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video-SEO-help

Many companies are hesitant to incorporate video content into their blog posts and broader marketing efforts largely because of the investments of time and money necessary to create this content.

But maybe we can change your mind. Here are two statistics to consider when deciding whether your company should develop video content:

1) Website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video (Digital Sherpa)

2) 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide cite video as the type of content with the best ROI (eMarketer)

Given these figures, it makes good business sense to put out videos, but first, one needs to understand what video SEO is, how it works, as well as how best to use it for brand building. This important because SEO is another argument in favor of creating videos: it can bring in long-term, compounding benefits (see: traffic, revenue) if successfully set up and then nurtured over time.

The purpose of a search engine is to gather and display the most relevant search results. To this end, the more a piece of content matches a given set of search criteria, the higher rankings that page will have. In order to accomplish this, search engines review both the code and content of websites in order to determine if a particular site is relevant to a given web search. Search engine optimization is the practice of making content more noticeable to search engines, and video is a great way to optimize this process.

Embedding video on a website offers more opportunities to stand out from the crowd, as Google may display a thumbnail of this video as part of its search results (though recent data shows that hosting a video on Google-owned YouTube makes it MUCH more likely to do so, compared to hosting it on sites like Vimeo). This added visibility attracts a new segment of potential customers, as search listings with videos are much more likely to be clicked on than those without videos.

The biggest thing you can do to boost your video SEO, of course, is to host the videos on your own domain — and not on sites like YouTube or Vimeo. This means using a platform like Wistia that build out a video sitemap on a subdomain, so you’re not giving away all your SEO juice to YouTube in the video’s embed code.

Of course, a video only supports a company when it can be viewed with little-to-no downtime, and that’s where picking a good provider becomes essential. There are numerous providers that specialize in hosting videos, and although not all of them are as well-known as YouTube, and consequently don’t rank as high in search engine results (especially since Google owns YouTube), a few to keep in mind are: Wistia, Vidyard, Vidcaster, and Vzaar. These providers allow one to directly embed video content onto a webpage. There are technically two ways to do this, but one should note that Flash is outdated but still present in older sites, while HTML5 is the current standard and best practice for embedding video.

Flash lost a great deal of standing as a video embedding tool because Apple iOS devices do not support it, and therefore, won’t display any video using Flash. In addition, the code for Flash videos is not crawled by search engines as easily as HTML5, therefore site rankings will be skewed in favor of sites that do not use Flash. The Google Search bots like reading HTML5.

YouTube is the platform of choice for adding video to a site. While it is a useful tie-in, YouTube does not stand on its own in adding SEO value to a page. For this reason, current best practices suggests that video be embedded via YouTube, tying the site to the platform, and vice versa. In this way, search engines will more easily rank the content, and users on YouTube will also find the brand’s website, increasing influence and customer base.