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Get The Most SEO Power Out of Your Videos

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Ever since Google acquired You Tube, the search engine giant has shown a preference for videos in search results. Simply having a great video will help you stand out on the first page of search results, but there are several ways to beef up SEO to make Google love your video even more.


Muscle up your title

Just like text, don’t waste your time with keyword stuffing. If your video is about Macbook Pros, then “Apple Macbook Pro Review” will do just fine. Avoid “my favorite new notebook” because when users search for reviews in particular, they use long tail searches. Do the same thing for the file name, using as many relevant keywords from the point that you upload the file to the site.

Don’t rule out the benefit of text

Don’t be stingy when writing out your description of your video. The more readers know about it before clicking on the play button, the more they know if they want to stay and watch it. Search bots love long detailed descriptions for the same reason. This is the place to repeat your key words, and add in any additional ones that simply wouldn’t fit into the title or file name.

This is also the place to put in as many phrases as you can reasonably manage, since you can catch long tail searchers with relevant variations of your search terms. Think of the description field as the place to first provide proof that your video provides the solution or the information that your viewer is in search of.

You can boost the SEO ratings by writing out the script of your video (even those who love to talk completely off of the cuff can film the video and then create a transcript). Google will read the transcript for your keywords, and just as with text the earlier you say them the more it will help boost your rankings.

If you can’t stomach the thought of a transcript, then use captions. Google has crawlable closed captions, which are not only great for the hearing impaired, they will help in SEO.

articleimage313Encourage the social nature of your video

Encourage the social nature of your video

Likes and favorites really do affect the ranking of a video. While it may seem silly from a viewer’s point of view, the more times a video is seen and rated positively, the more Google knows that the video provides relevant content.

Encourage viewers to subscribe, like and favorite each of your videos. There’s no shame in asking and explaining why it’s important to you. Point out relevant content in your blog, e book or related videos during the script, and place links to those relevant sources below the video. Just as with interlinking blog posts, the more interlinked your videos are the more they rise in SEO rankings.

Embed your videos on your own site.

There is no rule that says you have to put your videos on one site, even if that site is You Tube. You improve the ranking of your site and your video when you place it on your own website. In fact, the more media- rich your own website is the higher Google will rank it on search results.

Many SEO gurus swear that an embedded video will lead to more SEO site, but in many cases this is because a viewer who opts to watch on your site is not quickly distracted by other videos on the right side of her screen.


Utilize HTML and sitemaps

Just as with text, if you provide You Tube and Vimeo a site map of your video, it will make indexing the file easier for the search bots. Google Webmaster Tools has detailed instructions on how to create a sitemap, and if you wish you can create the sitemap so that it draws traffic to your site instead of to Vimeo or You Tube.

Effective HTML never goes out of style, no matter what kind of content you are creating. You can utilize the older You Tube and Vimeo HTML-based option called “Use old imbed code” when you imbed a video to your own site. This is another way to drive traffic to your site by using Google and You Tube tools.

The HTML- based markup is what Google prefers to be used when describing videos on You Tube. Schema is tailor made for search spiders when they look for relevant content.

Extra tips for embedded and self-hosted videos

SEO gurus argue that one of the most effective ways to boost rankings is to use your video to get traffic off of Vimeo and You Tube, and onto your own site, fast. While You Tube and Vimeo are aged sites that rank well due to their authority, if you allow your viewers to stay on You Tube too long, they may well wander off.

If you decide to focus your SEO efforts on imbedded videos, there are some tricks that can make the video extremely easy for search bots to find.

Place all of your videos in an easy to find place on your website, utilizing the main menu so that both bots and human eyes can find them immediately. If you want to boost each video individually, place each one on a separate landing page.

To get extra mileage out of your videos, encourage viewers to embed them on their own site. The more sites that Google’s bots find your video on, the more relevant and more authoritative it becomes. While likes and favorites are great, placing someone else’s content on an external site makes it truly great.

Remember that when you are shooting videos that you will still have to create them for human eyes. Search bots can only look through the metadata associated with a video. You human audience will have to sit through a three to ten minute video of you waxing poetic about which smartphone will change their lives. If the first two videos are about how hot the weather is, you’ll turn off your audience and those likes and shares will go down.

The most efficient way to boost SEO is to provide original, quality content, period. You can manipulate HTML as much as you wish, but if people think that sitting through your ten minute opus is a waste of time, you’ve wasted your time as well.

Track your metrics constantly

SEO is never a one shot and you’re done deal. After you choose your initial keywords, you will find at some point the same words aren’t drawing in the same amount of traffic. In some cases this is due to the changing nature of the internet, and in others it is because you chose ineffective search terms.

Many software programs have built in analytic software that can track successful keywords and what kind of funnel new visitors use to come to your site. If you let your analytics go by the wayside, you lose your ability to remain relevant.

Improving your SEO results for videos is very similar to the ways of optimizing text. Since search engines including Google currently favor videos in their page results, by using tried and true methods for your videos can ensure that you rank as high as possible when users look for content like yours.

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James Parsons

I'm an avid blogger on SEO, social media, and design. When I'm not working with the awesome guys at AudienceBloom, I'm writing for my personal blog at or working on my next big project.

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