Don’t continue to underestimate video optimisationPosted 11 August 2011 by Sandy Cosser
Back in 2008, Econsultancy stated that video optimisation had begun to play an important role in search engine optimisation. Three years later, people are still talking about its increasing importance, but it remains sorely underused.
A recent study by Searchmetrics once again highlighted video’s role in search. According to the study, which looked at 100 search engine results for 28 million search terms from February to May this year, video results are the clear winner in the universal search stakes. Over 60% of the top 100 universal search results are video. Images came in with 30% of universal search results. Surprisingly, to me, shopping (20%) pipped news (10%).
Chris Crum (WebProNews) cited Searchmetrics CEO Dr Horst Joepen, who said, “We found that video and images are highly visible in Google searches when compared with other types of universal search content. So it makes sense for marketers to increase the volume of video and image content they’re creating and to optimise it both on their own sites and on third party sites such as YouTube and Flickr.”
According to Joepen, things like testimonials, interviews and product demos make for good video content.
Video optimisation tips
Now that we have been shown that video is vital to search and digital marketing endeavours, let’s look at how to make the most of video content.
For all its new developments, Google still can’t analyse videos and images for keywords and content relevance. If you want your videos to count you have to rely on other means.
- Ensure that the page on which you embed your video (if it’s embedded on your website) has enough content to get it crawled. Write an introductory paragraph to the video and, if the video warrants it, have a paragraph after it discussing a few salient points and then a conclusion.Alternatively, provide a full transcript. This is particularly beneficial for people whose internet connections don’t allow for high speed video, or for people who simply don’t want to watch the video but want to know what it’s all about.This means that you should try and include keywords in your video’s script (naturally of course), otherwise include them in the supporting explanatory paragraphs.
- Keywords once again come to the fore when it comes to naming the video file (search engines can read file names) and when coming up with the title and meta description.
- As with written content, links count. Use the anchor text in the links to and from the video wisely.
- In January 2010, Jon (SEOConsult) said that videos needn’t be of very high quality to go viral or rank well. This may still be true to a certain extent, but as several big, famous brands have released outstanding video campaigns you should aim for as high a quality as possible. Low quality videos that become hits tend to be ones captured on the spur of the moment – videos of opportunity. If you’re intentionally creating video content to promote your website you need to make an effort.Buy a proper camera, set the scene, make the most of lighting, dress well and edit the final product.
Alex Harvey (Search Engine People) has a few tips for on-site video optimisation (create a video sitemap, ensure proper site architecture) and hosted video optimisation (thumbnails) tips that you might want to check out.
(Image by ZyMOS [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)