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How to SEO Your Videos

Video search engine optimization (VSEO), much like normal SEO, tries to lift a video from the depths of the SERPs onto the first results page. Although it uses similar methods as conventional text SEO, like keyword choice and backlink building, VSEO has many particulars that demand attention in order for it to be successful.

The first step to successful VSEO is to select the right hosting platform; either your own server or a dedicated website like YouTube. Different search engines have preferences for their own video services (Google for YouTube, Microsoft’s Bing for Bing)1 in regards to what videos to feature with the regular search results. In both cases, YouTube has a strong dominance of the market and is a good bet for companies. In fact, other file sharing sites have so little presence that it doesn’t pay to invest time and money in them. Additionally, Google offers useful synchronization and monitoring features like Google Analytics and the keyword tool.

Much like text, videos must also be optimized for keywords. When doing research, be mindful of the preferred vocabulary of your customers, since they may not be familiar with technical jargon. Also, don’t go for the extremes, like high competition, high traffic and low competition, and low traffic keywords, but instead aim for the middle2. If you are an established website, analyze your current traffic data to find the keywords with the lowest bounce rate and/or longest visit duration. In this case, you will find keywords where you rank fairly well and those with room to expand. Both deserve equal attention.

Another important point about keywords is whether they are transactional, informational or navigational3. The first promote some action, such as a purchase, subscription, discount, etc., while the second have genuinely useful information, and the third navigate to a second webpage. Informational keywords tend to enjoy a couple of times more traffic than the others3 and are more likely to be featured on the main results page.

Having attracted a couple of users, keeping them coming back for more is the best strategy to increase the good reputation of your business and website4. As already mentioned, the videos must focus on giving useful information and adding value to your customer. The video must also be formatted to retain attention; for example, use video editing software to remove noise and graphics for better learning. Users prefer short videos, from three to five minutes in length depending on the niche. If the topic cannot be covered in this time frame, consider breaking it up into smaller episodes.

The video thumbnail and the surrounding content influence the click-through rate of videos. Thumbnails are chosen by the hosting service. YouTube lets you select from key positions within the video, for example. It makes sense to edit the length for a more inviting image. Additionally, as Google cannot index videos, a transcript will lift the video standing and improve the user experience. Transcripts can be copied and pasted, which makes for fantastic link building opportunities. Other content on the page will further enrich the user experience, increasing the traffic and number of backlinks. Enabling the comments and video replies lets you interact with your community and benefit from their advice.

Finally, optimize the related information of your video for better visibility and brand awareness. Emphasize a couple of times on the page that this is video content on a specific topic. Use the meta tags to further describe it with relevant keywords, but do not simply stuff it with them. Catchy and unique titles have better click-through rates and are more popular. Finally, enable social sharing and add you company logo or watermark.

References:

  1. http://www.reelseo.com/videos-ranking-universal-search-results-video-seo-study/ , point 1
  2. http://cdn2.reelstatic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/keyword-longtail-shorttail-300×202.gif
  3. http://www.reelseo.com/videos-ranking-universal-search-results-video-seo-study/ , point 3
  4. http://www.reelseo.com/15-tips-video-seo/

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