Question. I have a question regarding videos and SEO – we have a lot of video content and would like to use videos on our site in place of/in addition to photos. In our webinars you addressed the issue of how to optimize pictures for SEO; how would one go about doing the same with videos? And what effect does the video being a YouTube video on the vs. being on the page in some other way have on SEO?
Video SEO is really a lot like regular SEO: it has on page aspects and off page aspects. Here’s the process by which I think about how to optimize a video, and then I’ll explain a little about YouTube embeds in particular.
Just like in “regular” SEO, on page SEO refers to the things you control yourself, namely the video title, video description, and video tags in YouTube. First, figure out your target keywords by using the various Google tools and doing some actual searches on YouTube. You’ll quickly realize that YouTube “matches” videos to search based on the occurrence of keywords in the video title, video description and (hidden to the user) the video tags. These occur at the top of a YouTube search, on the right side when someone is watching a video, and at the end of videos as suggested videos. So there are three SEO opportunities on YouTube: search, the side “related” videos, and the related videos at the end.
In terms of optimization – and assuming you know your keywords already :
Just as in regular SEO, there is off page. First, Google clearly pays attention to whether the video is embedded on other websites, and whether other websites link to the video. Remember: Google owns YouTube, so it stands to reason that they share technology! Second, the video view count impacts whether a video shows, and you can create a virtuous circle: the more views, the more people see the video, thereby generating more views. (That’s why many people ADVERTISE their videos at first, to drive up the view count). Third, YouTube search clearly rewards interactive videos: videos with many thumbs up, or thumbs down, plus a lively discussion. So encourage your audience to “like” your Video, and ask them for comments.
Having the video embedded on many sites seems to help it show on both Google and YouTube. On the contrary, there is some slight evidence that embedding a relevant video on your own web page, helps that page show in search. As with images, it stands to reason that Google will reward pages that have video content over pages that are just text, as long as it is relevant. So I am a fan of embedding your own videos on your own website.
That, my friend, is Video SEO, especially YouTube SEO in a nutshell.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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