Guide to Video Search Optimization

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Videos are an important part of web 2.0 and videos, if optimized properly, will show up in the SERPs (and this is what you want). So, where do you start? We have some suggestions:

Research First

There are two areas that in need be researched and compared.

  1. The keywords and keyword phrases- determine which apply to you and create an easy to read list for step 2.
  2. Analyze videos currently doing well and also review some of the videos that have done the best in the last few months. Determine how many of top videos include keywords/keyword phrases that relate to your keywords and video. Search for videos with your keywords and notice the number of views. If not many people are looking the keywords may not be right. If you see that videos with certain keywords do very well, or have done well in the past, you can reduce your keyword list and use the keywords that will increase your video’s visibility.

Video Suggestions

  • Create Something Unique – one of the biggest problems on YouTube is you see many videos that are either exactly the same or very similar to other videos. People are not going to watch a video they think they have already seen.
  • Create Shorter Clips – People tend to watch videos that are 1-3 minutes long more. These shorter clips can be used as an introduction to your business, longer versions of the video or an introduction to a series of videos on the same subject. If you used the smaller video to publicize your other videos, business and/or web site you have a better chance of people viewing it. Additionally, you can submit multiple videos without running the risk of duplicate content. Your short video is an introduction to the topics you discuss, but they give you an opportunity to submit multiple videos with similar keywords.
  • Remember Branding – Your video should be publicizing whatever it is you are discussing. Make sure you remember to brand your web site and business.
  • Linking – Many business use their main URL in the description and name of the video and this is fine, but if you are referring users to longer videos located on your web site you want to link back to the page with those videos. People are not going to search all over your web site to find your videos. Also, keep the URLs to your videos as short as possible.
  • Use Keywords in the Name of the File – Naming your video with keywords is just as important as using keywords in your alt-tags/attributes.
  • Video File Format- YouTube accepts video in WMV, .AVI, .MOV, and .MPG file formats. If you are going to create larger videos for your web site you have several options that include Flash, Windows Media, QuickTime and MPEG4. More people have access to a Windows Media player, so it is often considered the best choice.
  • DO NOT Forget Data Rate – I am sure you have seen web sites that give you multiple viewing options such as T1, Cable/DSL and Modem. If you only offer one data rate you could be preventing many users from viewing you video(s). No one wants to try and watch a video that stops, skips or has bad audio.
  • Web Sites with Video AND HTML Do Better – web sites with both video and HTML tend to do better in the SERPs. All-in-one players are typically not search engine friendly.
  • Remember Tags and Anchor Text Keywords – Tags are crucial today and anchor text describing the links to the videos are just as important. Remember these two crucial areas when you are organizing your video data and keyword research.

Promoting Your Video Effectively

You need a publishing tool that supports a Media RSS output with enclosures related to SEO. You also need to have your feed validated if you are hoping for the search engines to index it correctly. These are the beginning steps.

  • The next step is to help your viewers sign up for your feed easily. Feedburner is a great way to promote your feed. They give you the HTML to add an email sign-up, a button that brings them to Feedburner where they can sign up and you can also promote your feed through email. Feedburner also offers statistics which will allows you to see what your subscribers are doing with your feed.
  • If you place your video on YouTube other video search engines (VSE) will pick up the video quickly. This is an effective way to get your video out there for viewers to find.
  • Crosslink to your video throughout you web site. You can also use the link in online articles, email, your blog and forums.
  • Submit your video or video feed to video search engines.
  • Do not make viewing your video difficult for the viewer. People do not want to work to see something. They want things to be quick and simple. Most people exit sites that make them work. Keep this in mind, If your site and/or video are easy to view the link could easily be passed on to others.
  • Do not forget to optimize with keywords, descriptions, tags and title-tags. Blogs, web sites and VSEs all operate differently, but they all allow you to optimize.
  • Use web analytics- Google Analytics is free, but a combination of analytics is better. You can see what words people were searching for when they found your site, how many visitors you have had, how long they stayed on the current site, how many returning visitors you have…the list could go on and on. You can use the stats you have to determine if your current optimization is working or not working.
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