video optimization YouTube

As video continues to grow in popularity thanks to the almost ubiquitous nature of high-speed Internet and its disruptive nature in the search landscape it’s important for businesses of all sizes to leverage this medium as it applies to your business model. Simply producing and uploading a video will do little for your business, so I decided to outline what you need to know about video SEO (VSEO).

Why Video SEO is Important

  • The Influence of Video:
    • 100 million Internet users watch online video each day
    • 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week – Forbes
    • 59% of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text – Forbes
    • Website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video
      • Additionally, visitors who watch a video stay on the site an average of two minutes longer – comScore
  • The Visibility of Video:
    • YouTube is the number two search engine in the world – Not Bing etc.
      • Over one billion unique users visit YouTube every month
    • 70% of the top 100 search listings on Google in 2012 included video results
    • The chance of getting a page-one listing in Google increases 53 times with video
    • Posts with videos will attract 3 times more in-linking domains than plain-text posts
  • The Social Impact:
    • People are most likely to engage with brand content on social media that contains pictures (44%) and videos (37%)
    • 1 in 5 Twitter users discover videos each day from Tweeted links

Video SEO and the Search Landscape:

What You Need to Know About Video SEO (VSEO)

  • Paid listings, outlined in red, are continually gaining real estate in search results.
  • Rich media listings, such as images, are almost exclusive to paid listings.
  • Organic video listings, outlined in green, almost completely saturate the organic search results for numerous industry searches – both consumer and business
  • Organic video listings get the benefit of the rich media element in Google and Bing’s search results and will enjoy an increased click through rate compared to general organic listings.

On-Site Video Optimization:

  • Videos hosted, or embedded, on your site empowers your business to drive more traffic via organic search by way of improved ranking potential and higher CTRs.
  • Search engine crawlers have technical limitations to understanding video content, so it is the marketer’s job to ensure proper video optimization is in place to garner the full value of rich media.
  • Areas to address that will help maximize your onsite video include:
    • Rich media, specifically video, sitemap
    • Optimized title and video tags
    • Optimized text surrounding the video
      • Search engines will use this for context as they can’t read rich media content
    • Optimized file names – page and media element
    • Embedded links in video
      • When someone uses your video content they will be forced to link back to your site
    • Schema.org tags
    • invisible on site, but help search engines understand and parse content
      • http://schema.org/VideoObject

Video SEO – Why Use Schema Markup?

Schema Markup Video SEO

  • In the above example, can you tell based on the search result listings that the wernerco.com page has video as well?
    • Without Schema markup data to help the search engines parse rich media content you will lose both the ranking value for the video as well as the enhanced listing with thumbnail, which will deliver a higher CTR.
    • Where will you click?

We see what Google sees w/ Google’s Rich Snippet Tool:

Google Rich Snippet Tool - Video SEO

  • Search engine crawlers are a complex mechanical process with many limitations to understanding rich media content including images, audio and video.
    • Scema.org and video transcripts make this data accessible
  • All major search engines use Schema

Off-Site Video Optimization:

  • Videos shared offsite have many advantages to solely hosting onsite and we recommend leveraging both efforts.
    • The biggest benefit of offsite videos is that they can potentially rank in multiple search engine verticals
      • For example, a well-optimized YouTube video will rank in YouTube search results as well as Google search results.
  • Areas to address to help maximize your offsite videos:
    • Provided guidance for actual video creative content
      • Quality video content will influence shares, likes, subscriptions and “watch time” – all valuable ranking factors
    • Distribution to numerous hosting sites – not just YouTube
      • Vimeo, Flickr, Picasaweb.Google, photobucket, shutterfly etc.
    • Titles, descriptions and tags optimized with a stringent focus on core keywords unique to that video
    • Video transcriptions for closed captions
      • Video content crawlers can understand
  • Call to actions
    • In written descriptions as well as annotations during video itself

General Elements of Offsite Video Listings:

Below, I dissect the elements of a YouTube video and all the options available to a marketer to maximize their video creative via video SEO:

YouTube Video SEO

video optimization YouTube