Last week in our weekly blog we took a look at exactly why video is becoming such an integral part of today’s websites. We covered video’s effectiveness at keeping people on your website longer, how high quality makes a big difference and how you can use sites like YouTube to drive traffic to your personal website.
This week we continue to study the video Internet phenomenon. It’s tough out there in the SEO world today today! Due to the “universal search” methods implemented by most search engines, a single search brings up results of all genres, such as news articles, images, blogs and videos. Search engines are putting a concerted effort on supplementing the web experience with different types of content, which is great for the user, but requires the traditional web page owner to learn how to compete against direct challengers in their business and others offering the same information in a slightly different manner.
Multi-talented (and multi-tasking) website owners need to not only incorporate excellent written content into sites that work well and look good, they also need to learn how to create a professional-looking video production that rivals the attempts of their Calgary (and area) competitors. And to top it all off, there’s SEO optimization to learn so that people can find your video in the first place.
Video can be adjusted for SEO standards, something that is often forgotten about by videographers and website managers. Emphasize Design provides a few tips below.
Short is Sweet
Before watching a video the vast majority of users check its length. For most, anything longer than 10 minutes is simply out of the question, and they won’t even bother to click. People want information delivered quickly, and unless you’re describing in detail how to take apart an engine, usually five minutes or less is more than adequate to get to the point. If you ARE going to try to video yourself taking apart an engine, consider breaking the entire length down into a series of shorter productions. Less prolonged videos allow users to easily find the same spot again if they need to back up, and SEO experts suggest that series perform better than single video productions overall.
For your title and description make sure you use suggested keywords. Titling your video is pretty much the same as naming a webpage. Take into consideration search terms people are likely to use when looking for the information you are providing, but please, try to use full sentences! The best way to get people to start and stay watching your video is to make a promise in your title and description, and then deliver on that promise as quickly as possible in the video’s content.
Once you have everything finished with your video – you’ve edited, added graphics, trimmed, cut and cropped – you’ll be either embedding it into a webpage or downloading to a sharing site like YouTube…or both! In either instance, make sure you let people know about it. Use all of your social media skills and wiles to alert friends and friends-of-friends about your newest production. Always allow comments and encourage discourse. By getting people talking about your video you can earn lots of inbound links, which count heavily towards your overall SEO results.
Video in Sitemaps
Search engines are pretty smart, but they’re not psychic. When you’re done building your site it’s imperative that you tell each search engine where they can find the videos on your pages. Create a specific video sitemap in any search engine’s Webmaster Tools to precisely identify and tag videos on your site. A thorough job will mean including the video file, a thumbnail, the title and the description. If you do not identify a video, search engines can still index your page, but they won’t be able to include your video in related search results.
Make the Best URL
Remember long ago when SEO was pretty much all about the URL? Although we’ve evolved far beyond indexing web pages in this manner, it’s still an important lesson to remember when creating URLs for pages with video on them. Include “video” somewhere to alert both search engines and users to the fact that there’s a video on that page.