As the web evolves, multimedia elements have become increasingly more popular. Not only doe they offer an alternative platform to deliver your content, but it provides the user with a rich, interacitve experience. Ignoring the opportunity to harness these elements for Search Engine Optimization would be a mistake, especially as technology continues to emerge that makes it easier to do so. Here, we will explore two of the most popular media components on the web today: videos and podcasts. Many of the standard SEO tools, like keywords, are used when optimizing video and podcasts for the web, you just have to learn how to apply old tricks to new platforms.
Learning SEO for Videos
So, how do you get the spiders to find content that they’re not built or designed to recognize? Well, to begin with, stick with the basics:
- Title: This is the single most important element when optimizing video for search engines. Remember that SEO for video is long tail: titling an instructive video “Baking Bread” will not be nearly as beneficial as using a title like “How to Make Cinnamon Raisin Bread.” Depending on how you choose to host your video can dictate the best way to title it, but more on that later.
- Tags: Can you guess what tags are good for? If you said keywords, move to the front of class. Here’s where you can apply all those carefully researched keywords, but remember to keep them relevant to the content contained in the actual video.
- Description: Apply your keyphrases and natural use of keywords here. If you are using a third party to host your video, this also gives you the opportunity to list the link to your website.
Beyond the Basics
There’s still more work to be done, and you can begin by creating and submitting a video sitemap to Google. Doing so will enable the content in your videos to be indexed by the search engine.
The next thing to consider is employing a trascription service to create a transcript of your video’s content. Providing a transcript gives the spiders actual content to gather and index, and can help significantly improve your ranking.
It would be impossible to discuss video without talking about YouTube, especially when you consider that they are the second largest search engine on the web.
Choosing to host your video on YouTube means it will automatically be indexed with Google. Now, if your goal is to generate interest and create branding, this is a perfect marriage. If, however, you want to drive traffic to your site, this may not be the ideal choice, as the traffic will all go to YouTube.
Another benefit to hosting with YouTube is their ability to place captions on videos, attaching a transcript of the content to the video timeline. This content can be searched and indexed by the engines, and allows users to search for phrases within your video.
Where to Host
If you are going to provide video content, you will need to decide how to host and deliver them to your user. You have two options: host the video with a custom player on your own site, or host the video with a third party site like YouTube, MetaCafe or Vimeo.
Hosting with a third party site has many benefits, but any links or link juice generated will benefit the host site, not your own. Keep in mind that if you choose to host with a third party, your video title will benefit from some creativity, as it will have a lot of competition just within its own host site.
Keeping the videos on your own site will require a little more legwork in optimizing them for search engines, but if done correctly, the benefits will be worth it.
Last But Not Least
Have you used Google lately to search for something? Of course you have. You may or may have noticed that they have begun generating ‘blended’ search results, combining websites, images and videos. The addition of images and videos are beneficial to the user, but they occupy valuable real estate on the first results page, and inevitably push websites that might have previously landed on the first page to the second. So, even if your website cannot break into the top results, there’s a good chance a popular video on your site can, which can only lead to good things.