Optimising Video For Search Engines

by Alex Harvey May 6th, 2011 

video-optimization

Video is a fantastic resource and adds value and depth of content to a static web page. However, at present, Google and other search engine spiders cant all read the information contained in a video. With video results appearing more prominently in the SERPs, its important to have the other aspects of your web page fully optimised for search engine visibility when incorporating a video on your page. In this post well explore some of the techniques you can employ to optimise the video on your website, whether they be hosted on your website or on a video sharing site such as YouTube or Vimeo.

Video Hosted On Your Site

  • Page Content " Other than the video on you page you will want to ensure that there is also sufficient static HTML content on the page. This way search engine spiders can obtain a fairly clear picture of what the page is about. You may want to consider adding a paragraph of text above or below the video describing its content. Its easy to assume that everyone in the world has a fast connection these days, but it isnt so. This way you will also be improving accessibility by allowing people on slower internet connections to find out what the video is about without having to wait for it to load. You should of course make sure your page title and meta description are in place and that the page URL is correctly formatted for SEO, but then you already knew this.
  • Video Meta Data " Its important to put keywords in to the videos meta data. You can tag each scene if you think its appropriate and remember to use your pre determined targeted keywords. Its also useful to note that when people search for video they often use the word video as part of their search term. Including the word video in your title and description is a must.
  • Links & Backlinks " As with any web page, obtaining backlinks to the page with video on is a vital step to undertake in a successful SEO campaign. Optimising the anchor text for your backlinks is also another positive step you can take to help search engines understand the content of your video.
  • Video Sitemap " As with all web pages, search engine spiders use sitemaps to locate and index your websites content. This is the same with video and you can create a video sitemap or media RSS feed to help search engines locate the video content on your website.
  • Site Architecture " It is common practice to upload all of your images to one folder. The same practice is recommended with the videos on your website, be sure to upload all current and future videos to one folder, ideally called videos, and locate this folder on the root of the website.
  • Social Media " Social media is starting to play a bigger part in ranking algorithms and with the Google +1 button on the way you no doubt want to incorporate social media onto your website. This is especially true for video as people pass links to videos around the likes of Twitter and Facebook daily. As such, utilising social media on your web pages containing video content is a great way to gain traction and encourage linking to the page.

Video Hosted On A Video Sharing Website

  • Titles & Descriptions " If you are uploading your videos to a video sharing website such as YouTube or Vimeo then optimising the title and description of your videos will go a long way to ensuring these videos are picked up by the search engines. Again, make sure to include the word video in your title and description as this is a common word used when searching for videos.
  • File Name " It may not be obvious, but uploading your video using the file name created by the recording source will probably contain none of your targeted keywords. Renaming your videos before you upload them to target your keywords is another positive step you can take to help search engines identify your content.
  • Backlinks " As with all web pages, and as already mentioned above, obtaining links to the page where your video is located is a vital step for your SEO campaign.
  • Thumbnails " When users are deciding which video to watch on YouTube or Vimeo, the thumbnail is one of the key factors influencing their decision to watch or not to watch. Selecting an intriguing thumbnail will help to increase click-through to your video.
  • Editing " If you can, edit your video to incorporate company branding and the company website URL on the fist and last frame of each video you upload. You can also include additional information on these frames that you feel may be relevant to the audience.
  • Content " One of the best ways to generate natural backlinks to your website is to create a video that is engaging, creative, informative and unique. People are more likely inclined to link to a video if it is providing something of worth to them.
Alex Harvey

Alex works for Fresh Egg, an SEO and multi discipline search agency. He has an extensive background as a web developer.

SEO & Web Design Blog

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One Response to “Optimising Video For Search Engines”

  1. Kristi Hines says:

    Great info – usually you see optimization tips for on-site or off-site video but not both in one post to show the similarities and differences. Thanks for sharing!