Businesses are increasingly using online marketing videos for marketing and sales initiatives because they have been proven to help generate leads and engage prospects at a high level. One area that marketing professionals are finding success using video is SEO video marketing and video search optimization. The recently published 2013 Online Video Marketing Survey and Business Video Trends Report indicates that 70 percent of online marketers are optimizing videos for video SEO marketing purposes. Optimizing videos for SEO marketing has become more common as a complement to traditional organic SEO search optimization to boost website traffic rankings and conversions.
According to the 2013 Video Marketing Trends Survey, the most common methods used by marketers to optimize video content for video marketing SEO purposes are:
1. 77% – Search Optimize Videos .XML Files and Web Page Source Code with Keyword Titles and Descriptions
Optimizing your videos with descriptions and titles so they can be recognized by search engines is relatively easy to do, but many marketers and companies are still missing the boat on this important video SEO marketing practice. Videos can be a valuable source of online content that will enhance search ranking if the videos are tagged properly with titles and keyword-centric descriptions and then submitted to search engines within a video sitemap.
Note that only 22 percent of survey respondents indicated they have created video sitemaps for their website videos – which is an important way to guide search robots to the video content you want them to index. Similar to blog posts and landing pages, search engines shift through video title and description tags if properly identified in the XML video sitemap file and HTML code of the web pages where the videos are embedded.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Choose one keyword phrase to optimize per embedded video.
- Use the keyword phrase in the video title and description tags.
- The HTML code for an optimized video uses <iframe> (video tag details) </iframe>.
- Pull copy from the video transcript for the description or use the use entire video transcript.
- Identify the source video thumbnail image in the HTML code of the webpage.
2. 74% – Post Your Optimized Videos on YouTube to Access YouTube Search Results
In essence, YouTube is far and away the largest video search engine on the internet. Even if you host and embed videos on your website without YouTube (recommended), there is an advantage to posting your videos on YouTube to access direct YouTube video search results. This is because potential YouTube viewers are not likely to be finding your video through web search results. When you upload your videos to YouTube, you can add a title, description and link to a website URL.
Note that using YouTube as the primary host for your website videos is generally not optimal for SEO video marketing for these reasons:
- Many corporate firewalls block access to YouTube to keep employees from getting distracted.
- Hosting your website videos on YouTube can divert your viewer traffic to the YouTube site, where there is a lot of junk video and advertising that can compromise your branding.
- Why should you promote the YouTube branding and website for free on your website?
3. 55% – Enable Viewers to Share Your Videos and Embed on Other Sites
This is simply a matter of choosing and using a quality video player that has video sharing and embedding feature tools available on the player so that viewers can easily share by email, social media or access (trackable) embed code to post the video within other websites, blogs, etc. Some companies don’t want their video content shared, so it is important that these features can be turned on and off easily depending on the confidentiality and purpose of your video content.
4. 54% – Use Search Optimized Videos in Your Blog Posts if Relevant
This sounds pretty obvious and fundamental, but a lot of marketers aren’t reusing their search optimized videos in their blog posts. Even if you have a video optimized on a webpage, there is no harm in using it in a blog post with different title and description tags to avoid duplicate content. This will enhance your blog post target keyword and search rankings.
That’s right: consider re-encoding the .XML file and video related HTML on the blog webpage for the same video that may be embedded elsewhere on your website. If your blog post gets highly ranked for an important keyword term, the video image will show up in the web ranking search results and help your SEO results stand out from the crowd. Also note that the same can be done when including videos in your press release distribution – make sure you have the video properly optimized for the SEO keyword term(s) you want to promote in the press release.
5. 22% – Organize and Create a Video Sitemap for Your Website and Submit to Google
It’s surprising how few video marketers are creating and submitting XML video sitemaps for the search engines to index the videos on their websites. Only 22 percent of the 600 marketers surveyed for the 2013 Video Marketing Trends Report indicated they had implemented a video sitemap. Creating a video sitemap for your website is an extremely important part of SEO video marketing. There are many tutorials online to help you with this or you can call Flimp Media to do it for you.
Here is a summary explanation and graphic of the video sitemap process:
Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about their pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site. Each URL entry in the video sitemap must contain the following information:
- Player Page URL
- Thumbnail URL
- Raw Video File Location and /or the Player URL (SWF)
The following is a sample XML file that shows a video sitemap with all the tags in use:
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Wayne Wall is founder and CEO of the Flimp Media. Wayne is a technology entrepreneur with a proven track record of starting and building successful technology companies with good returns for investors.