There is no argument the value of videos is very crucial and can lead to enormous traffic generation and brand awareness. However, there has been debate over video optimization and how to leverage the basic SEO skills to boost your videos within search results and posting platforms like YouTube.com. The question is: Can ordinary link building strategies be used to boost rankings of videos within SERPs? Over the years, experts have said “yes”, but have added a twist on the way videos show up in the search results. Over the years, we’ve seen some videos outperform others without doing any SEO, which tells us that link building is just one factor in several others. Either way, it’s important that you consider a few factors when trying to rank your next video.
From my experience, here are the elements you pay close attention to before uploading your next video.
Relevancy vs. Quantity
When creating a video, pay attention to relevancy, not quantity, because there is no point uploading videos that don’t resonate with people. Just like content, you’ll have a better chance engaging people if you are clear about the audience you are targeting. Many people make the mistake of uploading too many videos that are completely irrelevant, hoping to attract some people to their website, etc. This doesn’t work with content and won’t work with videos because websites like YouTube.com have a system in place to identify relevant videos to a user’s search.
Start by narrowing down your audience then finding out what they are looking for. Pay close attention to their search pattern. Knowing this information will help you stay on track when creating your video. In the end, you’re better off receiving 10,000 visitors from “1” popular video than 10 visitors from 5 videos you’ve created.
Hosting vs. Posting
There is no real answer to this question and it depends on what you are trying to achieve. Hosting means to upload the video on your own site while posting means to upload on sites like YouTube.com. Both can work in your favour and the ROI will depend on your ultimate objective. For example, if you have a following on your blog and want to introduce people to your new product or service, then consider hosting your own video. However, for a growing blog, and to obtain social shares, then posting on popular sites like YouTube.com will be your #1 choice. Here’s my preference…
For SEO purposes, I prefer posting on sites like YouTube.com (because of their popularity). A simple video I publish can receive thousands of videos that trickle to my blog. Next, it will be shared by thousands and can receive link backs from other relevant bloggers. The links will add SEO value to my video, which can help boost it organically within the SERP’s. Another important factor in my choice is the backend SEO work done by posting websites. On YouTube.com, for on-page SEO, I simply add a title and description then publish and it’s ready to go.
If you are going to host your own videos, it’s important to understand that each upload is unique. Make sure you take the right steps to ensure it is indexed by Google correctly.
Many people forget videos should be treated like content when publishing to the web. It’s important to add target keywords within the title and description so search engines know what your video is about. You have this option when hosting and posting so make use of the interface. Google is not a video decoder and can’t see what the video is about so it’s important you describe it by adding the relevant keywords. Just like you would with your content, research and add the right keywords where you can. Here’s something cool you can try next time to give you more leverage…
You have tools available that allow you to attach a text transcript to your videos. For those of you who don’t know, transcripts are a “text” version of your video and they add extra value to your video and your audience. They are very simple to create as many video editing tools give you the option. Just like Google indexes content, transcripts can be indexed to give you an extra boost within the SERP’s. Make sure you have the correct keywords in the right place in transcripts as well.
Social engagement is playing a more important role than ever and it’s not fully understood how Google uses this information when ranking content. However, it’s no argument that social shares help with the overall user experience and increases the chance of receiving links to your video. If Google lists videos within the SERP’s by importance and relevance related to link backs, then social shares is definitely an asset. If you have uploaded a video on your website, or websites like YouTube.com, then make sure you have the right social buttons in place. Make sure they are visible and easily accessible so a visitor can share your video with others on their profile.
Here are few things to keep in mind going forward…
- Make sure you have the popular social networks displayed in your buttons (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+). Being shared on these networks can generate enormous traffic
- Make buttons visible, adding them to the top and bottom of your video
- Provide an incentive to your visitor for sharing your video, i.e., free information, content, and discounts
- Make video high quality so people want to share it with their followers