7 SEO Tips for Using Videos
So you want to start using videos on your site, you say? That’s great! But, before you get too far down a path, let’s step back for a moment and review some of the things you should do to make sure you get the best SEO value out of your efforts. Here are some things you should do in order to do this:
- Title It Right
Make sure your video title accurately reflects what your video is about. Trying to get clever or tricky here will generally backfire as people will leave fast once they realize the topic is not what they thought it was—and that metric will hurt your SEO efforts.
- Be Focused
Keep each video to a single, usable topic. Ideal approaches are to solve a particular problem or give very specific information such as in a how-to video. Staying to a narrowly focused topic can not only keep people engaged but also help you keep the length of your video to a reasonable level.
- Be Your Own Host
Conventional SEO wisdom used to recommend hosting on YouTube or Vimeo but that is no longer the case. Let your domain get the credit for your good content. That said, YouTube can play a positive part in your video strategy. You can host “preview” videos there with links to the full content back on your site. You can learn about some great YouTube best practices here.
- Make It Readable
Transcribing your video scripts and including the transcriptions on your site achieves two things. First, it allows crawlers to “read” your video content more accurately, thereby giving it a better chance of ranking. Second, it gives viewers another way to receive your video content message. Say, for example, someone is in an airport and does not have headphones—they can read your transcript and still get the benefit.
- Make Them Visible
Make sure your videos are above the fold on whatever pages they appear on. Burying them far down the page limits the chance that they will be seen—and watched.
- Allow Embedding
Letting other people use your video content by embedding it into their materials is a great way to expand your reach and get your name out in front of an even wider audience. When you do this, you also help yourself receive good quality inbound links to your site.
- Make a Sitemap
A video-specific sitemap should be considered an integral part of your video-for-SEO strategy. You should include metadata, links to appropriate landing pages and rich video snippets. The more you can serve up your video content in a way that is easy for search engines to find and digest, the better you will be in the long run.
If you have already started posting video content, it’s not too late to go back and do some of these things retroactively. The time you will spend to put these things in place will pay off down the road.
In this world of content marketing, “content” should not be thought about as just the written word alone. Videos can work just as well as a blog (and they can be part of your blog) in helping to generate better SEO results for you.