If you want to get attention online then “creating a great video” for your brand or business is one of the best ways of getting noticed. But with over 400,000 videos being uploaded everyday, how do you ensure that your beautiful little digital celluloid baby gets the attention that it truly deserves?
How do you stop it from falling into the dark abyss that contains many a beautifully made but hardly watched digital online masterpiece. The answer is two fold…
1. It has to be easy to find (Video SEO).
2. It has to be easy to share (Social media).
Although the social sharing of videos also increases the “find-ability” of your video through their presence on the social networks and the creation of social links, this post will focuses on making your video easy to find through Video SEO.
Why Optimization Of Your Video Is Crucial
Video SEO is crucial because the largest search engine in the world (Google) incorporates video results into search results. This coupled with the fact that YouTube is the second largest search engine means that keyword optimized videos are an essential part of any web traffic strategy.
It is estimated that a video is 53 times more likely to end up on the front page of Google than a regular webpage. But you must optimize your video to take advantage of all this attention.
Optimization is simply the process of telling the search engines what your video is really about; labeling it so they can index it in a way that will make it very easy for a person to find.
Choosing Keywords For Your Video
How you “label” your video will determine both the number and the type of people who will be able to find it. How do you choose the right keywords for your video? This is most important decision you will have to make when optimizing your video. There are several SEO programs out there that can help you choose the right keywords.
There are four factors in keyword selection that you must consider to ensure a large amount of targeted attention. They are:
The first step in choosing a particular keyword phrase to optimize your video for is to make certain that the keyword(s) are relevant to your video.
There is no point optimizing your video for “legal advice” if your video is all about “gardening.” Although you may get eyeballs to your video by optimizing for an unusual phrase, none of these eyeballs will convert to actual business.
Fortunately, there are a number of easy way to find a large number of potentially relevant keywords using SEO programs like Wordtracker or by using Google’s Adword Tool.
With these programs you simply plug in one relevant term such as the topic of your video and it will churn out a large number of possible variations giving you a selection of relevant keywords.
So now you have a selection of relevant keywords that you could optimize your video for BUT is anyone actually searching for these keywords. There is no point ranking number 1 on Google for a keyword that virtually nobody ever searches for. A low search volume equals very few video views. Both Google Adword tool and Wordtracker give a good estimate for each of the relevant keywords your are considering.
But before you simply choose the keyword with the highest traffic volume, you should also consider two other other crucial factors.
Typically keywords with high traffic volumes are also very competitive. This is because traffic is money, many business and brands want to rank very highly for these keywords.
Remember the aim with any optimization process is get significant traffic, if you are competing against large websites (corporations, established educational institutions, etc) then your chances of getting your video onto the front page of Google for your particular search word is very slim.
Unless you are a large company with a very established web presence then it is better to choose a keyword or phrase that has low to moderate levels of competition and a good amount of traffic.
Both the Google Adword tool and an SEO package like Word Tracker will also allow you to assess the level of competition for any keyword.
D. Traffic And The Cost Per Click (CPC):
The last factor worth considering is simply the value of the keyword.
It’s an estimated dollar value that is calculated by using the CPC for being the number one ranked advertiser for your particular keyword in a Google Adword Campaign and multiplying it by the maximum daily traffic number.
This estimated value gives you a good sense of the dollar value of the keywords you are considering optimizing your video for.
Optimizing Your Video:
By this stage of the process you now have a great video and keyword(s) that are relevant, with a good level of traffic, low to moderate levels of competition and a good estimated dollar value. It’s time mesh it all together so that your video will be super easy to find on Google.
If you are self-hosting your video or even embedding a Youtube video on your website then one of the most important things you are going to need to do it to create a video xml sitemap.
A. Video XML Sitemap
More so than a regular xml sitemap, a video xml sitemap improves your videos ability to rank in the search results.
Because search engines are unable to index video in the same way that they index text, you need to tell them what the video is about. A video xml sitemap is simply a file that exists on your site for the search engines to see because they are not human and can’t watch video.
Complete instructions on all the possible elements in a video xml sitemap can be found on Google’s Support Site.
From an SEO perspective though some of the crucial fields required for your xml sitemap include:
– The Video Tag: Telling the search engines that it’s a video. (i.e. <video:video>)
– Location: Specifying the page your video is embedded on. (your url and not Youtube’s)
– Video Thumbnail: This is the thumbnail that will occur in the search results.
– Video Title: Use your keyword(s) here.
– Video Description: Use your keyword(s) in an early part of the description.
– Video Content Location: If you are embedding a player from YouTube or Video then this should point to it.
Additionally for SEO it is worth adding the following to your sitemap:
– Video Duration.
– Video Tags: Use no more than 3-5 of your keyword here.
– Video Category: A broad easily recognizable category tag may help your SEO especially if it also involves a keyword.
Once you have created your video sitemap, uploaded it to your site, and submit it to Google using Google Webmaster Tools.
B. Optimizing Your Video For Syndication
Imagine having a book for which there was only one copy that was only found in one library? Not many people would get to read that book. For a book to be read by millions of people there needs to be a large number of copies and these copies need to be made available to a large number of bookstores and libraries all around the world.
For this reason alone it is essential that you syndicate your video to many different online video sites (libraries); the more copies of your video out there the better.
Fortunately there is a quick and easy way to syndicate your videos to a number of different online video websites with a simple click of a button; you can use one of the online video distribution platforms that we discussed last week.
It’s very important that you optimize your video when syndicating it. This is a much simpler process than creating a sitemap. The primary way that you do this is through using your relevant keywords in the following:
– Your Video Title: Begin the title with a keyword if it makes sense
– Your Video Description: Use in the first sentence of you description.
– Video Tags: No more than 3-5 of your keywords.
It is crucial to not underestimate the power of the Video SEO process. In the offline movie business many great films are made BUT nobody sees them because they are not distributed or marketed well. The same problem frequently occurs in the online world.
If you’ve created a great video and you want people to see it then optimization plays a key role in marketing and distributing your online video to places where your target audience can find it easily and watch it.