Visual content is more important than ever before when it comes to user engagement. There is so much information available to us that users need a quick and entertaining why to digest it. Video is a great way to do this but you need to make sure your videos are found by those looking for the information you have to provide.
In this week’s Ask An SEO Expert feature, Steven Shattuck explains five steps you must take to optimize your videos so they will be found by the right audience.
So the question is: What is the best way to SEO a new video? Are there any special rules we should follow?
Well, that’s a great question. Video SEO is something that’s very important in order to get your video seen by as many people as possible. It’s something that’s written a lot about online. So I’m going to try to boil it down to five really high level of components in terms of video SEO.
My first suggestion is to make a good video. A lot of people kind of consider SEO to be a fix or some sort of magic bullet in terms of any video, but if the video isn’t that great, no SEO trick in the world is going to help it get seen. So quality content wins online. Just remember that. Make sure that your video is educational or insightful or entertaining and is right for the audience that you want to reach.
Once you’ve made a good video, the next thing to do is to transcribe your video. Notice that I put transcription before publishing. I will get into that a little bit later. Basically, you want to transcribe everything that’s said or heard in the video. That’s for people who may have audio impairments. You want to make sure that your content is accessible to those folks. So be sure to get it transcribed, and I will list a couple resources for that in the video description below.
Once you’ve got your video and you’ve got it transcribed, it’s time to publish the video. In terms of hosting, you basically have two core options. One, you can self-host, so the video file will actually reside on your domain through some sort of custom player that’s actually on your site versus a third party host, like YouTube or Vimeo.
So the decision you have to make is, is it more important that people are on your domain watching your video through self-hosting, or that it can maybe a little bit more accessible on a site like YouTube. So you kind to have to decide which means more to you. If you host on YouTube, you’re actually driving traffic to YouTube.
Now they’re watching your content, but YouTube’s domain kind of gets all the credit in that regard. Of course, YouTube has a lot of other benefits, like all the social features and things like that. So you kind of have to decide which means more to you there. Regardless of your choice, once you’ve made that decision, it’s time for the on-page support.
Now whether you’re self-hosting or hosting through YouTube or Vimeo, you’re probably going to want to embed your video on your website, either on a web page or on a blog post. When you do that, you want to make sure you support it with a lot of things. So if you write a blog post for example, you might want to write some text that introduces the video, then embed the video, and then you’ll want to also include the transcript literally on page. That’s a really kind of nice format for posting a video.
There are things you can do on the back end as well to support it. So there is schema markup. There’s actually markups specifically made for video content, and I’ll actually include some of those resources in the description because it’s pretty technical and I don’t’ want to get into it too much in this video.
Keep in mind that if you host on YouTube, you want to also fill in all those on-page factors, like the title of the video on YouTube, the description field that they give you, and all of those other keyword type things that you can fill out on YouTube. All that’s really important. So make sure you do a good job filling those out.
Finally, you’ve got your video, you’ve got your transcript, it’s hosted, it’s on your website, and it’s supported by great content as well. Now what you want to do is create a video sitemap.
Now a video sitemap is actually different than a HTML sitemap or an XML sitemap. It tells Google, or any other search engine for that matter, what video content specifically is on your website. It’s a little technical to put together and to explain in this video, so I will also include that in the description of this video. A video sitemap is definitely worth the time and investment to create, especially if you have a lot of video embedded on your site.
So that’s sort of my five quick tips for video SEO. Hope it was helpful and good luck.