Video SEO: Optimizing For Rank

Thu, Feb 5, 2009

Google, Yahoo! & MSN

It’s no secret that the web is more than just text and pictures anymore – video and rich multimedia content are is part of what is defining Web 2.0 and beyond. The problem is we all know how to apply SEO techniques for text and images, but how do we make sure that our videos are ranking high? Today we’ll talk a bit about SEO for video and how to make sure you get the links, the rank and the views.

First, let’s talk about the goals of your video. Are you looking for the maximum number of views, or are you more concerned with getting the maximum amount of traffic to your website? The answer to this question is going to determine where you will host the video. Services such as Youtube, MSN Soapbox, etc. are great for getting the maximum number of people watching. However, for most of us we want to get people to our web properties. In this case you want to host your video on your own site so they draw in visitors to your content.

To make sure that the search engines index your pages with video content you need to make sure they can “see” them. Unfortunately the spiders of the web can’t actually “watch” the videos, so you have to take advantage of the resources you have available – text. Make sure that your videos are not just sitting out on a page all by themselves. Be sure to write introductory text about the video and when possible open up videos for commenting to get the viral traffic flowing. If possible, consider using a transcription service or post the script of your videos as well so the search engines can index and rank your text.

When it comes to optimizing video content you have to focus on three things:

* Title
* Keywords
* Links

Your title should be catchy and viral – make sure that you are coming up with titles that capture the interest of potential viewers. Use this title not only on the pages hosting the video but in alt. text pointing to videos and in descriptions of the video.

Keywords are already important to SEO, and when using video content you should keep in mind sometimes that keywords are all you are going to have to get ranked. The more specific the keyword, the more specific traffic you are going to draw. Keywords that are too generic, such as “money”, will probably do very little on their own to draw additional views.

Inbound links to the video should be optimized when possible. Encourage people to link to the video by providing a prepared link or other widget that lets them easily link using your standards. Make sure the URL you are using is SEO optimized and includes the title of the video in the URL itself.

Video content is taking the web by storm, and in the future we may see search engine spiders that are intelligent enough to decode some of the content itself. Until then we have to make our traditional SEO techniques work for us by making sure we package our video properly to make sure we are using old school rules with new age media.

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This post was written by:

Cassiano Travareli - who has written 90 posts on SEO Blog | SEO Marketing World.

SEO Specialist! Loves everything about Search Engine Marketing.