over six of which in search. Nichola learned all about search at Yahoo! as head of UK search partners.

5 Comments

  1. brian frolo says:

    Timely, concise and helpful. My clients either have video on their site or are clamoring for these services. I will put this link in my reference file. Thank you!

  2. Very informative post Nichola. I would also add the importance of tagging your video with relevant keywords to get the full SEO benefits and to make it easier for people to find.

    • Nichola says:

      Thanks Jamie – good point!

      You’ve reminded me that I intended to follow-up on this with another post looking at optimising video for YouTube! ;-)

  3. Excellent summary, Nichola. I’d also remind people to include a link to their website in their YouTube channel/profile page.

  4. [...] can also find information about video SEO if that is the sort of news content you [...]

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