Following the Google Hummingbird update which focuses on the intent behind a user’s request, the importance of providing the most valuable and engaging content targeted specifically to the user’s needs has increased considerably.
Video is a valueable way of presenting information which is both socially shareable and can be keyword targeted to specifically answer a need.
As with anything that we do in digital marketing, it is important that we have a strategy which has been led by keyword research and is data driven.
Why use Video for SEO?
- Opportunity to gain more search real estate within the search engine result pages (SERPs) as videos are often included where relevant within the SERPs.
- Increases engagement and authority signals which positively impacts your SEO.
- People use Youtube as a search engine – having a video listed opens you to more visitors within a growing search trend.
- The CTR of video content is 41% higher than on simple text content.
- Great shareability and viral capabilities.
- Keyword Research – What does your target market need?
- The same rule applies to content – focus on picking the right title!
- Create either a transcript of the video or an article to support your video and place on your video landing page.
- Use only one video per page.
- Make sure you choose the right hosting option for your website and purpose
- Mark up with rich snippets
- Make a video sitemap, upload to your domain and submit to Google Webmaster Tools
- Hosting for VideoSEO.
- Rich snippets
- Video Sitemap
Self & Third Party Hosting
You can host on your own server, however as videos take up a lot of bandwidth you will need to make sure you’re current hosting package is suitable. Most people choose self-hosting to benefit from the SEO link within the video, however there are a few potential issues that you should check for:
- Make sure your hosting is optimised for videos otherwise the video quality may be compromised.
- International availability – self hosting can cause incompatibilities with other country’s hosting speeds.
- Multi-device issues if your hosting service only provides one file type such as flash.
- Potential traffic increases with increases in bandwidth service charges.
Luckily, this is now not the only option when looking to benefit from VideoSEO as Wistia a third party video hosting solution, has recently enabled links to be built back to specified domains which is then embedded when someone places the video on their website.
“Wistia have now ensured that embed codes provided to users through the “embed” button provide an attribution link pointing to the instance of the video on your website. In layman’s terms – this now means that whenever someone embeds your Wistia videos on their site – you’re getting SEO value for those embeds.” – Wistia
Whether you are optimising the rich snippets for your self-hosted video or a third party host such as Wistia, it’s important to ensure that the embedded code has been optimised for SEO.
It’s the code which enables other users to embed your video on their websites which will define the size and source of your video amongst other properties. In order to get rich video snippets and help the search engines index your video, returning the rich video snippets in the SERPs, you will need to include a schema.org semantic mark up within the code. If you choose Wistia they will optimise the code for you but you still have the ability to add more properties into the code.
<div itemscope itemtype=http://schema.org/VideoObject>
<h2>Video: span itemprop=“name”>Your Video Heading</span></h2>
<meta itemprop=“duration” content=“T1M33S” />
<meta itemprop=“thumbnail” content=“thumbnail.jpg” />
<object width=”640″ height=”388″>
<param name=”movie” value=”http://www.yourdomain.com”></param>
<embed src=”http://www.yourdomain.com” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” </embed>
<span itemprop=“description”>Include a description of your video here</span>
For more options to include within your rich snippets check out http://schema.org/VideoObject
There are many benefits to including a video sitemap as they provide more information about the video to the search engines and will help get your video featured within the SERP’s. However there are a lot of free tools and advice online so I won’t go into detail on how to create the file, as even third party hosting packages and WordPress Plugins can actually produce these sitemaps for you. What I will say however is that you should include the following within your sitemap:
- Thumbnail URL
- Play page URL
- RAW video file location or player URL
Once you have created your file ensure that you upload to your domain i.e. www.yourdomain.co.uk/video-sitemap.xml and submit to Google Webmaster Tools.
- Review Adwords /Analytics (while you can) / GWT to look for the raw search terms to see the types of queries your visitors are searching for.
- Set up tracking into your internal search query form to gain an understanding of key questions your visitors are looking to answer.
- Data Driven – Use this data to create a video that answers their questions.
- Content - Create the supporting content to be placed on the video landing page.
- Video SEO –Hosting, rich snippets, video sitemap.
- Outreach – Contact site owners, bloggers or industry related sites who may be interested in your content.