Whether instruction manuals, scientific or entertaining video content, high-quality online videos are in general well received and consequently favored by search engines. Actually, good synergies in SEO can be generated when combining the pure upload to video sharing sites like YouTube or Vimeo with an intelligent linking of the website. But the best is that no big budget is needed to influence SEO-relevant metrics positively, as:
- Websites that embed videos into their content strategy get significantly more traffic than websites that depict just pure text.
- Embedding of experiential, product, and instructional videos can have a positive effect on the dwell time: With the integration of a video, users are animated to look at the content more in detail, consequently the dwell time increases and the bounce rate decreases.
- Moving images are doing particularly well on social networks, like Facebook or Instagram, where they get shared, commented and liked, hence, setting all positive social signal that keep SEO in good stead. Not to mention the wide reach: Especially on Facebook more users can be reached with video content than with purely editorial posts.
Actually, YouTube is the driving force that pushes video optimization into the limelight of users and search engines. If your company is already using YouTube, or is planning to do so in the near future, your video content should therefore be optimally prepared from an editorial point of view. The following tips might be useful for your video arrangements:
- Create a comprehensive keyword concept for your video content so that it gets easily found. Performance figures like search volume of a keyword play a role as well as the competitive situation. Ideally, you should prepare the keyword concept before you start with the video creation and keep in mind that it is often useful to tackle 2- or 3-word combinations, too.
- The selected keyword should ideally come first in the title of the video. The optimal title covers around 60 characters, including spaces, since longer titles are cut off by the search engine with "...".
- The description field should possibly contain a detailed text that describes the content of the video with around 1000 characters. Make sure that the selected keyword appears in the text as well as theme-relevant terminology. A reference to the website, e.g. on a topic-related subpage, is also a positive signal. If you lodge a link in the description field of the video and the URL is short, it is advisable to place the link at the beginning of the text, as it will then be already clickable in the video overview of the YouTube search result page.
- Tags should be keywords that are related to the video, but in addition general tags describing the company should be provided as well. Around 5-6 tags that go into the content of the video and 4-5 business-related tags are recommended.
- Always create a transcript for videos with a spokesperson. The transcripts can be placed as a subtitle to the video to bring it in line and is in general well received among users as well as YouTube.
- It is essential to connect the corporate channel, the video and the website to benefit from the positive signals of YouTube optimization. A structured approach is therefore highly recommended, meaning that the corporate channel must be formally linked to the website so that video links can be set directly from there. This arrangement can be extended via the YouTube Creator Studio.
- The use of so-called structured data to markup content helps the search engine to better understand and classify the content of the website so that you achieve better distribution of your content to users from Search. You do this by marking up content properties and enabling actions where relevant. This makes it eligible for inclusion in rich snippets, including thumbnails of videos in the SERPs. For some content types, it allows users to engage directly with your content right from Search. If videos are embedded on the website, for example on product subpages, the moving image should be tagged accordingly. Google itself supports and recommends the OnPage markup of schema.org, where numerous data of the video can be stored, starting from thumbnail up to the duration and description. A detailed list of the tags can be viewed directly on schema.org.
- A quick indexing is ensured by setting up a video sitemap, which means a list of video content that is integrated into the site. In this XML file, all metadata - such as title, description, length and source – is listed and should be submitted as well to the Google Search Console after the successful implementation on the website.
Since video is obviously booming, especially on mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones, companies should focus more on this type of content and intelligently integrate it on their website to stay competitive. The correct upload on the video portal, the editorial format, the optimal tagging and the correct embedding into your own site are all contributing beneficially to the findability in search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.
By Daniela La Marca