What is Video SEO?
Video SEO or video search engine optimization is the concept of optimizing your online videos to show up on a google search results page for the targeted keyword(s).
The number one way to optimize your videos for search is through writing the proper title, tags and description when uploading a video to YouTube. (You can go back at any point and edit this meta-information).
2 Main Components to Video SEO
- Optimizing your online videos to show up on a google search results page for the targeted keyword(s).
- Embedding the YouTube video into your site, say in a blog post, is considered fresh content by google and is extremely valuable for your SEO campaign.
This is very simple information so once you know it you’ll be good to go. First lets take a look at how to properly complete step one. For this purpose I’ll use google and YouTube as examples although technically it applies to any major search engine and video sharing site.
Optimizing your YouTube Videos
Here’s a critical piece of information. When you upload your video to YouTube, you place the keyword you’re ranking for into the title of the video. The title of the video is the main meta-information that google references when indexing your video. So word for word, verbatim, your keyword needs to be in the title of the video.
You would then place a link back to your site in the description section. Regardless of how many views your video gets, this backlink placed in the description won’t hold any actual “link juice” for ranking your site up, it’s solely for driving traffic. I recommend writing a full description with links to your site and a custom thumbnail because google does index this information also, just the main value comes from the meta-title.
I won’t go into detail about how you determine what the actual keyword should be in this post but if google determines your video holds valuable information then it will be displayed on the homepage when someone does a search using the same keyword. This is great for driving traffic, and the amount of traffic your site gets does determine your google rank but again links placed in the description don’t pass any actual value to your site. However this is only the first part of the process, the second part holds enormous value for ranking your site up in the google search results.
Embedding the Video and Creating Fresh Content
Once you’ve uploaded your YouTube video and filled out the proper meta-information it’s time to write a blog post and embed the video into your site.
Create a new blog post centered around the same concept or directly about your YouTube video. Optimize the post for the same keyword you used in your YouTube video title and embed the video directly into the page. I won’t go onto detail about how to optimize your post in this article but I am writing a local SEO guide that explains exactly how to do this. I’ll insert a link to it soon as its finished. I will say though that Yoast, creator of the famous WordPress SEO plugin that I personally use, has recently launched a new plugin for optimizing videos in your posts. This one isn’t free, I think it’s around $70 although if SEO is something your focusing on then I think it’s well worth the money.
Anyway now that you’ve created a blog post with the video embedded and optimized the post for the same keyword as your video, your done with the process. The benefit of this is, when someone googles your keyword, the video will appear in the search results, just like it would from YouTube, however now the thumbnail will link to your blog post instead of to the video’s YouTube page. The post and video are seen as fresh content by google and with google’s new algorithm are incredibly valuable towards your search engine optimization campaign. It’s also a quick and easy method for getting link to your site on the first page result of what might otherwise be a keyword with high competition.
Google Rich Snippets
An important thing to take note of is, google placing thumbnails to videos in the search results page along with standard links is what they refer to as “google rich snippets” which I think are absolutely genius. Google rich snippets are “snippets” of information that when properly tagged, will show up in the actual search results page. If you’ve ever done a google search and seen a star rating for something then you know what a google rich snippet is. Thumbnails linking to posts and YouTube videos is also known as google rich snippets and can be very valuable for driving quality traffic to your site and in your overall Video SEO strategy.