Video SEO: Getting The Most Out Of Your Online VideosWritten by Onur Birsen.
Why video?Research shows Google prefers videos to other search results. In addition, Google displays video results with a representative thumbnail image, drawing eyes significantly more than a simple text link would. Simply put, videos have a higher click through rate than their plain text counterparts.
What is Video SEO?Video SEO is the process of using various techniques to make a video rank better and higher in search results for select topics and keywords. The first step is create your video. You have a few options here: you can try creating it yourself, hire a professional company such as Glacial to shoot your videos for you, or purchase a pre-recorded stock video and customize it for your purposes. After making your video, you will need to identify “Video Keywords”. By this, I mean keywords that are relevant to the video, which you would want to rank for on search engines. Once you have your video edited and your keyword strategy is set, the two primary methods to assist web crawlers in finding and indexing your video content are:
1) On-page video markupVideo data can show up in search results in the form of rich snippets. Using the recommended HTML and rich snippet markups make it easier for Google and other search engines to discover and index your content. On-page markup is hidden descriptive data that is added to the source code of your web page. Google recommends using the schema.org, a new markup format that has been collaboratively designed and is supported by Google, Bing, and Yahoo! Learn more about using schema.org here: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/videosearch/schema
2) Video sitemapsIf Google cannot discover video content at the URLs you provide, those records will be ignored by Googlebot. A video sitemap is a text file containing data about the content of your video. By submitting a sitemap to Google, you are informing the search engine of your video’s title, topic, length, intended audience, and other details that will influence how and when it gets indexed.
Learn more about video sitemaps here:https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/80472?hl=en#1
Where should I host my videos?If you want as many people to see your video as possible, you should be using YouTube. If you want to retain control of the traffic on your own site, you should be self-hosting, or using a third-party business video hosting platform. Here are the core advantages of the two video hosting options:
- Easier and better visibility in organic search results.
- Automatically visible and findable across the YouTube platform
- Built-in integration with social services such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
2) Third-Party Platform
- Links and social shares point back to your site, improve traffic and boost site SEO.
- Better analytics, tracking and integration with marketing software.
- More customizable video players.
- No ads
Brand Awareness vs. ConversionsBefore publishing your video, you should also strongly consider what your ultimate goal is with respect to it. If your goal is getting your brand name out there (typically using videos with creative stories designed to be viral and to promote a core message), you should choose to host your videos on YouTube, the platform that will maximize visibility across search and social. For conversions, (referring to videos that relate to the second half of the purchasing funnel, designed to improve conversion rates) you should opt for a third party private video platform. Examples could be videos for procedures, or a video encouraging people to take a self-test. Most practices should be doing some mixture of the two, with content created specifically to take advantage of the benefits of each platform.
What are some recommended third party video platforms?Here are some of my recommended third party video delivery platforms I’ve worked with in the past below. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
- BrightCove – brightcove.com
- Kaltura – kaltura.com
- Sprout – sproutvideo.com
- Viddler – viddler.com
- Vid.ly – vid.ly
- Vzaar – vzaar.com
- Wistia – wistia.com